When it comes to creative professionals, graphic designers have it rough when it comes to REALLY demonstrating their value. It has nothing to do with skill or ability, but EVERYTHING to do with value clients place on graphic design in relation to their own business.
Now we all get it. Small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t want to hear that a branding concept will cost them thousands of dollars. It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Why would a simple logo or website mockup burn such a huge hole in your wallet?
Well I’m not going to sugar coat this.
If you’re not willing to spend a few G’s on your brand identity, your’e doing a disservice to your business.
There’s just no way around it. And I know that’s a hard pill to swallow.
I really want to outline the reasons why graphic designers are expensive because I think it’s important for business owners to understand just how important branding is. I also want to vindicate my fellow creative professionals who have the ability to create powerful branding identities that can actually make you money.
You might be thinking “Psh, I can just go to Fiverr or [insert some other freelancing site] to get what I need”.
Well if you feel that the face of your business is worth $5, then by all means, go for it.
But I’m going to give you a heavy dose of reality. This is how serious brands are built.
Design comes with research
Any good graphic designer worth their salt is going to do the research. This usually comes in the form of sitting down with the client and asking the important questions: What is your company culture like? What mantras, phrases, or philosophies are associated with your brand? What are some adjectives that describe your business?
Good graphic designers will also look at your immediate competitors to see what is working for them. This might include studying their style guides and marketing materials. Are customers responding positively to the competitor’s brand? Does it seem memorable?
This type of thorough research is going to give you a competitive edge.
Is a graphic designer on Fiverr going to do this for you? HELL NO.
It takes a lot of time
The design process, when done right, takes an incredible amount of time. Research takes time. Moodboards take time. Sketching ideas take time. Creating concepts, receiving feedback, and reiterating takes time. A good graphic designer is going to have a design process because they take your business seriously. It is a labor of love and passion. Just as traditional artists put hours and hours of time into their art pieces, graphic designers to the same for your branding identity.
Brand identity is more than just a pretty logo
Creating a brand identity for yourself is more than just having the attitude of “ I want my logo to look like [insert logo idea here] because I think it looks cool or represents [insert your idea of symbolism here].”
A brand identity is SO MUCH MORE than that.
Here are a series of logos that have been altered into very simple iterations. Do you recognize the brands? There’s a good chance that you do. That is how the power of branding works. A good brand identity can be recognized in a split second. And good graphic designers know how to create a design that is going to be remembered by its consumers in a split second. I’m sorry, but you aren’t going to get this kind of brand recognition for $5.
Check out the Behance project to see more.
You get what you pay for
If all you want is for someone to give you exactly what you ask for, using Fiverr or other freelancing sites are a good choice. Cheap designers are going to give you what you want and won’t ask a lot of questions.
When you’re just starting out and you at the very least need something to get your brand out there, it might be your only option. And believe me, I get that.
But of all the things to invest in your business, make your brand identity a top priority.
Brand identity is the face of your business. It’s what determines the look of your website, your business cards, your fliers, your social media presence….the list goes on! This is so important for all businesses, big or small.
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