Designing On a Shoe String Budget
When you are ready to promote an event, product or service for your company, you will always turn to a professional graphic design firm. That is what they do, and that is what makes the most sense. When money is tight , chances are your need for professional design and / or advertising doesn't just drop off.
Take heed, you aren't alone. So what do you do? Do you put it through the guy in accounting or your nephew who bought photoshop? First off, keep in mind a lot of risk comes with project design from someone not trained in the field. Design is NOT just about making pretty images. Proper design evokes emotional and cultural responses to get your customer to BUY! Not knowing your accounting guy, or your nephew, I would highly discourage both options. Instead, here are some alternative budget saving options.
- Call a College: Call a local school and see if they would be willing to use your company as a test client. Students will get real world experience and you will get a deal. It would be highly encouraged to donate to their art department -- consider this payment for their services. Keep in mind some school's policies may not approve, and you are still working with students with no real world experience. Remember, you are helping further education, you are such a good person!
- Call a Student: This is the same concept as calling a college. Students are looking for experience and you are looking for a deal. The risk here is that they may not have the skills or experience. This risk can be compensated for by simply requesting their portfolio or sample work ahead of time. Also, make sure to ask about their software version -- if they have an educational license, it might be illegal for them to make a profit using that version.
- Re-Evaluate the Project: Your project may be too expensive in the first place. Are you embossing, die-cutting, using premium paper, using too many colors, using bleeds, etc.? Ask your design firm where you can cut some costs. Don't be afraid to ask for this!
- Mass-Application: If you are doing a multi-faceted marketing project. Make sure your design piece fits all facets without adaptation. This will cut down on design costs.
Got any brilliant ideas that may help your budget? Have you offered any internal incentives to employees who saved the company money? Please comment and share with the other readers!