A little while back I was chatting with a business owner who wanted to find out more about the type of design I do. He’d been meaning to chat with me about his logo, some flyers, photographs, and a few more items. “Of course I can help” I said. And he said “Great! Because I just haven’t been able to get to it. I’m really busy here at the office, so I haven’t had time to really buckle down and redo the logo. And neither has my son! He’s in university now, so he’s too busy to help me!”
That comment was fairly interesting for so many reasons. I couldn’t help but wonder why he thought it was HIS job to design his logo. After all, he wasn’t in a creative business-at all. And to my knowledge he didn’t have a great deal of artistic talent. Or the computer skills and software to make his logo come to life.
So I have to wonder-why do so many business owners try to design their own logos? Or their own business cards? Or their own sell sheets? Or any of their own marketing collateral for that matter?
Don’t get me wrong; this attitude is pretty common. In fact, almost anyone who owns a computer and a bootleg version of Photoshop at one point tries their hand at design. If you fall in that category, here’s a reality check:
- Do you have any artistic talent to help you come up with workable concepts for a real logo?
- Do you have a legal version of Illustrator to create your logo in vector format?
- If you said “yes” to #2 above-do you know how to use Illustrator?
- Do you have a good library of fonts to draw from?
- Do you have the time required to create a logo?
Hmmm…..when you look at that list, it doesn’t seem that simple, does it?
But just in case you want to push on designing yourself, let’s look at it in another way:
- If you’re a hairdresser, do you cut your own hair? (umm….jeez, I hope not!)
- If you’re a dentist, I’m willing to bet you go to a colleague to do your dental work
- Any chiropractors out there who can do their own adjustments?
I have many reasons for disagreeing with the “do-it-yourself-graphic-design” approach. My biggest reason:
Does running your business leave you with TIME to sit down and create your own logo?
Because this isn’t a project that takes an hour. Good creative design means time taken away from what you are really good at and enjoy doing-which is running your business. Not fiddling around with Illustrator.
Just last month, I had a great chat with a client. She confessed she’d tried to use an online service to update her business card. In her words, she “fell down the rabbit hole of drop-down menu of endless options” and spent a couple of hours getting nowhere except frustrated. Then she called me and we figured it out-without wasting anymore of HER time.
So if you really think you need to design your own collateral, think of the time you may waste, the frustration it will create, and the fact that you simply may not know the steps to take. And know that I will be happy to help you.