What is the value of graphic design? Why does it cost so much? These questions often pop up in forums on LinkedIn and other media. Clients often don’t understand the value of what they are getting from their designers. However, the same people likely never challenge the rates their lawyers charge. Yet both lawyers and designers can affect the future of a business.
Popular misconceptions are that design is easy, designers sit and doodle all day, or that they simply push a button and out comes a ready design – hence why do they charge so much? Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Graphic design is a large part of a marketing package which can critically affect the success of a business. Well designed communications which build awareness and compel customers to buy take a great deal of skill and effort to make. A graphic designer is a professional who provides their skills and services from a foundation of years of training and experience. Their skills have great value in the same respect as lawyers, dentists and many other professionals who are expected to have a high level of abilities. A designer usually has worked with many clients, on many campaigns and therefore, has a broad understanding of marketing strategies and tactics. A good designer knows how to communicate effectively to your market segment. They are often able to offer solutions far beyond your own ideas and abilities thus improving your chances of a successful campaign. In this light, a designer should be treated like a business owner’s best friend.
The rates a designer asks for are often reflective of the industry as a whole, of their own personal abilities and their level of experience. For the most part, designers often undervalue themselves and should in fact be charging more when considering all the facts above and knowing that their product will have a measurable impact on their client’s business.
If you’re a business owner, and you’re looking to hire a designer, ask yourself what is your business worth? People and their efforts are motivated by money. I would encourage your designer to do their best work for you by offering them a good wage. It is a worthwhile investment in a highly skilled professional who can affect your success.