Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What is your Impression of Graphic Designers?

Graphic Designers. They are the talented people who bring your marketing materials to life. They are the people responsible for selling your products or services from a visual perspective. They are communications experts.

Those are my words. How do you feel towards graphic designers? What if any are their value to you? I am asking this question to assist a young design professional over in Ireland who is doing a paper on the subject. I offered to help because honestly it interests me. It will help gage the perception of the graphic design brand from the viewpoint of a business audience. If you use the services of graphic designers, do you feel they are worth what you pay them? Many companies, do a lot of their graphic design in-house. The work is usually assigned to administrative or IT staff, (this would include website deign). Has it ever crossed your mind to get this done by a professional? If not, why not?

To sum up - if you could spare a few moments - tell us what you think of graphic designers, you'd be helping a young student with valuable real-world research.


Robert Kingston said...

I haven't had a lot of experience with designers personally, but I have had a few websites designed and you definitely get what you pay for. Especially when you outsource through freelancing sites. I've never had the budget to go to a full-service agency. In my opinion I think it's not worth it for most businesses

I frequently tell people to go the extra mile and spend a little more on their design stuff but they don't see the connect (if any), between making money and spending thousands on design.

Would you believe a company asked me to make a banner graphic for them? I made it in Paint and was expecting that they'd reject it, but they shrugged it on board and still use the ad on our site today. They get roughly the same amount of clickthroughs on our site as the other non-flash banners which leads me to believe that design isn't all that important. In fact it almost communicates that they're saving money by not hiring a designer and hence they can afford to sell items more cheaply.

Then again, that's for a biker's store. For a professional service provider like accountants, engineers or lawyers I think it'd be a big issue. Good design to me equates to the success of the business. If they can afford a good design, they must be doing something right.

I do see professionals as having an advantage over your average joe but you certainly pay through the nose for it and it's frequently out of the question for a lot of small businesses to hire them.

Ed Roach said...

You may not have much experience with Graphic designers Robert, but is aapears that your view of their industry brand is that their value is over rated.

As for the biker's store example, check out Harley and tell me that if their brand image was just text on a page, they would be getting the same market share.

I think what you must appreciate is that Graphic Design is not just a pretty graphic. It also communicates with a relevant message. GD is visual selling. Your banner example I would submit, does well because the message is valid to the viewer. How much money are they leaving on the table by not raising the bar, and having the banner design work for them as well?

I would turn your last staement around and say:
"They are doing something right, because they understand good design."

Anonymous said...

My problem with graphic designers is that in my opinion there are thre tiers of them in this city.

There are what I call the institutional type - the ones that are technically capable, nothing wrong with them other than they just don't have the eye for it.

There are the absent minded professors - the ones who are quite talented but completely unprofessional, undependable etc.. but when you see their work, there is an ahhhh factor, unless they abandon the project 90% of the way through due to some emergency.

The third group the ones who can combine the talent with the professionalism are simply so few and far between that they are pretty much unaffordable to the masses.

What happens to them is they usually are so busy and expensive that they put someone under them in charge of your account and you're back to type 1 above which turns this conversation into an abbott and costello "who's on first" routine.

Ed Roach said...

There are definitely more of tiers one and two in this market. Not a lot of talent, just a lot of technique, thanks to software. The crop of genuine talent are unappreciated and are as such unvalued. With graphic design viewed as a commodity, professionals have a hard time competing with cheap.

Anonymous - I can appreciate your positions on your local scene.

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