Should you hire a professional Graphic Designer?

So you want to improve your brand, design some social media images or work on some of your marketing material?

You think you can do it yourself, but you’re unsure.

You wonder if you should hire a graphic designer instead of working on it yourself. It’s a tough choice for many and depends greatly on you, your situation and your goals.

Will a graphic designer really be worth it? Well, I have some thoughts below which can help you figure that out.

First, let’s look the obvious stuff.

Time. Budget. Skill.

These are the main overarching points that will help you make an informed decision. You need to consider not only yourself, but your designer and the project itself.

Everything takes time, time is money and your project will only be completed after one of these two things are invested into it. So let’s look at each.

What’s the return on your time?

If you do a job yourself, you will lose some time. But if you hire a professional it’s their time you’re using.

There’s a few things to consider in regards to your time.

Do you have an hourly rate you charge for your labor? Will the earnings from that labor cover the cost of the professional designer?

If a designer costs $90 an hour and you’re hourly rate is $150 – then it’ll be far more effective to simply do what you’re good at and pay the designer. Plus the designer will get the job done quicker than you will in most cases!

Here’s an example…

I pay someone to mow my lawn. I could do it myself, but I’d need to buy a mower or fuel and even then it takes me an hour to mow it. I can pay $50 for someone else to mow my lawn (quicker and nicer) whilst I can spend that hour working in my business and making far more than that expense. I’ll also have music playing whilst in relaxing in airconditioning!

But also, your time is limited so if you don’t have available time, can you really afford to put off more important tasks just to play around with a design.

So, work out where your time needs to go and how much that time is worth in comparison to the cost of hiring your preferred graphic designer.

Is a designer in your budget?

Is it in your budget?

This is a simple concept but many overlook it. Can you afford the expense of design work and still be profitable in your business?

If you’re a plumber who makes about $1500 Profit per week, and (hypothetically) your designer will cost you $200 per week to get work done, then you’re still left with $1300.

The point of a designer is to improve your business media and increase your income. Have you considered exactly how having a better image for advertising, products and social media presence will get you more money? The idea is that a good design will assist you in the effort to get more sales to your business (in most cases). But are you applying to areas which will generate more money and cover the cost.

If you’re a one-person show offering services charged by the hour and you’re always at max capacity (can’t take on more work), then why would you sink more money out of your profits to pay for something designed to bring in more work? More work won’t necessarily bring you more money but instead a thicker backlog.

However, if you sell products off the shelf or need to keep yourself and employees busy, this can help and may even be able to help you expand and hire more people!

Will spending this money on a design increase your income? If it doesn’t than you’re wasting money. If you can make it work and increase your sales and profits – then hire a professional graphic designer!

Can you design graphics yourself?

Can you make it look good?

In other words: skill.

Can you get the alignment right, pick a combination of colours and fonts and elements that will make something look good?

Understanding of the science of aesthetics is a big deal and far more expansive than most people realise. A full time professional will have far more developed knowledge on how design is visually processed by people.

You have to ask – will what you create turn people away? Will the professional designer’s work attract people? Poor design tells a story, which leads to my next point…

Whats the purpose o your design?

The purpose of the design must be considered

If you’re creating a basic form or letter may then you may not think it’s worth the money if you can do a neat enough job yourself.

But what about a flyer or advert trying to sell a product or service?

There is a lot of psychology that goes into the design to attract an eye, tell the story and guide people to taking a specific action (buying from you). With that in mind, can you make it function?

You grab attention, educate and convert, so you need a hierarchy of elements to do those things in that order and guide the eye through the visuals and text.

You can grab attention with:

  • Use of colors, such as bright, high energy colors contrast by duller color around it
  • Impactful imagery or text
  • Simplicity – so not being too busy, messy or intimidating to repel the eye

Then to educate:

  • Use appropriate colors for the theme
  • Make a good choice of fonts to match the theme and brand, creating a certain feeling that helps to sell to the person looking at it
  • Using the hierarchy of elements and learning to choose what needs to be seen/read first, second, and onward and creating the ‘visual hierarchy’ – ending in the call to action.

Finally to convert, the visual hierarchy and education leads to the call to action and instructions (call, email, etc).

You need to know and learn how to say a lot with very little, keeping it visually flowing and guiding the eye.

It’s also not just about you. Can you hire a cheaper, overseas designer for basic designs and a more expensive expert for the important stuff? The professionals also have varying levels of skill. So do your research on a prospective designer.


So let’s do the complete circle…

Consider if you’re better off financially investing your time or money and the return on that investment. Do you have the skills required to do it yourself or should you get someone with know-how?

Once you know your thoughts on each of those factors, you can make an informed choice.

Even hiring an in-house designer (with a cheaper hourly rate than a freelancer) could be a good solution in your business if you do a tonne of design work. If not then use freelancers or design studios for occasional stuff.

Ultimately, its up to you and your priorities.

I hope that has helps to give you some insight. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below, and let’s keep the conversation going!

Thanks for dropping by, have a great day!