You have some marketing efforts planned for a new product but most of your budget is tied up in production costs. Every graphic designer you consult asks for more money than you can afford. You could hire an amateur designer for less but it’s difficult to find quality work on a limited budget. Remember the old adage: “if you want it done right, do it yourself.” Graphic designers can be worth their weight in gold. However, there can be serious value in do-it-yourself design work too.
Here are some things to consider: Your product needs solid design work to catch consumer attention. Your prints need solid design work to draw attention to your product. Your company image needs solid design work to become a memorable entity in the economy. What’s my point? Everything benefits from great design! You are your own best asset at this point so invest some time in to learning how to handle your own design work. Here are some solutions to problems that you may encounter along the way:
1. “I’m doing the work of 18 people and the stress isn’t helping me feel inspired to create.”
Finding inspiration to create can be difficult. Even the best graphic designers deal with this issue. This is why almost every major design blog has an inspiration section. These sites collect the most amazing and well-thought out, and entertaining examples of graphic design. Take some time and browse these pages a bit and your brain will have the fuel to produce some awesome ideas.
These are some great blogs to get started with:
2. “I’m not an artist and I’m lucky if I can make a stick figure look proportionate.”
Fortunately for you, modern design programs don’t always require artistic skill. Sometimes great design is as simple as finding a clever font, choosing a strong color, and picking the right spot on the page. Look at the majority of Nike’s marketing efforts. They usually feature black text on a white background and the simple, yet memorable “swoop.” It just proves that you don’t have to get too in-depth with the design to be successful.
Check out the design blogs’ “Freebies” section for huge collections of software add-ons like Photoshop brushes and free fonts to help with your project.
3. “I don’t have the graphic design software and clip-art just won’t cut it anymore.”
Fear not! There are great resources online. If you don’t mind spending a bit of money, Adobe offers month-to-month access to its Creative Suite programs starting at $19.99 (there’s even a 30 day free trial!).
Websites like pixlr.com and splashup.com offer free web browser-based image editors (setup very similarly to pro software such as Adobe Photoshop).
4. “I’m familiar with graphic design but my work doesn’t have that professional edge that will make my business stand out.”
The graphic design blogs come to the rescue again! The bloggers for these sites are kind enough to provide hundreds of amazing tutorials that will show you, step-by-step, how to get the amazing visual effects that the professional designers get paid hundreds of dollars to produce (just check out the Tutorials section on the design blogs).
Even if you’re not design-savvy, these tutorials can help you produce incredible art for your project – just follow the instructions carefully.
5. “I’m confused about what fonts and images I can legally use for my products and marketing.”
The downside to doing your own design work is that you can’t rely on someone else to have years of experience with legal issues that may arise with creative media.
On the upside, there’s sites like ethicsingraphicdesign.org that do a great job of explaining how to ensure that your designs can be used for commercial purposes.
You may have a crazy schedule but investing a little time into learning basic graphic design now could wind up saving you tons of money and time in the future.