Cheap Design – Who Cares?
I have been asked this question: “What is the difference between my having my logo designed online for $50 (or brochure for $150) or coming to someone like you and spending much more?”
First, it matters what you want to achieve in the end. Then, of course, you get what you pay for. Why would design be any different from anything else? In fashion, there is a difference between a bargain basement and Savile Row. But, perhaps the worst outcome would be a fashion faux pas. A look unbecoming. Hardly a business risk. And, you can always wear something different tomorrow.
However, when its your logo, the risk of “a look unbecoming”, cheap materials, corners cut, the risks impairing or inhibiting the success of the business are greater. One of the key audience facing assets of the company has been handled with only the most minimal insight and care. If you consider that a logo is only the first DNA building block in the growth of corporate identity / brand development this will make even more sense. Strategic corporate visual communications rely on consistency, and a singular, differentiating voice. Virtually impossible to achieve randomly – online or off.
Working with a designer like me is different, it is more like a partnership.
If you consider your brand as you would a play. Your goal is to create something that an audience responds to, tells others about and wants to see more of. To achieve this you need a singular vision behind it, so that you end up with something cohesive, connected, and dramatically paced. And, most important of all, you want end up with something that you can build upon.
Any piece of visual communication (electronic or printed) can and will be seen in isolation. You can’t be everywhere singing the praises of your business. People will make their judgements based on what they are looking at – a card, a website, a leaflet, an ad… etc….
Seeing that everything is connected, and, knowing that the cumulative impression built by more than one piece can build up – or undermine – the audience’s perception of the organization, its integrity and its value can only lead to the conclusion that cheap online design can at best be a short term solution and at worst, the undoing of a lot of hard work.
So, in answer to the original question “Why spend money on design?”…
Of course I’m biased because I totally believe in what I do and what it does for my client’s businesses. I believe in the value of my experience and all that I bring. I believe in being a consistently reliable creative resource for my clients. I care about the outcome. Indeed, I rely upon it.
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This article entitled, “Preventing Disasters in Design Outsourcing“ in the Harvard Business Review by Jason Amaral and Geoffrey Parker also tackles the benefits of outsourcing design – at the Fortune 1000 level.