You don’t need a photographer, you’ve got instagram on your phone.
Time was, you needed specialists to do things like crop your photos and build banners for your website. Software is expensive, processing power used to be, and Photoshop was once a head scratcher for most people. These days you can’t find a resume that doesn’t have Photoshop listed as a skill (right next to Excel)
The average sales manager can mock up a POP flier using templates she downloaded from a web site, free fonts and royalty free images, and have them printed at Kinkos on her way to a meeting.
There’s no point in trying to hide the truth. Most business leaders are more than capable of figuring out how to edit a web page, or add a tag line to their logo all by themselves, and these days the tools cost next to nothing, and sometimes are completely free. We’ve come to expect it. Call it the Facebook effect: high quality software given out for free and then assigning value from the number of users who find It useful. Popularity is equated with value. (Usually there is a hidden price, but I’ll save that for a future post.)
To stay competitive, you should know there are plenty of places for you to go if you need to do some simple tasks that used to require you phone your designer and pay rush service fees.
- Make an animated gif from a static photo. flixel.com
- Crop and compose a photo. croppola.com
- Pick a complimentary color for your web site. colorcombos.com
- Make your own web banner. bannersnack.com
- Find a groovy font. dafont.com
- Design your own skateboard deck. boardpusher.com
- Layout your business card. vistaprint.com
Here comes the other shoe. Everyone can buy a watercolor set, too. Not everyone can be Kandinsky. There are times when it makes sense for free DIY solutions to fill the void. You should know what’s out there, and you should understand what your competition has available to them that’s cheap and easy.
We all have to cut corners at times to make do with budgetary or time constraints Making a cohesive marketing plan, coordinating graphics across platforms, harmonizing your image to represent your company takes finesse, however. Because you are looking for tools to do these tasks, you already recognize that the image of your company is important.
You can get by scrapbooking it together for a while, but there’s always a hidden cost with free. Who do you call when your free banner ad doesn’t work? What recourse do you have when the other kids make fun of your skateboard? Why does your competition have an ad that looks just like yours?
I like to collaborate with my clients, and I like them to be involved in their image making. Because we encourage play to fuel creativity, designers are assumed to do nothing but tinker and mess around. But looking good takes work, and practice, and skill. It requires familiarity with the marketplace, an understanding of fundamentals and a sense of when rule breaking is warranted. It’s a full time job. And you already have one of those.
Let us help you look good, so you can spend more time perfecting that kickflip.