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Four Graphic Design Myths Busted

May 21, 2012

Welcome to a short four-part series of advice tidbits that can help guide you through the graphic design process. Last month we covered the first myth, “More is More which you can see in the media tab on my web site Whether you’re a small repair business with a marketing plan or the VP of an amateur golf league with an annual membership booklet to design, there are some basic art, business and communication principles, that everyone should understand. It might be easier than you think to believe these myths because in the short run it appears to be the cheaper, quicker and overall, easier decision. However, make yourself aware of these pitfalls and trust me, you’ll be better off and more likely to avoid these mistakes.

Graphic Design Myths: #2. It's Too Expensive to Hire a Graphic Designer

“I can do it myself on Word or Publisher.” This is a common thought for some companies when brainstorming on ways to cut their budgets and save money. Well, I'd also like to throw in the phrase, "You get what you pay for."

For most entrepreneurs, if they're not trained in design and/or marketing, I would definitely not recommend creating business marketing pieces on their own, and I would never recommend designing them in the above mentioned programs. While people can do it, they won't be fooling anyone. Often this amateur design, while cheap to produce, can make a poor first impression of a business that looks less than professional and/or untrustworthy. The outcome: the company loses that new business and extra revenue.
Still think it's cheaper to do your own graphic design? Let's crunch the numbers. As the owner of a company, what does "Joe Smith" pay himself an hour? Whether he finds a graphic designer who charges $20/hr or $120/hr, it will still cost him more to do it himself because it will take him much longer than a graphic artist. Usually a designer's rate is based on their experience: The higher the rate, the more experience, and often the quicker they work. The professional designer will be able to throw out a stellar brochure design in a fraction of the time it will take Joe to figure out his program and create his design. Plus because this is his first or second attempt, the design will reflect that experience level.

But budgets are still tight, and you need to watch what you spend. Well, try some non-traditional ways of dealing with a graphic designer. I have clients who tell me their budget for a project and I often can design them something according to that allotted amount of time. Because of the time restraints, it might not have all the bells and whistles or revision opportunities of a larger budget, but they still have a professional looking piece. I have lots of ideas of how to make it work with your budget. Just ask!

Kristal Young, owner and graphic designer of Kristal Clear Graphics in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers creative services in print, web and beyond. Now specializing in social media design for business identity, you can visit online at or like Kristal Clear Graphics on facebook at

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