Most of my clients approach me with a good idea of what they need. Whether it’s a new logo, brand support like business cards, or an email template, the possibilities are vast but they come into the picture with a direction already in mind.
But maybe you may want to reach your target audience and aren’t sure which approach to take, or where to start. Until a recent conversation I had with my husband, also a business owner and great sounding board for ideas, I assumed that most people knew the purpose of graphic design and the value it served.
During one of these convos he asked, honestly wanting to know for his own business, “How do I know when I need a graphic designer?” I started wondering how many others out there were asking this question. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how often someone’s response to my telling them I was a graphic designer was, “So, logo design?” And while yes, that’s a service I offer, there is so much more that designers do.
To shed light on this topic, I’ll touch on when to hire a graphic designer and the value in the investment.
TEMPLATES ARE FOR EVERYONE, NOT FOR ONE PERSON
Templates can be a quick, affordable fix, but try thinking of it like putting a bandaid on a gash that needs stitches. If the gash were your business, which you care deeply about, you’ll likely want to invest time and money into its well-being and future success. By skimping on professional-looking, curated design that has been made just for your business, you’re willingly taking a shortcut that may be apparent to your audience.
Our world is more visual than ever, and the template you just chose for your high-end fashion line might be the same one Susie’s using for her local coffee roasting business. Your business doesn’t deserve to look like someone else’s — it deserves to stand out and tell its own unique story.
As a business owner, chances are you’re wearing more than one hat. Maybe all of them. Spending your precious time digging through literally hundreds of thousands of templates takes time away from doing what you do best: Running your business. Instead, invest that time with a designer who will listen carefully to your needs, ask directed questions about your target audience and campaign goals, who will then translate those important details into intentionally-crafted design whose goal it is to solve a very specific problem.
TELL THE RIGHT MESSAGE, RIGHT AWAY
People have an attention span of like 7 seconds. So while they’re scrolling along, they’re processing information at lightening speed and making subconscious decisions as they go. Hence the importance of saying the right thing right away.
Designers are trained to develop a keen eye for achieving a balanced layout, practicing hierarchy of elements, understanding psychology of color, the history of typography and their effects on our subconscious. By asking my clients directed questions, I’m able to gain an understanding of what needs to be said, to who, and reach them on that subconscious level.
You have very little time to get into your ideal customer’s mind, so do it right, and right away.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO HIRE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER
The initial question that sparked this post is also tough to answer because it will be different for everyone. Generally, a graphic designer is vital when you need to share a message that can’t be done with words alone. Visual impact can make an enormous difference in the memories of your audience.
A couple examples… If your business has an upcoming event, a designer will help craft the look and feel of marketing materials made to resonate with the audience you want to attract to your event. Similarly, if brand support pieces are needed for your business (business cards, social media posts, email templates, point-of-purchase, signage, packaging), the designer’s goal is to craft design that is for specific people, or aligned with a specific brand, message, or campaign.
I could go on forever on this point, so if you’re wondering when you need a graphic designer, I’d be happy to chat with you and get the creative juices flowing!
If your interest has been sparked on the ways a graphic designer can help leverage business and you’d like to learn more, please reach out! I’d love to 1. help your business, and 2. know where other confusion or gaps in understanding of graphic design lie so that I can help provide further clarification or examples. I also kind of love talking about it, so I promise I wouldn’t mind.