Friday, April 30, 2010

6 Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Design Needs

If you are a business or organization looking at your graphic design needs, here are some things to consider:

Find a graphic designer who will ask you a lot of questions. Don't be frustrated when a designer asks you questions you think they should already know. Good designers always try to look beyond the obvious. They also desire you, as a client, to be willing to do that as well. So, it is better to be prepared to answer some basic questions, even if you think designers should already be aware of the answers.

This sounds basic, but be prepared to express not only what you want a designer to do, but why you want them to do it. It isn't enough to want a brochure about your company. Why are you creating a brochure about your company? Is it for informing, clarity, or selling its merits? Why is it a brochure and not something else? Why at this particular time?

Along with the previous preparation, be able to articulate what you want to accomplish. This is more focused than just wanting a brochure to get more sales—which is way too broad. Try to be as specific as possible. What is your brochure suppose to do—get people to call you, inform a certain group about you, or increase awareness?

Be realistic. If you design a business card, brochure, or website, you will not instantly become famous and rich. It may add some value to your bottom line, but it will not perform magic. Even if you get a logo designed, it will be only as powerful as the value your customers give to your product or service offerings.

Have a realistic budget. I know the temptation. You want as much as you can get for as little outlay of cash as possible. Okay, fine. But you wouldn't expect a brand new, custom-made car to cost you $25 either. You have some reasonable expectations about cost because you have some idea of the market value of such an item. So, ask yourself, how much do you value the success of your business or organization? Good brand and graphic design is essential in ensuring, at least, your position to be able to achieve success.

Really count the cost of doing unprofessional design. Many businesses assume that they can alter their reputation whenever they want to. In other words, if they look very mom-and-pop, they accept receiving a lot of mom-and-pop-expecting customers. They assume that when they are ready to increase into other markets, they can easily shed that reputation and take on another. They just have to use some good marketing. Unfortunately, this is only true if they are able to handle the costs to make it work. Always remember, the cost will be higher to change a reputation than it will be to establish one from the start. So, see the price of good design as an investment with high return, rather than simply an expense.

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