BRANDING ETIQUETTE – RULE #2: RESPECT PROFESSIONALISM
Countless times, I’ve heard referrals and potential clients express their distaste for paying a designer for “what I can get done on VistaPrint for FREE.” By all means–I believe I speak for most graphic designers–we encourage you to exhaust those options. However, if you choose to do so, keep in mind that you must show respect for what we do as professionals before you can expect anyone to show respect for you and your brand.
It would be a waste of our valuable time, and yours, to haggle with you over why you shouldn’t have to pay X dollars for the time we dedicate to making you look good and professional. That time would be better spent marketing our services to others who respect the fact that they are receiving professionalism, personal attention and unique products and designs.
For business owners, with tight budgets, sites like VistaPrint are an affordable solution. You will find hundreds of template designs that you can customize and have 250 business cards printed for $20 or less. But, have you considered the likelihood that several thousand other people might choose the same design as you? Is that something you feel that you can take pride in? Not likely at all.
Conversely, graphic design professionals can create a design that is specifically made for you. The design element, technique, contrast, colors and typography will all be matched to coordinate your logo and your company’s brand. While cookie cutter sites offer affordable options, they are indeed purveying generic designs that don’t offer the same personal attention, responsiveness and professionalism as graphic design professionals.
So, if your budget is tight, by all means exhaust your interim options with more affordable services. However, as a design professional I also ask that you please respect what we do as designers so that we can maintain our respect for your brand and you as a client.
Nevertheless, it is always my recommendation that you prepare yourself before approaching a professional and giving your pitch. Be ready to invest in your brand. Make Yourself.