Tuesday, April 30, 2013

But, My Nephew's Girlfriend's Brother Will Do It For Free!

...So Why Do I Need To Hire A Designer?
Really? You have to ask a question like this?
How do we communicate? Why do we communicate? How does technology change the effectiveness of our communication? Who do we turn to for expertise?

It's Just Not Natural!

As people, communication is a complex natural combination of tone, body language, facial expression and speech. This multidimensional interaction between people creates understanding and can persuade or influence others to form opinions about whatever it is we are communicating. Listening is also an important aspect of communication. BUT...the nature of business today is so technologically advanced, it removes the natural face-to-face communication to a large extent. So how can we effectively communicate without these natural cues?

In business, we understand the importance of communicating our message to potential customers/clients. We know that to gain the customer's trust, we must be effective communicators. This is why we have meetings and call clients on the phone or send emails...to establish and maintain trust through communication. But what if you're not there to communicate your message; as is the purpose of advertising? Most businesses today have websites as well; and they promote them. How can you trust that your message is getting through in an advertisement or on your website if you don't understand the nature of effective visual communication? 

To find these answers, you could interview your customers for what they think of your website or billboard. You could form your own focus group with members of your particular demographic and research those findings. Or, you could ask your designer to critically assess your advertising and marketing materials. That's a no-brainer, right? Not necessarily.

Say What?

What you need to know about "graphic designers" is this: they're a dime a dozen. You can't swing a cat without hitting someone claiming to be a "graphic designer." There is an ongoing debate right now in my profession to certify designers according to their level of expertise through education and experience. Yes, a state board for designers! That would go a long way for letting businesses know the level of designer they have...instead of having to rely on claims which may be false.

Where would your current designer fall on that scale? That's something you need to know. How do you find out? Ask. Ask how long they've been a practicing designer and what their degree level is. Most designers are happy to tell you this information. If they resist, that tells you something as well. Your attorney is licensed by the courts, your physician and even hair dresser must take a state board...why not your designer? After all, their creativity, knowledge and experience is what you're counting on to communicate your message to a large audience. Don't you want that message in the best hands possible?


Be sure to check out the AAF Creative website

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