Why do I need a Graphic Designer when I can use Canva?
Do I need a graphic designer when there are DIY options out there?
This is something I hear a lot, from businesses big and small.
Here’s what I think: DIY design apps are fine, if you are using them as a layout tool. If you’re overlaying text over images, using your own photos and maybe using the grid function to create collages. It’s a useful tool for creating the correct size graphics for, say, twitter posts and facebook covers too. I do also like that you can do some simple layering with text, colours and png images, to knock up a post on your phone if your out and about.
What do DIY design apps offer?
What Canva and other similar apps offer, is a set of resources that can be used over and over by multiple users (and there’s a lot of them.) This is where I worry, businesses relying solely on free app generated content can get lost in the crowd. The whole point of creating content is to get you seen! The best way to do that is to be original.
Avoid using templates for the important stuff!
Also where I think it gets really ‘iffy’ is when you use Canva to create a logo - A logo is a business identifier and therefore, it should be unlike any other. Using a logo template or simply a fancy font, means that your business logo can be replicated fairly easily by other businesses, and in fact a lot of the time by businesses in the same industry. It doesn’t look great having the same logo as your nearest competitor. Not to mention, you most likely won’t get the files you need and you only get a single version of your flattened logo.
Over-saturation of templated content
I’m also not a lover of the ‘popular’ canva templates - Yes it's tempting when you want to chuck something up on social media quickly and easily, and they are the first ones you see when you open the app - I get it, we're all busy people, but when people see the same old templates used over and over, they almost tune off to it. I mean who hasn’t seen this template used a million times before?!
So when should I hire a Graphic Designer?
So here’s where I think a graphic designer comes in. It’s when you are ready for your brand to have its own personality, when being instantly recognisable across all platforms is a must, and most importantly when your business is ready for real growth.
Are there low budget design options?
I’m not saying go the whole hog, if you are a smaller business - start small, maybe approach a designer with a budget and see where they can help. It might be that you get a couple of backgrounds made up for social media - perhaps your own ‘canva style’ template that no one else has access to. It could be as simple as getting a set of font and colour palette suggestions to ensure you have a consistent look.
Have something created that holds value, and can be applied to multiple resources.
You can slowly build up a bank of resources which are unique to your business, use the apps as a layout tool to build them as and when you need to. Recycle your content (because spoiler alert - no-one loves your brand enough to have seen every bit of content you put out there) by swapping out backgrounds, alternating graphic elements and changing colours, you can make your content work for you without needing to spend a small fortune.