I am a graphic designer by trade and there are a few things in this world that we live in that make me cringe. One of them is when people say to me, "Well why would someone pay that much for a logo when they could use Canva or find one for sale on Etsy?" I could sit here all day and answer that question. I could give you a billion reasons that you should hire a designer. And some people think that I cringe because I am against drag and drop or Etsy designers. Let me clear the air. Not so. No way. I have used drag and drop designs. Oh yeah. They have a time and a place. I've got a Canva account. And Etsy designers work damn hard. They are in a super saturated market on a super saturated platform. That is no joke. I salute those people. But there is also a time and a place for hiring a graphic designer. I'm going to dig in and explain the benefits of both, because there are benefits of both, and show you how to use both to your advantage for your business.
The Benefits of Professional Design
I'm going to sound super biased here, and I know it, so don't be afraid to raise an eyebrow to what I'm saying here. I'm trying to take myself out of it for you, though. There is a certain expectation when you sign a contract and enter a legally binding agreement with someone for some service that they are providing. You expect a certain degree of quality, a degree of professionalism, and the expectation that you are going to get what you want. What you actually want. There is a relationship that is built on professional expectations and creates a deeper understanding of what you need to make your business successful. Because all design that you do for your business serves a purpose. A professional designer understands this. They are capable of communicating with you to determine what a design actually does for your business. One last great thing about my people. (hahaha) Usually, when a designer designs a logo, you get more than one logo. Typically you get a brand style guide (SO MOTHER FRICKIN IMPORTANT) to go with it, which keeps you on the right track for your look no matter who the designer is or if you decided to go another route.
There are certain situations that I would recommend hiring a designer for. One of the biggest circumstances that you need to hire someone rather than take another way out would be designing your brand identity. Your brand identity is going to be the number one asset that you have in your design arsenal and it is going to be on the forefront of everything that you do. Everything. Your website, social media, courses, printables, business cards, holy moly the list goes on and on. Your brand identity should be the one thing that you absolutely splurge on, hands down. Don't think of it as spending the money you are never going to see again. Designer prices can be pretty intense, especially when you are just starting out and need to pinch your pennies. But it is worth it. So worth it. It is a phenomenal investment for your business and really establishes you as a business. Like a for real one. Sometimes tough love is called for. Frankly, my dear, decide what you really want for your business. Do you want to take the chance that someone else bought that same exact logo off Etsy? I didn't think so. So time for tough love. Suck it up, buttercup. Everything worth having is worth working for. Pinch those pennies, store them away and save up for something you want to display to the world.
The Benefits of Drag and Drop Software
As I said, earlier, there is a time and place for drag and drop. And I am all about using drag and drop for its easy access. I love that most are free (at least to a point) and my drag and drop favorite has got to be Canva. I love Canva. Canva has the best interface, the most amazing layouts and all sorts of inspiration all on the same screen. Love. In fact, I love Canva so much for certain tasks that I actually include a tutorial on how to use it in two of my own marketing packages. I swear by it! But most drag and drops have nifty saving features, cool layouts, and of course exporting to your computer so you can plop that bad boy right where you need it. I also really like that drag and drops can easily be reproduced to keep with your brand look. Some even have the great feature of templates included for free (Canva!). I think that the biggest selling point on drag and drops is definitely the price point. We are talking about free if used properly. That's right. Free.
My favorite way to use drag and drops is for social media. And I don't just mean post graphics. I mean full blown profile customization. This is a quick way to create something totally custom, on brand, and inexpensive on the fly. And you are busy. You run a business, for goodness sake. On the fly graphics that take no time flat and stay true to your brand, which you know is super important, is a great way to help manage your time, which is usually spread pretty thin if you and I have anything in common. I also love that drag and drops, specifically, Canva, keep all of my creations right there for me to see. I can upload photos that are mine all mine and use them in a quick design that does the trick. I keep saying quick and on the fly, but let's be real here. Time is the one resource that you will never have enough of and it's why someone such as myself would use a drag and drop. So when you need a great graphic right now and don't have time to try to figure out Photoshop (which you shouldn't be using anyway, just saying) then you need to have something in your arsenal that helps you get shit done right here, right now.
Where The Two Cross Paths
Ultimately, design for your brand is a really, really personal thing. It becomes a direct extension of your business which is essentially an extension of you. I don't believe in compromise when it comes to my business. I am all in or all out. And I'm sure you feel the same way. I don't baby my business (more on that later) but I do understand that it needs certain things to flourish. I also understand that I am not qualified to do everything that needs to be done. I am no lawyer, I am no accountant, and I am certainly not some kind of magical wizard that does taxes. The IRS terrifies me. They can put me in jail. But I do know design and marketing, which gives me an upper hand that a lot of small business owners, perhaps like yourself, do not have. That is when you need to sit down and take a good, long hard look at what your business needs. Not what you want to spend, not what can you get away with. What your business needs. Once you determine that, then you can start asking questions about a budget for the project and the like.
One line to sum up that whole paragraph.
When in doubt, source it out.
You should never find yourself asking if you are capable of putting a logo together in a drag and drop program. The question you should be asking yourself is, "Which designer can I afford that is going to fit my business needs?" (So sounding biased again. Sorry.) But even if I wasn't a graphic designer, I don't think I would spend the money on blog graphics or social media graphics when there are amazing programs that will help me stay consistent and true to my brand for FREE. I think my number one question to ask yourself when trying to decide if you should hire a designer or use a drag and drop would be this. Is this what is right for my business? And don't be afraid to take a step back and act like you don't have to pay for it. Remove yourself so that you can make the best decision for you and your business. Everything else falls into place.
Thanks for hanging in there with me on this one. I know it doesn't tell you what you should do (and I love when people tell me exactly what needs to be done) but hopefully, when the time comes to make this kind of decision, you'll be armed with some knowledge on when and when not to use certain resources. Comment below with your thoughts. I'd love to know what people who aren't biased think.