With the ever-evolving and growing industry of drag-and-drop design templates and programs, you might find yourself being asked to complete design tasks for your company or business. That wasn’t in your job description? Don’t worry! These companies’ advertising campaigns promote the accessibility of these programs and communicate that everyone can be a designer with their easy-to-use tools. You don’t need a professional — you just need [fill in the name of any number of programs] and you can do exactly what designers do. AND look at you saving money for your company!
Sure, graphic designers have skills and training and hours of experience that add an invaluable asset to your marketing, but if you can get the job done, why leave it to the professionals?
Here are some reasons we’ve heard to forgo a designer:
1. You know your brand better than anyone else.
Day in and day out, you are doing the work of your company. You know the mission, the vision, the people, the deliverables, the work. Who’s better equipped to manage your brand than you? You even know what your audience likes and responds to when it comes to designs.
Or … you know what you like and respond to. That’s more often what we see. People can become very tied to parts of their brand without realizing that their audience perception has changed and that they need to adjust. Our team uses audience data to inform our designs. We balance how you want your business to be perceived (as well as your particular design likes and dislikes) with the actual audience perception of your brand and information about what performs well and elicits engagement and lead generation.
2. You can do everything a designer can.
Through the free design template programs mentioned above, you can access a wealth of tools to create graphics to help promote your business or tell your company’s story. Gather up the right colors, right fonts, correct logos, and applicable imagery and throw ‘em together to announce a new product, service or event and put that baby out into the world!
But, what if the program you’re using only has a limited number of fonts? What if you need to design 100 assets a month, but your plan stops at 20 downloads? What if you go to upload it on social media or send it to a printer and they give you a message you can’t even interpret about file type or dimensions?
Free programs do cost… they cost you individuality, they cost you consistency, they cost you creativity. There is a time and place for these programs. They are a great asset to small businesses getting off the ground, those looking to learn without making a major investment, and people trained in design who can’t afford the Adobe Suite. For those who have the money, outsourcing to an agency is a guaranteed return on investment.
3. Visuals don’t really matter.
If you’re getting the information out there, isn’t that enough?
Consider your daily routine. As you start your morning, you might pour yourself some cereal or grab a granola bar. When purchasing that breakfast item, what made you choose it over another? Perhaps something on the box – a bold announcement about its health benefits or a mouth-watering picture – swayed your decision. As you get into the office and check your email, why do you use one internet browser or email platform over another? Does one feature the information in a way that is more visually appealing to you? As you leave for lunch and check your phone – what stands out? Are you more likely to read a news article with an intriguing image over one that’s plain text?
Let’s stop there. Design matters.
Design, good and bad, is everywhere. The best designs, often created at the hands of clever and creative professionals, will inform you and persuade you to take some sort of action. You want your clients to engage with your services or buy your product. Good design can get them to do that and good designers, like our talented team at Four Columns, will no doubt succeed in that effort.
Granted, there will be times when creating something you need for a quick staff email or LinkedIn post might be easier, and you may have someone on your staff who enjoys dabbling in design. For organic social posts and break lounge flyers, have at it. For everything else, come to us. Please.