The value of design is a hot topic right now and one that is worth considering in more detail. Design is used as a means to communicate an idea to its audience and a good designer will always have the ability to do this well. Good design is forged through a culmination of skill, imagination and creativity; and attention to detail. In addition to having natural design skills and the ability to successfully integrate these within their work, the professional designer should always consider the benefits of staying up-to-date with current design trends and industry knowledge. Spending time researching into the industry trends for your business – or the business you are designing for – is all part and parcel of getting a good design project underway; and is a major part of the job for any designer.
Recently our Creative Director attended a local networking event and posed this question to the group. What would be a good blog post to write for our website? Surprisingly for us, the answer was very close to something we have been discussing a lot of lately in our own work and in our everyday lives. But it was not something we had considered writing a blog post on. The answer was simply that it would be interesting to write a blog post on good design and its’ importance; why is good design important, who can design, and why the most effective approach for your business is to hire a professional designer.
The reason this was so fresh in our minds is because we had already been doing a bit of Q&A on Quora in the few weeks leading up to this. Despite our only very recent introduction to this site, we had already noticed that there is a lot of focus from other active members on requesting information on how to achieve good design at low cost, or even no cost. Most of the questions that we have already come across, and of which we have answered a few, are requests for information on design and logo creation.
How do you make your own logo?
How can I make a logo online?
How can I design a logo for free?
How can I design a logo cheaply?
When we come across these questions, one of the most common answers, from us and from others, are that quite simply there are lots of ways that you CAN make your own logo, but it is far better to hire a designer to do it for you. One of the questions and the subsequent answer we have given is as follows:
Quora - Answer
The answer in short?
Well you can… but here is why you really shouldn’t.
Firstly, designers, those that design as a career, will have spent numerous years accruing the knowledge and skills to actually use the software that can be used to create amazing pieces of artwork. Having done graphic design degrees (or similar), or having worked in the design industry for some time, will have given the professional designer a great deal of knowledge on best practice, remaining pixel perfect and the use of appropriate tools for different tasks. In addition to this, the designer will have access to a range of editing and creation software as part of their job. It should be second nature for a designer to sit at a computer screen and start a design project, but it also should come naturally to pick up a pen and paper and start sketching out ideas. But you won’t be able to put your ideas into a design if you do not have the knowledge that goes with learning to use these programmes. If a new tool is introduced into a programme then it is great to spend some time getting to grips with its capabilities. Creative software is constantly updated and evolving, it is important to evolve your design capabilities in line with this. Professional designers do.
One of the most commonly used packages for design is Adobe’s Creative Suite. Providing a whole host of apps, the most recent versions are available only through membership to the Creative Cloud. There are previous versions of Creative Suite that still allow designers to create fantastic designs, but being up to date with the newest software will ultimately expand your capabilities and allow you to offer your clients designs that suit current trends. As of January this year, monthly membership to the Creative Cloud is required in order to access the most up-to-date apps. The cost for access to the entire suite of programmes, via the Creative Cloud, runs in at 59 pounds + vat per month. In this you will get Photoshop and Illustrator, the two main programmes that we use for image manipulation and logo design. You will also get InDesign, excellent for creating documents that involve multiple pages, like designing for publications. But aside from accessing this software, most non-design professionals would struggle with using the more advanced tools available across these.
Something else we come across, the second point for why hiring a professional designer is ultimately best for your business, is that it is common for people to mention the use of free logo building tools that are available online; and which will claim to provide you with the ability to very quickly make your own logo. The general consensus from all designers and clients alike is to avoid these when possible. They may be a quick way to get a design, but they are never going to justify the cost, and yes, they’re free! These free apps or sites will perform to a certain degree, but they are always going to be far more limiting in comparison to the more advanced creative software and the use of a good designer. One of the most prevalent types of logo building sites will use the formula of taking your company name and strapline and auto-placing these within a set template design, giving you the feeling of having, potentially, thousands of options to choose from. However they are not tailored to your business and the artwork and fonts are pre-selected within the logo style you choose. You can edit the colours, but within a very basic set. Creating a logo in this way gives far more opportunity to end up with a badly designed logo, than to finish up with a brilliant design.
Finally, but by far the most important consideration is the ability that designers have to conjure up designs, from an idea in the mind of the client or the designer, onto paper or to the computer screen; and to do this without compromising on the appeal of its aesthetics. Not everyone has an eye for good design and artistic layout. Placing colours together that help to accentuate one another and work together is a craft that needs to be felt as much as it needs to be taught.
Is it more important to save money and create a free logo which may not necessarily do your business justice, or is it better to instead consider this? A good design will help to draw clients in and highlight your goods or services; and good business activity and a positive work ethic will help you to keep your clients through higher rates of satisfaction. What good is having a great business plan if you cannot get your name into the potential clients’ mind? Be impactful, be engaging and most of all be beautiful.