Strictly speaking, graphic designers organize information. We put visual content — pictures and words — into an appealing arrangement. And thanks to home computers and mobile devices, that’s something ANYONE can do, right? I say, give it a try. The art and design profession would seem to have very few restrictions or rules. I mean, anyone attempting art can call themselves an artist. (By contrast, try calling yourself a Commercial Pilot, Doctor, or Mayor apart from the paperwork to back that up.) It’s the “appealing” part of the task that trips us up.
Most of the people who call me for help have one problem, expressed several different ways:
- “We have a great idea and we can’t draw it.“
- “We can’t make it look good.”
- “We can’t get the computer to make it look good, either.”
- “…and we need it Monday.”
So, the trained graphic artist will supply the aesthetic solution, the technical capabilities and equipment (our computers cost a LOT more than yours), and the know-how to KEEP it looking good across any number of electronic or print media. An experienced artist/designer will also be available to help resolve production issues, advise the customer on typeface and copyright issues, and review the final published result to see if any “tweaks” will make it even better the next time.
Art and Business Can Get Along
There are a lot of perks to being a freelance graphic artist and illustrator. As an artist first, I am often hired by other Designers to supply illustrations. Not only does this allow me to put my strongest skill to the forefront, but the collaboration with other graphics pros ensures great-looking results. And the networking-referral thing can be great for business. Working with teams and marketing departments keeps those of us afflicted with the artistic temperament focused on serving the CUSTOMER’s needs and deadlines.
Speaking of business, it is important for us artists to remember that no matter how good the layout/logo/poster/website may look, those items are not the brand itself. A brand consists of a business’ reputation. I am in agreement with Marcia Hoeck of Brand Academy, who is challenging designers to think beyond the logo and become involved in their customers’ overall marketing efforts.
A Challenge to Graphic Designers
Asking the “bigger picture” questions of your potential customers is not only a good sales practice, but a way to help them grow their business. You can become a partner in their success rather than a simple (albeit great-looking) decoration.Tags: branding, identity, marketing