Why Work with a Professional Graphic Designer?
One word: BRAND
Your business means a lot to you. Otherwise, you most likely wouldn’t be there, putting as much time and effort into it as you do. It’s a source of income and supports your livelihood yes, but it’s more than that. It’s a living entity, with unique needs, goals, and challenges to help it achieve its optimum level of success.
How your audience perceives that business visually and intellectually has a great bearing on that success.
A qualified, professional Graphic Designer will work with you to help you and your business put your best foot forward, communicating in a manner that is smart, succinct, and persuasive. The end goal is to set your business apart from its competition as the knowledgeable, experienced, expert in its line of work.
At first glance, Graphic Design and Branding can appear to be easy. They are the type of activities that are perceived as being ‘cool’ and ‘fun’, resulting in one’s desire to create their brand themselves so that they can say that they designed their company’s logo, etc.
Keep in mind, there’s much more to it that meets the eye.
• Many companies know what they want to say, however, they aren’t sure of best manner in which to organize that information into a visual message that impels the target audience to action. Being great at what you do will only get you so far without the proper messaging to communicate clearly and effectively.
• Professional Graphic Designers design within the Adobe Creative Suite of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. We are trained in these software programs during the course of our university education and leverage their capabilities for our clients. People who aren’t professionals typically do not have these programs and, as such, are limited in the amount of detail and precision they are able to infuse into their designs.
TYPEFACES and TYPOGRAPHY
• Most people know what a typeface is and have some vague idea as to what typography entails. With regards to typefaces there are literally thousands of typefaces. And most of them, quite frankly, are pretty ugly and poorly designed. These are great for that family reunion picnic invitation but perhaps not as appropriate for a new marketing campaign. Professional Graphic Designers know where to find the best fonts in terms of their design, legibility, and appropriateness to the subject matter. Just as important, they understand how to best design with those typefaces to craft messages and page layouts which engage the viewer to make an impact. Typography entails many years to hone one’s skills in. There’s point size, leading, kerning, tracking, paragraph styles and approaches to page layout. Simply put, yes, you can do it yourself but a professional Graphic Designer will truly take your vision and message to another level of creativity, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail.
PHOTOGRAPHY and INFORMATION GRAPHICS
• Photography and information graphics play a key role in Branding. The photography and information graphics a company produces internally aren’t always of the greatest caliber in their creativity. Professional designers art direct skilled photographers to visually capture the key messages you want to communicate. These photos will be of a resolution which will look great in any medium from the back of a business card up to billboard size. When budget dictates, many stock photography resources also feature strong, thoughtful imagery which can be purchased for use. Professional Graphic Designers know where to find the best stock photography at the price point that meets the budget. Information graphics are often created in Microsoft Excel, Word, or PowerPoint. While these programs do a great job setting up charts and graphs, they are lacking in their ability to finesse and fine tune graphics which are impactful and unique, while still communicating clearly. A professional Graphic Designer has the knowledge to create information graphics which are vector art (scalable to any size without loss of resolution). These graphics are beautiful to look at with the added flexibility to be able to be saved in any desired digital file format.
• Color, at first thought seems pretty straight-forward. “I like blue, let’s pick a blue and go with that.” Yes, but… there are a LOT of blues out there as well as every other color under the rainbow. Professional Graphic Designers are trained in color theory and have vast knowledge of not only recommending/sourcing colors but, an important detail that doesn’t always occur to people, how to manage a company’s colors so that they look the same and match from one medium to the next. So, the blue solid in the new capability brochure looks the same as the blue solid on the business cards we printed last year, which looks the same as the blue home page on the company website. In addition, a pro can help you with things like, “hey, what is the Pantone number for our company blue” and “can I get the four-color process screen combination which will match our company’s Pantone blue color?”. It can be very helpful, and put one’s mind as ease, to have a source who accurately manages these details.
• Oftentimes, the surface upon which something is printed can really make a positive impact on its presentation. There are dozens of different paper stocks and those paper stocks each come in many colors and weights. When appropriate, a professional Graphic Designer will show you paper stock options which can set your materials apart. Sometimes it’s a paper that has a unique surface texture or finish. Other times a project might benefit from a paper stock that’s in a striking color or has post-consumer recycled content to express your company’s desire to be environmentally responsible. Professionals keep up with paper trends and pricing to ensure that the project is printed on a paper stock that looks great and works to the best advantage of the message being delivered.
• While we’re on the subject of paper, that paper will need to go through a printing press to bring your company’s vision and message to life. There are large printers and small, digital printers and offset, ones which offer unique finishing capabilities, and those which are great to print a one-off business card for that new employee you just hired. Any experienced professional knows the market well, and which printers to recommend, based upon budget and technical complexity. This ensures that your project looks great and that you didn’t have to over pay for that result. In addition, professional Graphic Designers go to the printer when the project prints. They make what are called press checks. During press checks, they carefully oversee details like – quantity, paper stock/finish/weight, color to proof, ink densities, registration, pagination, coatings, and clean-up to get the absolute best result which the chosen printer can provide. Professionals are schooled in this and have years of experience in this area, something which is becoming less common.
• Now, when you consider all these factors, Graphic Design is quite a skilled endeavor with a lot of coordination and supervision, better known as project management. From soliciting and providing the client with accurate print estimates to keeping everyone on track with a project’s design/production/printing/delivery, a professional Graphic Designer will provide you with the leadership and expertise to successfully and smoothly shepherd a project from start to finish. Hint, if you find yourself having to e-mail your designer to get updates they aren’t doing their job. You should be getting timely updates and reminders from them without having to ask.
• Another service professional Graphic Designers provide, that is often overlooked, is the organization and proper archiving of completed projects. If you e-mail your graphic designer in need of the working file for a project they designed for you a couple years ago, this should take just a few moments to look up in the archive, create a stuffed folder, and upload it to you. Professionals are organized and ALWAYS have things backed-up should the need arise to update, reprint, or refer to past projects.
I want to personally thank you for viewing the creative design work of Michael Thede Design and considering the capabilities and experience we can offer to you.
If we can partner with you to craft smart, effective, Branding and Marketing materials to successfully promote your business we welcome the opportunity to talk with you at any time.