Category Archives: Design for Business

Can crowdsourcing logo design damage your business?

How important is a logo to a company’s brand?

A logo is at the core of a company’s image, communications and marketing brand. It is the symbol and icon that heralds the promise of great products or service from a firm. A great logo is memorable and easily recognized. The design and development of a logo, which encapsulates and communicates clearly the spirit and essence of a company; one that connects with buyers, demands some real sleeves up work from an experienced designer. It is not something that is whipped up in a day or a task charged for by the hour like plumbing. There is a process of research, design and development of many concepts, testing and finally implementation of the best idea which can take weeks if not months to achieve a great corporate icon. It is the most difficult and most important part in the development of a marketing and branding package. A logo often guides the overall graphic direction and defines the spirit of a company’s communications designs. This is important for the integrity of a brand. Sure, it sounds expensive and when done right, it can be. But it doesn’t always have to be.

Should you employ crowdsourcing to save money? 

Despite the claims by websites offering discount design services, designers competing for work in crowdsourcing sites are not highly qualified professionals. Qualified professionals in any white collar industry do not work for as little as $5 per hour. They do not ignore the fundamental research and contact with the client needed to do the job correctly. The offer of a $99 logo design, worked on by a team of so called designers, may look appealing economically in the short term. But in the long term may spell disaster for any business just looking to save a few dollars. The thought of employing a cheap designer for your business communications should be as shocking as looking for a cheap dentist to do your root canal work. The outcome can’t be good in either scenario.

People working for crowdsourcing sites may know nothing about your industry or market. It’s impossible for you to interview designers in a crowdsourcing site to find out if they have what it takes to do your project. Add to this, the fact that crowdsourced designers work all over the world, in many different cultures, markets and economies. It is not reasonable to ask a designer in Mumbai to understand the market in Toronto. Culture and economy affect buyer attitudes and decisions. Corporate design must reflect these attitudes locally to be effective. If a logo design is done poorly, it will inevitably reflect badly on the business. It will affect customer attitudes negatively and therefore the bottom line. Once a bad logo is seen in public it is difficult, if not impossible to recover from it.

In addition, crowdsourcing devalues the design industry, making it increasingly difficult for legitimate local designers to find work and to charge reasonable rates in line with that profession. Anyone employing crowdsourcing sites is contributing to the decline of the local economy.

What if a business can’t afford to hire a qualified professional designer?

Often small business branding demands are considerably less than that of a large corporation. Their offerings and market segment may be simpler and smaller which can help simplify what a logo needs to communicate to the market. Also, many designers understand that a small organization’s budgets may be tight. A good designer is capable of still providing a meaningful and productive service which will help a company get off the ground. A highly skillful logo designer can draw upon their years of experience and relatively quickly come up with solutions which still yield the desired result for their small business client without straining the budget.

I urge every business owner to avoid crowd sourcing, invest in a local designer who understands the local market and knows how to develop a good corporate image. A local designer will care about your business and continue to support you in the future. Employing crowdsourcing takes work away from the local market and designers who may need the work. Crowdsourcing sites don’t care about the long term success of their clients and businesses, they’re in it for the quick buck and that is all.

What Is the Value of Graphic Design?

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.

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