Have you ever stopped to consider the worth of what you do in life? No what you earn, nor what you are worth, or even what your company may charge your time out at. What is the value of what you do. Everyone, everything have a value.
Take a flag for example. A flag identifies a country, is a focus for its people and its patriotism. It acts as a symbol at international events. Literally the whole world could be looking at it. Therefore it can be argued that designing a flag, putting together this icon which will represent a whole country has some great value.
Then why are the powers that be behind the new New Zealand flag competition acting as if it is all a bit of fun, like some kind of fun pub quiz. I mentioned in my previous article about the New Zealand flag competition how the judging panel have no design experience and how the winners will not be remunerated for their work. And this set me thinking…
There are websites which allow visitors to design their own logo, there are web communities which offer key services from as little as $5, you can visit printing websites which will sell business cards, printed, for less than the cost of the board, and of course there are the web providers which allow users to design websites for free.
What all this achieves is the perception that graphic design, website development, and associated marketing skills are of less value, or at times value-less. If something is available for next to nothing then it must be worth next to nothing right? Wrong.
A small part of the whole branding and design package, logo design is a great example. A businesses logo is its calling card, the image that is there to tell their story, to give the impression of the values of the business. It appears on stationery, advertising, digital media, brochures, websites, vehicles, buildings, clothing, and could literally be viewed millions of times. And yet, by devaluing graphic design, some people perceive that a logo can be sourced for next to nothing. Its value to the business is immense and can last for years, while some businesses try and spend more on an office chair. This shows a complete lack of understanding, plus a lack of belief from some business people in their own enterprise.
Top quality graphic design, printing and digital design need not be unaffordable, but it should be undervalued at your peril. In a world when it can sometimes only be the smallest margin between success and failure why would any business cut corners and make unnecessary savings in an area of such great importance. They say that first impressions last, so why make the first impression with an off the peg design, on low quality board, with business cards from a virtually free online source? Why risk your rivals having the same logo by buying from an online library? Why look the same as everybody else?
Surely there is value in standing out, looking great, telling your story, and having an advantage? Whether you are a country or a start up.