The Value of Design

Design is a strange form of commercial art because in it’s not truly art, but a means of communicating through text, images, layout, etc. Graphic design is everywhere. From the packaging of your toothpaste to the cover of magazines, and even the web page of this blog, without it the world would be boring and plain. But as useful as it is, it is vastly misunderstood. Many people don’t appreciate the value of design for their businesses and marketing. Without the design, you wouldn’t be able to get the attention of your customers over your competitors, and would struggle to meet your sales needs.

Your designs can make or break the product. The product could save the world by eliminating world hunger, but if you don’t market it well with copy or have ads that appeal to customers your not going to be able to sell it. Even the way the packaging is designed can affect the product, such as if it is hard to open or being able to figure out how to use, your product will be a flop.

The real problem is the inflation of people in the design field. There are many, who claim to be designer, because they bought the software or read a bit online how to do it. But design is more then the tools you use. You may not have to be traditional taught in a classroom, but you need to know the principles of design, like how to layout and arrange things or which colors to use. This knowledge can come in many ways, from the academic learning in school, to studying under other designer in person or online, but somehow you have to learn it.

Although there are some people that are just born with the natural talent, those people are far and few. In my experience the best teacher is experience itself. As my grandfather says, “the best way to learn is OJT or On-the-Job-Training.” Despite my degree, I have found most important things I have learned are the skills that what I have absorbed from working under other designers or with client on the job. Experience is the best teacher; especially by teaming with other talented designs, who if they are willing, will teach you what they know and save you from making mistakes.

Besides the surplus of designs in the industry, there is multitude of people who don’t understand and appreciate the value of design. Many will try to lowball the cost of designs, or try to the get the work for free. Remember, you get what you pay for. If you start with a good design that is targeted for your market, you’ll find you’ll get a return on your investment. This isn’t saying that a small business will pay the same as a large corporation, but they still need to pay the value of the design instead of trying to use clipart or rip someone off. Overall remember your only as good as your last design.

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