5 Ways You Can Create Great Graphic Design Without Breaking the Bank
Most businesses spend thousands or millions of dollars on marketing every year. They invest in everything from updated package design to cool website setups and even entire re-branding campaigns.
Such efforts require a hefty amount of time and money to complete, not to mention top creative and strategic professionals. The best marketing is created with a balance of data gathering and market research combined with an eye for design and thinking outside the box. It’s fun and exciting, and a lot of hard work to get right.
The work is even more challenging when you’re operating with a tight budget. Having little money to fund your campaign means you have to get creative about how you spend each dollar.
If you’re looking to get great graphic design at the lowest cost possible, consider the following ways of getting the look you want at the price your budget needs.
1. Ask a Friend
There’s no shame in asking for help when running a business, especially if you’re just starting out. Maybe you already know someone who does graphic design for a living or at least has a bit of experience in this realm.
It’s worth asking them to lend a helping hand. More people are willing to pay things forward than you think, and the closer you are to whoever you ask, the more likely they’ll be to help you.
Be careful of reaching out to someone you don’t know well just for a favor, though. This can be a bit off-putting and it can seem like you’re only talking to them to get something out of them.
2. Get Referrals
So if your best friend or your brother-in-law isn’t a graphic designer, are you out of luck? Not exactly. If already know none of your friends can do this service for you, see if they are connected to someone who can.
Chances are, someone in your inner circle knows a graphic designer. This may be an old buddy from high school, a distant relative, or maybe a person they used to date! Still, the close connection can give your referral some meaning when you go to ask for design work.
For example, if your best friend refers you to their cousin for a design project, the cousin is likely to give you a bit of a discount. Don’t be shy about bringing this up to your friend, but try to keep things professional when discussing the project details to the actual designer.
Even if referrals don’t come with some close connection, they’re worth looking into.
Ask your business network who they’ve used for design work before and compare the prices of all the options you get. Some graphic designers will have years of experience and the project rates to show for it, while others will be up and comers willing to offer you services at a more appealing price.
3. Invest in Your People
Here’s one way to be creative about your graphic design spending: look at it as a long-term investment rather than as a one-time project.
What if you were to pay for one of your in-house people to learn graphic design skills rather than to outsource this need every time you thought of a new design opportunity?
This could do wonders for your business. There are all kinds of graphic design courses that employees will be eager to take, and many of them are offered at a reasonable price. You can sit down with your team member and choose from online courses to fast-track certification programs to full-scale continued design education.
Whatever the two of you choose, though, is bound to give you all kinds of benefits. An investment like this solves the problem of fitting good graphic design into your budget, and it boosts employee morale, too.
Think of it as a marketing tool for now and a growth and development tactic for long-term internal development.
4. Do It Yourself
Don’t be surprised if you’re the one who becomes interested in graphic design courses. Before you bring this up to one of your employees, see if you can take care of the business’s graphic design needs yourself!
Even if you have no prior experience doing this, it’s not hard to do when you have a genuine curiosity about the matter. Graphic design is really exciting for anyone who is creative, likes a good challenge, and enjoys working with computers.
Plus, there’s the added bonus of knowing you’re doing something good for your business at the lowest cost possible. When you learn how to do graphic design yourself, you’ll never need to pay someone else to do it.
5. Trade Services
The final way to keep your graphic design costs low is to trade services for it. Maybe you’re not much a graphics person, but your restaurant does make some amazing food or your IT company has some cutting-edge products.
Consider giving away something your company already has for something it needs. The main thing to focus on here is to create an even swap. You don’t want to undercut someone else for their work, and you don’t want to give away something of too much value, either.
As such, it may take a bit of back and forth between you and your possible graphic designers before you come to the right agreement. Still, this could be the answer to all of your graphic design problems and financial worries.
Who knows, you may even get a great partnership out of it! Trading services for one project could lead to long-term solutions for your business.
Enjoy Great Graphic Design on a Budget
Most people tend to overcomplicate graphic design. They think they need the most experienced person or the highest-priced service to get the right look.
In reality, you can usually design the look you’re going for with a little bit of time and effort. This goes for everything from your company’s logo to the product packaging and banner design. All you need is some design software, a free afternoon, and a few good ideas to get started.
If you’re ready to take a crack at creating great graphic design yourself, click here.