…well, some clients not all.
First and foremost graphic design is not coming up with ‘acceptable’ and ‘nice-looking’ designs, it is a very important form of communication that have an enormous impact on our lives and decisions we make.
It cannot get any easier to be a graphic designer. Nowadays most people declare themselves as graphic designers, simply because they can play around Microsoft Word.
As graphic designers are paid to come up with creative design solutions and we then use design programs to execute the ideas, softwares don’t come up with ideas for us.
Being fluent in Microsoft word doesn’t make you a professional writer, right? Then why do some people title themselves graphic designers just because they know their way around a design program?
Ok maybe your sister’s neighbour’s mother-in-law’s son can play around a design program, he’s not a graphic designer. He’s just a son who can play around a design program. Do you disagree? Ask the young man what the following is cmyk, kerning, serif, bleed, vector, dpi, resolution and no, design doesn’t have its own new year’s resolutions.
Most people and sadly this includes potential clients are clueless on the ‘behind the scenes’ stages of developing a good professional logo. They estimate or rather judge the project’s worth based on the complexity or simplicity of the final logo presented.
Sure we all can redraw Apple’s logo in under 5 minutes, but that’s not how long it took the designers to get to the masterpiece Apple has today. On their logo the apple is a reference from the Bible story of Adam and Eve, where the apple represents the fruit of Tree of Knowledge, with a pun on ” byte / bite”.
Even though the Apple logo evolved in 1998, they still kept the shape of the apple with a bite. Apple’s then President Mr. Janoff called the logo “…the most expensive bloody logo ever designed…” One of the major reasons for Apple’s success is their awareness and respect for the importance of investing in design, be it design of their products or the design to sell their products, advertisements, packaging, website etc.
A professional designer will always research the company, its products, competitors and potential clients and then conceptualize an appropriate design.
Before a designer even touches their computer, they should have completed two very crucial phases, research and brainstorming.
Two phases which some clients doesn’t think of when they decide whether we’re worth what we charge or not.
I think of the two phases as foreplay, how good or bad a designer does them affects the outcome of the project, simple as that. Investing more time on this ‘foreplay’ ensures better ‘outcomes’, and more time equals a heavier bill that the client might not be willing to carry.
I ran into Businesslogos, a website that sells logo design services. Their gold package promises 26 unique logos to choose from with unlimited revisions. All for R1990.
They also sell pre-designed logos.
How do you answer to a brief that doesn’t exist, as yet. Ok, let me try to make this question easier: How possible is it for one to answer to a question that has not been asked yet and still be confident with their answer?
It’s companies like these that degrade the design industry.
Design is a service not a product, so there no such thing as a ‘bargain’, if you want the best then be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets. Good designers don’t come cheap. We all respect the fact that we can never get a Range Rover for the price of a Golf but yet some people still expect good designs for close to nothing.
Personally I don’t offer design packages designs, I think selling clients packages and pre-made designs is simply being impersonal with the client’s project, period. As I was taught that a design should be ‘custom made’ not fitted.
A potential client once said I’m quite expensive, they know some guy from some internet cafe who designs logos for R 75, and I just acted surprised and said ” …oh that’s so nice he’ll definitely save you a lot of money… ” and left the client to go get their R 75 bargain.
Should I have educated the client? I disagree. How do you teach someone to value something? Explain the importance of a professional logo? Well, that’s arguable, if they didn’t know the importance of a a professional logo then why did they want one in the first place?
The two reasons I think why clients expect to pay designers peanuts:
Apart from the fact that most clients are still not prepared to invest in design as a valuable marketing aspect, I hold companies like BusinessLogo, Biz-Logo, Logoworks and Logomaid accountable.
Because of the latter graphic design is underrated. But I believe:
-Design design made you choose some product over the other.
-Design draws your attention a thousand times daily.
-Design sold your product.
-Design once changed your emotion.
-Design gave you an instruction without saying a word.
-Design is an investment not an expense!
-Design is powerful.