What is a graphic designer? What are you going to do with one anyhow, and where do you put them?
First of all, you could probably use a graphic designer in your business without even realising it. Anything related to your business that is printed or published online is going to reflect how your business works, how you do business and the personality of your business. Mess that up and you are sending the wrong message. Loud and clear.
A graphic designer will make sure your brand – that is, what people say about you and how people perceive what you do – is consistent. When people view your materials, read your tweets, browse your brochure or click through your website, they are building an image in their head of what your business is like. You want that to be right. You need to appear professional, competent and trustworthy. A graphic designer will make sure that everything you do looks right and looks right without speed bumps or pitfalls to undermine all the hard work.
What are you going to do with one?
Well, you will actually be doing more of what you should be doing anyhow! If it’s your business, you will be taking care of business rather than worry about technical and practical aspects of marketing materials. If you’re an employee, you will be concentrating on what you were hired to do instead of taking on additional tasks – even if your boss thinks you are saving them money. Do what you know, do what you love.
And where do you put them?
Leave them right where they are!
It’s easy to use a graphic designer from time to time, as and when they are needed, so if they work from home they are saving you money (salary, office space, equipment) but are still on call to help your business look great.
Graphic designers are problem solvers. Do you have these problems?
- too few customers
- customers get lost
- people can’t read instructions
- too few people at events
- people don’t understand what you do
- people think you are out of business
- customers phone up with the strangest questions
If these sound like odd things for a visual professional to take on, consider how a logo can make people think of a business, or how a well written and designed brochure can bring people to your door. It’s not just about having a great product or service. People need to hear about it too.
The real question is, why wouldn’t you hire a graphic designer?
If you are looking at my portfolio, you will see that the work I do is quite varied. No two clients are alike! While the individual industries or fields that my clients are involved in are quite different, designing for different types of businesses requires the same skill set.
All design work starts with a consultation that allows me to understand and get to know your business. This lets me treat your business as unique, even if I have worked for a company in the same field. I would never use a templated approach to design as the identity of the business is as individual as the people working within it.
Some industries use specific terminology and have exacting standards that are peculiar to them. For example, the medical field would use terms and phrases that might not be familiar to those outside. In this case, I would make sure to double check the details and ask you if there are any discrepancies. I can even double check with governing bodies or authorities to ensure details are compliant.
Be assured that your project will be handled with the attention to detail that it deserves.
Do you have any questions about your industry in relation to design? Please ask.
Yes, it does But not entirely.
When the final invoice is paid, you have purchased the rights to the artwork. You will then be permitted to use that artwork wherever you like- advertising, websites, marketing, social media sites – provided these are related to your business and the designs are used in the manner intended. The designer will always, according to UK and international laws, retain the copyright of the artwork created.
This means that you cannot edit and reuse the artwork in other applications or sell it.
Think of it in relation to buying music. When you buy a CD or purchase an mp3 you are allowed to play the music wherever you like (given certain restrictions regarding public performance). What you are not permitted to do is edit the music, chop it up and use it elsewhere. Similarly, a logo designed for a coffee shop couldn’t be used for a different coffee shop by simply changing the name in the logo. Purchasing the rights for usage, like you do for software, is not the same as purchasing a product that you own outright.
If you have any questions, please email me or leave a comment below.
Can I use photographs found on Google Images on my website?
I can’t think of a way to soften that.
No, you can’t.
Google Images is an index of images found on websites that have been crawled by Google. When Google finds a photo in a site, it adds it to the Images index. These are photographs taken by someone else, owned by someone else and can only be used by the owner unless permission is granted.
If you really need to use a photo found on Google Images, click on the image, click ‘View Page’ and email the owner of the website to see if they would grant you permission for usage. There are only three ways you can use a photograph – if you’ve taken it, if the person who took it gave you explicit permission to use it, or you have purchased it from a stock library. There are free libraries available, but the quality of the content makes them unlikely to be useful for any business.
The quality of images you use on your website is as important as the design and copy. Imagery will set the tone for the site before a word is read, so make sure that you use high quality, relevant and helpful images.
For more on how to use stock photography, see my post here.