There are many reasons why companies should use a qualified and experienced graphic designer when they develop marketing collateral. Here’s are some of the top purposes a designer serves in the marketing environment, in the words of our resident Art Director:
As a seasoned designer with 15+ years of experience, it drives me crazy when people think they can do my job just because they have a computer with Photoshop, PowerPoint or InDesign. On this note, a little enlightenment is in order as to what we actually do as designers, and why it pays to have a professional do the job that may appear so easy.
Software Knowledge Doesn’t Make You a Graphic Designer
Many people say they’re designers because they know how to manipulate photos in Photoshop, they can create a PowerPoint presentation or even do layout in InDesign. The problem is, software is a tool, and without the knowledge of how and why to use it, your wanna-be designer doesn’t have what it takes to deliver a professional product that will give the client the results they want.
Sure, someone with a little know-how can put together an ad for your company, even make it look pretty, but is it going to get the results you need? Will it engage and guide the reader to where you want them to go? Will it drive traffic to your website? Will it sell your product? Will it put asses in seats? Basically, you get what you pay for.
Organizing the Information
A graphic designer’s most basic job is to organize information on a page (or banner, website, email, trade show booth, etc.) in such a way that the user has an easy-to-follow path through an information hierarchy, which will lead them to the call to action without actually having to think or read.
It’s common knowledge that in today’s world of over-stimulation, consumers typically scan things unless (or until) they are super interested in something. And how do they know they’re interested? They scan what’s in front of them, they read the headline, they look at the graphics and they see the call to action.
If all that intrigues them, THEN they may read the “guts” and the main copy points. So it’s not enough just to have software for placing pictures and copy…if it’s not well placed with some sort of visual hierarchy, it may not achieve the desired result.
Choosing the Best Presentation Method
Another part of a designer’s job is to choose HOW to best present the information, by asking some of these questions:
- What type of photos, illustrations, colors and textures are necessary for this project?
- Who is the target audience?
- What do they like and what will catch their eye or attention?
- What are the graphic standards of the company who’s advertisement you’re creating?
All of these things need to be kept in mind and need to be balanced and weighed before anything is even started on the computer.
The Mistakes Amateurs Make
The old saying, “too much of a good thing”, is what I see a lot from amateur graphic designers. “Orange is in, let’s make everything that’s important orange and in caps and bold, and let’s put this illustration of the product in there and a photo of people being happy about this product, and a starburst to call out the really important information.”
Really? That’s 10 pounds of s___ in a 2-pound sack! Nobody will be able to even see your core message if there is so much to visually sort through…they’ve already moved on because they were frustrated with the layout without even knowing it.
It could even hurt your brand in the long run if your advertising isn’t approached strategically, in that people won’t even give you a chance anymore and write off your brand as unprofessional, disorganized or just not well thought through.
Less is More
In an ideal designer’s world, less is more. One well-appointed graphic, one amazing headline, a couple of paragraphs of copy and a big call to action = success! Many people feel that if every inch of space is not filled up they didn’t get their money’s worth. The truth is, if there’s no space for the eye to rest, the eye doesn’t know where to go or what to read, and the ad is a flop no matter how interesting, well-written or important it was!
A good graphic designer can take an overwhelming amount of information and present it in a mix of graphics and words that best guide the audience’s eye. Even with a great headline and an awesome photo, if it doesn’t lead the audience to remember the brand, buy the product, go to the website or take action, it was nothing more than a great headline and a photo.
Delivering a Package Deal
A professional designer brings all the necessary elements together, and delivers them in a package that feels easy and like exactly what was necessary for that specific project. How many times have you heard someone comment on modern art and say, “I could have done that!” Really? So why isn’t your name up on that wall next to that masterpiece hanging in the museum? Because you could have done it IF you had the talent, expertise and knowledge to paint it that exact color, shape, size and with that exact meaning.
You Get What You Pay For
So, in conclusion, hire a professional graphic designer if you want a professional product that will bring you professional-level results. You get what you put into it and more! A good designer, and a great agency to back it up, will deliver a polished product that should bring the client more profit, more customers and more money than what they initially put into it.
Don’t cut corners by getting your sister’s husband’s brother who has some killer software to design your company’s marketing materials. Let a professional do it and experience the difference for yourself!
For great graphic design services, contact The Marketing Machine for an estimate on your project.