There are at least two things that most people are not, and even fewer are both simultaneously. First, most people are not graphic designers. Second, most people are not wealthy. So, for those of us outside of the millionaire-digital-artist category, life requires a little more finessing.
If you own a business and need branding work (which is a particularly important aspect of running a successful business), chances are you’re thinking about a hiring a professional graphic designer. And why not? They earned their degree in graphic design. They know what they’re doing and are more capable than you, right? However true this might be, hiring a designer is an investment, and like all investment, it’s something to think long and hard about before your handover your hard earned money. You could improve you credit while you pay for your design work with a loan or on a zero interest credit card, but maybe that’s not the route you had in mind.
If, after you’ve thought about it, professional graphic design is just not in the cards, there’s still hope. What most people don’t realize is that designing branding doesn’t have to be a hard and complicated process. Most people don’t realize that they’re probably capable of turning out very professional-looking products on their own. Below are some tips for graphic designing on your own and on a budget.
Just because the guy with a shiny graphic design degree can take ten or more unrelated elements and merge them into beautiful and expensive branding for your company, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best or right approach for your company. One of the best rules to govern any artistic endeavor by is “less is more”. This mentality keeps artists and creators from saturating any piece of art with more than it needs. It also means that a simple logo design is enough to do the trick. Think of all the chain food restaurants and big box stores. Now, magine their logos. Most of them are pretty basic right? Still, each uses its simple logo very effectively. And you, too, are capable of designing a logo that is both simple and effective without spending a dime.
Consider carefully every element you use in a design. We often understand without understanding why certain colors, shapes, and fonts mean particular things. Chances are you understand that most little girls would prefer a bright pink pony toy over a dim grey pony toy. Chances are that you also realize that rounder fonts are more welcoming and less serious than something like Old English. Figure out what your company’s theme is and find elements that support and emphasize what it is you are trying to say about your company.
If you’ve tried your best and you’re still convinced that some professional assistance, you can get professional-grade elements without spending any cash. There are many websites that offer free artwork that can be used by anybody: stock.xchg, Open Clip Art Library, and deviantART are just a few. Sometimes there are usage restrictions on some of the art, but there is still a great deal of unrestricted, free art available to you for your company’s branding project.
Whatever your financial situation may be, there’s no reason why your company shouldn’t have well-designed branding. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, give it a shot on your own. Just because you own an LAX shuttle service, or a dry cleaning business, or even pizzeria, that doesn’t mean you can’t design the perfect logo for your business. Chances are, if you try, you’ll surprise yourself.