Have you ever been to a business’s website before only to find yourself doubting their brand thanks to a logo that left you going “huh?” or an unfortunate color/product combination?
In today’s image centric world, a great graphic design can be a literal “make-it-or-break-it” for small businesses.
From the 2012 London Olympics design to funky-colored ketchup, branding, logo and product design fails are important cautionary tales.
But even if you know what not to do as a business, how do you know what you should be doing in the world of graphic design?
Image via David Airey
Great graphic design is about more than getting a customer to remember your business’s name or cutting down on your website’s bounce rate. It’s about inspiring potential customers and clients and getting them excited about the possibility of working with you. Great design is infectious; it captures your passion for your business and shares this with your customers.
“With everything becoming more visually ‘curated’ on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest, customers expect to see high-quality graphics,” says Designhill CEO and founder Rahul Aggarwal. “From logos to websites to T-shirts, businesses that skimp on quality design are only hurting their brand.”
Is your graphic design falling flat? If it’s time to say goodbye to a tired logo or an outdated color scheme, a design overhaul can make a big difference for small businesses. A decade ago, overhauling a business logo would have been a seriously expensive undertaking—not unlike trying to build your website from scratch.
Thanks to the proliferation of affordable design firms and freelancers, however, today it’s possible to get great design without paying top dollar. Here’s how to get started.
Related Article: Design It Yourself: Website Platforms To Make You Shine
If You’re Stuck Without a Clear Vision Forward
Don’t have a clear vision for a branding overhaul in mind other than you hate the color purple or want something that “feels warm?" If you need to consider a wide variety of design options and want as many different ideas as possible, then crowdsourcing your design or logo is the way to go.
Image via Designcrowd
Fill out a short design brief describing your project and the max amount you’re willing to pay. Designers will then “compete” to win the project by submitting different logo designs; pick a few of your favorites, give the designers feedback and invite friends to ‘vote’ on their favorite designs. If you’re a total design newbie without a clear vision for the final project, crowdsourcing your logo is a great way to discover a fresh, new approach you might never have considered.
Related Article: 15 Best Freelance Websites in 2015
If You Know What You Want but Not Where to Start
When you know exactly what you want, finding that one perfect designer to bring your vision to life can be a challenge. Even if your logo overhaul is going be a one-off project, many companies prefer to establish long-term relationships with graphic design teams so they can return to the same team whenever they need a project completed, without having to explain their style guide from scratch.
Catherine Brock the owner of Speak Digital Marketing, a boutique digital marketing company based St. Louis, Missouri, faced a similar dilemma when she wanted a logo overhaul. While Brock had a clear vision for her logo design, she also wanted a to consider a few different options before finalizing the design.
She had a few more projects coming down the pipeline and didn’t want to go through the process all over again for each project. She needed a single team that got her vision. That’s why she turned to Designhill.
“I have had great success using Designhill for logo design projects,” says Brock. “It’s almost like having a team of high-quality designers available round the clock working for you without having to recruit them on a full-time basis.”
Great graphic design does not have to cost a fortune, nor should it. Thanks to crowdsourcing options, small businesses now have access to a team of freelance designers for everything from logos to food package labels. Get creative, don't be afraid to innovate within your industry.