These days, anyone with a laptop and $45 per month to pay for the Adobe Creative Cloud are graphic designers it seems. And, thanks to the growth of Elance and Fiverr it’s ‘easy’ to get graphic design work done.
However, there is so much more to being a designer than just knowing how to use Photoshop. I have known a few graphic designers over the years, but never had the pleasure of working directly with one full time. It wasn’t ’till I did that I realised just how much work and effort goes into creating high quality work.
I like to play a little game I call Photoshop Mr Squiggle where I “design” something like an ad or banner, then I pass it to one of the talented graphic designers in the team for “approval”. I tell them the “client” is adamant they want to use this picture and this content (no matter how terrible it is). I then give them a job like “Can you just make this picture file size a little smaller”.
It goes without saying, they’ll look at my design and tell me it could be better, so I ask them if they can just do something with it in the next hour or so and see what comes out. The difference is always absolutely shocking. And also serves to teach people that using design programs and being a designer are two different things.
Yes, you can go to Elance and someone will make you a web banner for your new campaign. You will get it quickly, it will look okay or passable at the least. You can put it on the internet and it will be just as good as the majority of things currently out there.
Or, you can go to a professional designer. You can get something that will stand out, you can get something that costs a little more, but also more importantly, returns a lot more.
Have a look below. The first image is a passable banner in which the person obviously knows how to use photo shop and illustrator. To tell you the truth, I did it. I could put this work on one of the crowd sourcing sites for $20, it took me 15 minutes, which is more than a dollar a minute. I asked around the office and was told it was okay probably worth about $100.
The second image I gave to the wonderful and talented Cesia, one of the Graphic Designers here at DigiGround. I told her, treat it as if a client has requested this in the next hour. Make something amazing that will stand out using the same content, images and colours. And look at the result. It took Cesia an hour and we would have charged $250.
The question is if you saw both, which one would you click?
I am often asked by people, friends, and even the team internally if I like the things they have made. My answer is always (and frustratingly so to a lot of people) that I don’t have an opinion until I see how many people click on what they are showing me.
And this is why I always use professional graphic artists who have experience in design and development of campaigns, because I know what they provide will always get more clicks than a monkey with a laptop and some graphic design programs.