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As a graphic designer, we’ll always appreciate well-educated and executed design. We understand how much time goes into choosing the perfect font or why we went with the color palette we did. We see the value in our work and we take pride in what we do. We understand how design can be integrated into the larger picture and we can identify unsuccessful design when we see it.

But, do your prospects / clients see the added value of effective, relevant design verses design lacking personalization? Especially those who are tentative to putting a little extra money forth for a “better product?”
One of the first thoughts that crosses a prospects mind is “how much is this going to cost” and “if I costs too much can I find a cheaper alternative”? As designers, how do we handle and approach this

Hiring a Designer is Like TV Shopping

The above questions come natural to consumers. Take buying a new TV for example; We walk into a store with a price tag made up in our minds what we would like to spend. After we see the TV we like for a certain price, we immediately think “maybe I can find it cheaper somewhere else” or “I could buy a lesser brand and save some money.”

So what makes us choose the better brand over saving a few dollars? Typically, it’s because we see the value of a good product, not to mention that higher priced TVs are usually designed better. 😉

Design Should Reflect the Essence of a Company

I’d like to state that I’ve never felt like I had to “sell” my services, because (1) I believe in effective, well-thought-out design and (2) I see the value/importance of how it can successfully integrate into a business strategy. How do we convey the importance to a client who doesn’t see the value? We educate them…

I recently came across a fantastic article, The Added Value of Design by Rachell Simmons that discusses four principles that will help companies recognize the value of good design in the 21st Century.

“Brands build power through consistency and awareness because contrary to popular belief, people like the familiar and the known of a relationship. Naturally, a desire always exists for the next new thing and there is a pressing need to stay prevalent with current design trends. However, many companies make the mistake of having a multitude of design messages sent out at one time without any coherent connection. Design is a way to carry a brand’s heritage into a new service or product offering while simultaneously presenting a unified message.”

Too many time we see a company whose design collateral doesn’t match up to their services. The disconnection between their design and the services is carried over to their people and customers. When you buy a Samsung or Sony TV, sure you’re spending some extra cash, but you’re getting a sleek design that matches the price tag and more importantly, a price tag that matches the quality of the product.

“Great design can provoke new ways of thinking and feeling, and is often the most potent expression of a brand.”

“In markets where there is a high degree of competitive convergence, the visual impression is often the deciding factor as whether the customer buys your product or service or your competitors. Design can make the difference. Apple’s iMac is a beautiful example of a product that entered an over-saturated market, yet managed to enchant customers and add a whole new dimension to the personality of a PC.”

Unfortunately, there are far fewer companies that don’t see the value of well-executed design, so it is our duty to enlighten them.

“Design is my work. Design is communication. Design is not just features and functions – the essence of design is not on what kind of functions it executes, but instead produces additional value on top of them. At simplest: design is user experience.”

I encourage you to read through the article quoted above, as it provides for great knowledge and clarity of the importance of good design and its role on business’. Great read for both designers and business owners — you can even try passing it along to clients who undervalue design.

How do you express the value of design to your clients or prospects? How do you handle clients that want “cheaper” less effective design? Do you educate them or let them move along?

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