Kristin Pruis • December 9, 2014
Sometimes admitting your business needs help can feel like defeat, but in truth, it is the first stride in achieving the goals you set out from the beginning. Take a long hard look in the mirror and examine your own business.
Are you meeting your business goals? Are you running as efficiently a possible? Are you sending the right message? Why aren’t you growing? As a strategic partner, a graphic designer can help you answer these questions and more. Check out these 8 warning signs to see if your business is in need of a graphic designer.
1. You don’t know the difference between Adobe Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator.
If you don’t know the difference between these widely-used and well-known design programs or have someone on your staff who does, it’s likely you are throwing your dollars down the toilet by approaching your design problems in an inefficient way. Each of these programs have strengths and tools that can help a designer’s workflow and cut down on the time it takes to design.
2. When it comes to design, you believe PowerPoint trumps all.
Despite the baffling and widespread accepted belief that PowerPoint is great tool for laying out brochures and flyers, the very opposite is true. If the only thing in your design toolbox is PowerPoint, you’re missing crucial functionality to design and create professional documents, especially those that can be printed without errors.
3. You use Comic Sans, Papyrus or Lucida Handwriting on a regular basis.
Save just a few, the default fonts that come on your PC or Mac should not be your go-to choice when it comes to design. Font choice should be based off your audience, the message you are trying to send and your overall brand, not how you are feeling that day or what you like personally best. Consistent use of fonts that complement your brand are key to appearing professional.
4. You don’t know what crop marks, Pantone Matching System, bleed or print-ready PDF mean.
If your business ever prints anything, having someone who understands print-specific jargon is a must! Some printers will be kind enough to educate you or fix your print files if they are incorrectly set up, but they also might charge you a hefty fee for consulting or design. Know that your files are set up properly by hiring an experienced graphic designer who specializes in print.
5. You haven’t updated your website in over than a year.
A website should be an evolving and growing extension of your business and brand. If you haven’t updated yours for over a year or even 6 months, it’s high time to make an update. Of course, you don’t have to completely redesign it, however you should be constantly looking for ways to improve it based off of visits, conversions and other trackable metrics.
At the very least, you should have at least one dynamic component like a blog, event feed, or rotating banner, to let the public know that you are engaged (and still alive). If you don’t know how or are technically unable to update your site, a graphic designer can help integrate a content management system to make it easy for your to update your website on your own.
6. You have ever debated using or actually used Word Art or Clipart in the Microsoft Office Suite Programs
Step away from the WordArt wizard and ClipArt library! Thankfully Microsoft has announced that the ClipArt library, previously included with Microsoft Office Suite, will be no more. These types of effects and corny images only cheapen your brand. While, there is a special time and a place for 3D typography and drop shadows, it’s most likely not now and the appropriate application will never be through a Microsoft wizard. A graphic designer will have a trained eye for curating images that will help your brand shine and deliver the right message.
7. You never have enough time in the day.
If you ever feel like you or your employees are spending too much time on all the wrong things, it means something is broken. When you are spending your time on something that isn’t your expertise, like design, chances are that you are wasting time a professional could have saved you. While the up-front cost may seem like more of an investment, it’s likely to be made up by giving you more precious time during your day and saving you from costly mistakes down the road.
Try this basic math problem on for size: If it takes your employee 8 hours to design at a rate of $15 an hour and a professional designer 2 hours at a rate of $50, where would you rather spend your time and money? Not to mention, this assumes there were no costly errors incurred by your employee who is not skilled or trained in design best practices.
8. Your business is stagnant or failing.
A professional graphic designer can offer more than just their technical skills for using design software. They can actually help grow your business! Unique outside perspective and experience is often the secret ingredient businesses need to be successful. If you know you have a great idea, but just can’t seem to gain traction with your business, a design consultant can audit your brand communications to help you achieve your business goals by strategic problem solving through design.
Ready to talk to a professional graphic designer about helping your business grow? Contact K Design Co.