In recent years, the do it yourself/user-generated concept has manifested throughout a range of businesses and industries. In particular, the graphic design landscape has shifted with an influx of new free graphic design software. In past decades, to design professional graphic content for a business, you would need to employ or outsource a graphic designer (an expert in Adobe) to create all your design content. Today people are turning to free online graphic design platforms which allow users to create ‘or try to create’ their own professional vector art, image editing, 3D sculpting, data visualisation etc. Examples of this software includes canva, Vectr, SVG-Edit, Inkscape, Pixlr, and many more. Whilst these platforms are allowing users to generate their own designs, is it more beneficial than hiring an expert?
One of the first things to note about these free graphic design platforms, is their simplicity. Part of the reason they have become so popular among users, is due to their simple easy to use design that means anyone with any background can start designing their own graphics. Whilst this can be seen as a positive to most novice graphic designers, this simplicity means these platforms can only perform basic functions. If your goal is to create a simple design with minimal layering, and less editing functions, than these software’s are for you, yet, if you want to create a professional, intricate design that can be applied to multi-platform applications, then you might want to think about consulting a graphic design expert with professional software.
You might be thinking to yourself, well why don’t I buy Adobe software to create my own designs? Take it from me, a novice self-taught graphic designer, Adobe is a very complex system and requires years of experience to master professionally. You will end up spending most of your time searching the internet for ‘how to videos’, hours will pass, and before you know it, you will have drawn a basic looking house, which isn’t what you intended to design in the first place.
Another important aspect of graphic design, is design (I know it’s crazy). People often forget that a real eye for design is not common among the everyday user. Graphic designers spend years sharpening their skills in knowing how something should look, and most importantly knowing when something looks good or bad (a trait many people do not possess, yet think they do). Even if you have the available software, developing a design that looks right for your business is harder than you think.
I consulted with our Creative Director and Graphic Designer Gokce Erbil to understand the complexity of becoming a professional designer. Gokce explained that knowledge is key, without it there is a limit to what you can achieve. She explains that when studying graphic design there are so many skills you develop. In the first year of study you begin to draw models, learn the basic’s of design software and the importance of detail. By second year you build your eye for design by learning about colours and how to use them. Gokce explains that when designing content for a business, it’s important to know what will sell a product. As a graphic designer, you’re not just creating something appealing to the eye, you’re creating something that will sell the business.
If you’re planning on creating a custom design for your business, by all means go to these free platforms and have a go. Just ensure you consult a graphic designer to evaluate your work before you make it public, you never know, they may give you ideas you hadn’t thought of yet.
To find out more about graphic design or talk to a graphic designer, visit our Graphic Design page here.