Generally most people have a basic idea of what they believe a graphic designer does. The list probably goes something like creating logos for businesses or brands, fixing or editing images using Photoshop and probably making magazine ads… correct? Well technically yes, graphic designers do in fact do all of these things, but they’re only a fraction of what makes up a much bigger picture.
Graphic design is everywhere - just look around! I can guarantee you’ve had some interaction with a graphic designer’s work - possibly before you even leave your house of a morning. Did you pick up a cereal box this morning? There’s a great example of graphic design!
Graphic designers combine their unique creativity with a strategy, communication with brand knowledge and aesthetic with logic. Design is everywhere, which provides endless opportunities for graphic designers to make their mark. But when exactly do you need to invest in a professional and when can you do it yourself (DIY)?
Here are just a few things that I would recommend leaving for the professionals:
It is a great investment to get someone who knows what they’re doing to take the reigns for certain things. If you are not trained in graphic design there are things that you just don’t know, which can result in poor outcomes. A pro can add a whole new level of value, taking your business from good to great!
Graphic design is a little bit like accounting. You pay your accountant for certain tasks, just as you would a graphic designer. Likewise, you can do some of your bookkeeping yourself and the same goes for graphic design. Here are some graphic design tasks that you can do yourself (saving your design dollars for the high level work):
1. Cropping images.
Cropping images and photos for social media use, internal use and PowerPoint presentations is a job that can be managed in house. Don’t waste your design dollars paying a professional to simply crop an image. My favourite tool for cropping images is www.canva.com Check it out.
Letters, memos and standard correspondence, whether printed or digital can be handled as a DIY task once you have the template set up by a professional. Investing money upfront to have professionally prepared files will pay off in the long run, so you can get your administrative staff to prepare great looking correspondence that is cost effective.
3. Policies and procedures.
Creating new policies and procedures and updating processes is something that is best handled in house. I don’t advise chewing up your design dollars on a task like this. However, I do recommend investing in templates or a style guide (prepared by a pro) to give you a professional look, consistent fonts and approach.
There is no such thing as no design; there is just effective design and less effective design. Remember this when it comes to your next project and ask yourself – what don’t I know here? Will a professional graphic designer be able to take this to the next level for me? If so, go for it! Once you have a great relationship with your designer, be upfront with them about what your budget allows and where to get the most bang for your buck.