Why Use a Graphic Designer?

by | Jul 5, 2019

A good designer can create a brand that will uniquely identify you and tell potential customers about you and your business. The combination of colour, style, energy and font combine to create your brand.

When this is applied consistently and sympathetically across advertising and merchandise, sales and promotional items, the brand begins to build. Your customers recognise you, and that familiarity brings trust and loyalty.

I’m a life-long designer. By that I mean that I always knew that design would be my life and career.

I was an ‘arty’ child. I made stuff. Toys, scrapbooks, camps, dolls, paintings, sketches. At school I was always to be found in the art room.

I studied at Canterbury and Birmingham and left in the exciting ‘80s with my Honours Degree in Graphics.

I thought that I would dive straight into the London Design scene, but life isn’t always that straightforward and instead, I followed a steadier climb at smaller Kent-based studios before stepping onto my first London agency ‘rung’.

After my two daughters arrived, I joined a design agency in Kent and was a senior member of their team for 20 years. But now I’m a partner in my own business, and am happily in creative control of all the work that Howell & Hicks produce.

I’m passionate about design and I can be stubborn if I think something isn’t right at any point in the process.

There’s a ‘feeling’ when a design works. I always refer to that feeling as being ‘comfortable’, but that sounds a little weak as a description for knowing that you’ve got it just right.

When everything is working together to tell the story, sell the service, identify the product.

It’s what we aim for with every job and for every client. To arrive at that perfect solution.

And I think we do a great job – our clients keep coming back to us because they appreciate our wealth of experience, our top-quality design work, and our responsive client service. (And that we’re affordable, of course).

Things have changed during my career, particularly with move from paper-based to digital design. Of course I’ve embraced and enjoy adapting to this and the huge potential that these changes have offered – I still mostly revert to pen and paper early on in the process though. One thing that’s transformed the design landscape – certainly during the last 5 years – is the huge number of websites offering ‘cheap design’, and the online applications encouraging people to ‘DIY’ their designs.

Am I a fan? Well, no, and here’s why!

Good design obviously has to look great, but also work well and get real results for the client. To get to that end-point takes time. Time for us to understand our client and the project requirements, time to research the competition and make sure our solution is unique and on point, time to plan the creative process, and then time to carry out the various stages of design work.

If someone buys a logo design for £10 where’s that process? Whether they’re ‘bashing’ something out, or rehashing previous designs, they’re probably not very considered and that lack of care and consideration usually shows.

We understand budgets can be tight – especially for small businesses and start-ups, but is DIY-ing your branding and graphic design really the right decision? Will it look professional? Will it say all the right things about you and your business? Will it get you noticed and persuade customers to choose you over your competitors?

Even if you answer yes to all these questions, here’s another one for you…

Is it really the best use of your valuable, professional time? Wouldn’t that be better spent running your business, meeting existing customers and reaching out to new ones? Doing what you do best…and letting us to do what we do best.

So when people ask me why they should work with a proper designer or design agency, the answer I usually give is…”I can use a pair of scissors, but I wouldn’t cut my own hair!”

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”

Ralf Speth