Why hire a Graphic Designer for your Small Business?
Each week I get loads of enquiries from small-medium business owners for design work. I would say for every 5 that contact me, there is usually one who opts to do it themselves. I get it, being a small business owner myself, I know that the budget can be limiting, particularly in the first year or two. I am guilty of DIY tendencies too, take this blog post, for example (probs should have hired a professional). I do it, and I get it, but I'm not saying I would recommend it. This rings particularly true for visual content.
Below I outline why I think you should opt for a professional graphic designer and give a few tips for those of you who insist on DIY.
1 | People shop with their eyes
When you're out shopping, what entices you to pick up a product? Maybe it's the logo, colour, or texture of the packaging that catches your eye? Maybe you have seen it advertised? Or it’s something you have seen at a friend's house? Whatever it is, my bet is, 9 times out of 10, it's because you have seen it. I believe people also use their eyes to form their first impression of your business. Have you ever seen a filthy car advertising a cleaning service? Not a cleaning company I would phone in a hurry. I'm not saying that what's inside (the product, the values, the service or whatever the business might contain) isn't as important, I just know that first impressions count!
2 | You're dealing with short attention spans
It's my opinion that our brains are being oversaturated with content via social media. Because of this, people's attention spans are getting shorter. Nowadays, you only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention. You want to ensure that you're standing out to your intended crowd and have them notice you. A designer is trained to deliver a powerful message visually, and quickly.
3 | Consistency is key
To build a trustworthy and noticeable brand, it's important that your brand is strong across all collateral. Being consistent with your logo, fonts, colours, and tone is important to build a brand that over time people will get to recognise and trust. A good designer can ensure that your visual ‘tone’ is consistent.
It might be because I'm a designer, and picky, but when I see a business with bad design, I won't use them. What do I consider to be bad design? To name a few: Pixelated images, bad cropping, inconsistency (logos, colour, fonts etc.), no visual hierarchy, the list goes on. Usually, if the work isn’t done by a professional, I can tell.
When it comes to price, you get what you pay for. You can’t pay $2 for a watch at the $2 store and expect it to be like a Rolex. I have heard stories where people have hired an inexpensive designer and come out with a great design. But for every success story, I hear about 30 horror stories. Before hiring a designer, check out their portfolio and their reviews.
5 | Risk Aversion
Grabbing images and fonts from the internet is risky business. Copyright law protects the artist. If you use something you aren’t entitled to, you could land yourself in deep water. A designer will use images and fonts with the correct usage license to protect you (and their self).
6 | DIY Tips
For those of you who will continue to DIY. Please take the following into consideration:
Keep it simple. Less is often more.
Keep it consistent
Use high resolution images
Use fonts, graphics and photographs that are ok for commercial use. Check the licence even with purchased digital products
Use a program like Canva to help you with the layout. Avoid programs like Word.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to leave a message in the comments below. If you would like to contact me for a quote, email firstname.lastname@example.org.