In every profession there are myths about what one does. Designers are misunderstood not only in the expanse of their artistry, but also in the depth of their business knowledge. Because business identity is so visual, people assume the graphic designers are purely artists. In my opinion, a good designer is the perfect combination of art and strategy. A good designer will bring a strong understanding of marketing and promotional planning in what they create to visually represent a company.
Our branding specialists share some additional myths of their profession with us…
1 – A brand is developed overnight.
Truth: There is a process to developing & creating brands.
There are many steps required to reach a final solution, such as research, brainstorming, conceptualizing, implementation, and refinements. Many people don’t see the initial steps, therefore, they assume they can contact a designer last minute and have a logo created in two days. Once you decide to invest in your brand, don’t make the mistake of rushing through the process.
– Heidi Bartlett, Idieh Design
2 – The logo is the brand.
Truth: Branding is deeper than the visual representations of the company.
The most common misconceptions when creating a brand is thinking that the logo is the brand. The brand is much larger than that. It is everything from your business card to your website. It is your color palette to the fonts you use. It requires time to build and reinforce. Consistency throughout all of your communications is key and creates integrity, professionalism and reinforces who you are and what your organization does.
– Kari Becker Beard, Sugar B Studio
3 – Designers are overpriced.
Truth: Design is an important investment for the future of your company.
It’s easy to understand why this is a popular misconception — so much of what I do for my clients is behind-the-scenes. But if you factor in all the research, sketching, revisions, etc that go into producing a simple logo; you’d be charging the same.
– Kelly Ashworth, Kelly Ashworth Design
4 – You HAVE to have an idea/colors/layout spelled out for the designer.
Truth: Designers are very talented in turning your company’s vision into visual identity.
You can have a lot of info, or not. As long as you know yourself, your company, what you’d like to achieve, the designer can figure out the way to graphically create it for you.
– Cathy Olson, Love-Inspired
5 – Designers need to be micro-managed.
Truth: Trust your designer.
A lot of people think they need to tell a designer how how to enlarge the image or the placement of the text. Designers have solid education and know all about conceptual design from years of experience. Design is not just sitting behind the desk and being told what to do. Yes, designers love all things color and fun but its not just about using the latest font, color of the year or style. A design is creating an entire concept according to the clients needs.
– Carla David, Carla David Design
6 – Once you’ve used a logo you have to keep using the same logo forever.
Truth: Your company’s values and mission may not change. But, the way you visually represent your company will continue to evolve.
Not true – even Coca-cola has updated its original logo. It is important to realize that your brand representation, visually, will change throughout the years. As long as it continues to represent your business effectively and maintain an easy continuity from version to version, it is perfectly natural for it to evolve as your company grows and changes.
– Sarah Kate Snyder, Studio Snyder
7 – Your design needs to be the same as everyone else’s in order to compete.
Truth: It’s best to differentiate in order to stand out.
I feel like wedding professionals become absorbed with their competition and want to design their branding based off of one of their favorite role models. Although this seems like the logical thing to do if you like someone else’s business, it’s not a strategically smart move in the branding world because you aren’t setting yourself apart from them and therefore you will not be memorable.
– Nikki Nukkols, Doodledog Advertising
8 – Designers only make pretty pictures.
Truth: Designers are experts and professionals in branding and marketing.
When designers offer suggestions or constructive criticism, it’s not personal! If they happen to gently mention that it might not be a great idea to have umpteen elements on your home page or to use a lens flare filter on your logo, it’s for a good reason – thanks to education and experience, designers know what they’re talking about 🙂 Take their suggestions and listen to the reasons behind them. A good designer will be able to explain those reasons.
– Whitney & Jonathon Speir, Brown Sugar Design Studio