Graphic design is an integral part of every business. But there’s a world of difference between professional graphics and sloppy DIY solutions. Discover 7 ways why investing in professional graphic design is something you definitely want to do.
Yes - we all consume a lot of visual content. Does that make each and every one of us a professional graphic designer? Certainly not.
“Why should I hire graphic design professionals when I can do it myself?”
I hear you. While it’s easier than ever to create designs, even if you’re not a graphic designer, there are several convincing reasons why hiring a professional graphic designer is always the better choice.
Let’s dive right in and see why that’s the case.
7 Ways professional graphics can help your business
If you find yourself wondering, “why should I hire graphic design professionals” this is for you. You probably know that graphic design matters for any business because it:
- is a key component of your brand identity (logo, website, etc.)
- creates a visual language to communicate with your customers
- can impact conversion and sales.
However, there’s a world of difference between graphic design and professional graphic design. Let’s learn why quality matters.
Design is the first point of contact for your customers
Yes, some businesses still advertise on the radio. But in virtually every other case, the first time a potential customer becomes aware of your business is through a visual medium.
Whether it’s a digital ad, flier, packaging, or your business website before they know anything about your brand, (most) people will experience it visually. And, of course, first impressions matter. It takes about 7 seconds to form an impression of a person and the same (and usually less) time to form an impression of a product. In fact, people need less than a second to judge the look of your website. Another study suggests that 94% of online first impressions are design-related.
Bad design or even a boring template you got off the internet can destroy any hopes for building brand recognition or brand loyalty.
Impeccable graphic design improves the readability of your content
A straightforward and concise design will improve readability, whether the content is on your product packaging, poster, leaflet, social media post, blog, or website.
People don’t like reading copy-heavy texts. It makes them feel overwhelmed with information, so they quickly lose interest. Instead, use graphic design to organize your texts in a reader-friendly way. Or, think about how to present written information visually. Whether it’s illustrations, bubble charts, or infographics, these visual elements will greatly improve the readers’ experience and increase engagement.
There is no advertising without professional graphics
You might be able to wing it without professional signs and graphics with a local brick-and-mortar store (we often just chose whatever is closest). But the world of online advertising is not nearly as forgiving.
People’s attention span is only around 8 seconds long, and display ads have dismal click-through rates of under 0.6%. Even worse, most of us ignore online ads completely. So, if you want any hope of grabbing people’s attention or even getting them to notice your ads, there’s no way you can do it without professional graphic design.
So, how to make graphic design look professional in your advertising efforts? There are a few key tips:
- Stay on brand: Jumping on board the latest trend bandwagon can sound tempting, but it can also cause serious damage to your brand image (Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial, anyone?). Getting people to click on your ads is awesome, but ultimately you want those clicks to count. Use colors, images, and copy close to your brand identity to gain the attention of people likely to become long-term customers.
- Try to evoke an emotional response: We usually don’t remember stellar design because of its quality - we remember how it made us feel. Use color, copy, and images to create emotional engagement (more on that later).
- Be honest: Don’t risk losing credibility because you want to make a statement. Don’t resort to boring salesy language. Communicate what makes you different and how you can help.
Professional graphic design makes you stand out
So you know how to make graphic design look professional but still aren’t seeing any results. What’s the issue?
Like we said at the beginning, there are numerous online platforms for DIY design where you can easily get a high-quality template ready for use. The problem with this? There’s a good chance people have seen that same design elsewhere and will find it dull and unimpressive.
Here’s a pretty convincing example. With a quick Google search, I’ve found no less than 4 instances of different businesses and websites using the same infographic template. Sure, this might be forgiven if you’re a school or charity. But for any professional business, it shows a lack of creativity, professionalism, and care.
Sources: Hops; Millard West; ICA; Wesleyan
Professional graphics help build a loyal following & increase brand equity
Once you get potential clients’ attention, it’s time to start working on building those long-term relationships. So how can professional graphic design help?
From social media to a beloved logo (think of how Apple users like to show it off), graphic design helps build brand loyalty. Using consistent branding across your marketing channels will help customers develop relationships beyond a single purchase. Just think of brands like Apple, Starbucks, or Vans. Many people who buy these products have similar lifestyles, and these brands use graphic design to reflect that.
All of these brands use graphic design in their marketing efforts to build a powerful and lasting company image. The results of this are reflected in their brand equity (commercial value derived from customer’s perception of the brand’s value). So, which brand has the highest brand equity? You’ve probably guessed it - it’s Apple.
Quality graphic design triggers emotions
Decent graphic design can convey a message effectively and even help to create a sense of trust and credibility. Amazing graphic design, on the other hand, triggers emotions.
Let’s test that theory, shall we?
What do you feel when you see this image?
Or this one?
Or how about this one?
Paul Ekman, a famous psychologist developed a theory about our 6 basic emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, and anger (yes, it’s also the characters from Inside Out).
Naturally, this idea is particularly useful for marketers. A 2016 Nielsen study suggests that ads that appeal to people’s emotions had a 23% conversion rate than those that don’t.
Emotions also help to create brand loyalty: one survey suggests that 82% of people with high emotional engagement with a brand will buy from it, compared to 32% with low emotional engagement that choose to purchase.
Hiring a professional graphic designer saves you time and money
Ever heard of the phrase “you have to spend money to make money”? This definitely rings true for professional graphic design.
Suppose you decide to take the DIY route. Chances are that before long, there will come a task you can’t do yourself (e.g., website design). The design process will take much longer without the proper foundation (e.g., your brand style guide). If you’re paying the designer per hour, this also means more money.
Or let’s say you’ve created your company’s newsletter. Then you send it to a professional printing company only to find out that most of the content is being cut off by the bleed, and the colors won’t translate to the printed version. You just spent a lot of money and time on a marketing deliverable that you can’t use!
At the end of the day, by designing graphics yourself, you’re wasting time you could be doing your job. In a survey conducted by Venngage, nearly half of the respondents said they needed over 8 hours to design a presentation. Considering how much a CEO’s hourly wage is, it’s clear that even a simple design task can translate into a huge loss of potential profit.
Going professional is the only way
Now that you know why professional graphics make a world of difference for your business, you’re probably wondering, “where can I hire a graphic designer”?
You can go the traditional route and hire someone in-house. However, bear in mind that the average annual salary of a US-based designer is about $60k. Moreover, this might not even be the final figure, as you may have to hire freelance designers for specific projects from time to time in case your designer lacks skills in this particular area.
Freelancers are great; however, it takes a long time to find and vet the right one, along with all the additional time you’ll spend managing and overseeing their work. While average hourly rates go as low as $25, costs can accumulate quickly, especially if you want to hire someone a little more experienced.
If you want to avoid both the stress and the cost, try unlimited graphic design. It means getting all your graphics done for one fixed monthly rate by a team of vetted professionals. Find more about our graphic design service here, or book a free consultation to ask us any questions!