The problem with the word design is two little letters: E and R.
Design is a $10 word. DesignER is worth a nickel. Add graphic to the mix and you have lost all value. You can’t give away work as a graphic designer.
If you want to destroy design’s worth, mix in freelance. Nothing looks cheaper than freelance graphic designer. You might as well call yourself an unemployed Photoshop puppet and get it over with.
My suggestion to all designers is to drop the “er” and never use the word graphic. You’re a design architect, not a visual designer. You’re a design expert, not a freelance graphic designer.
Here’s what’s most important (but rarely discussed):
- Design never loses its value. It’s like business gold. Good design is a timeless business asset. Smart business owners know this. They invest in design early in the brand-building process. A graphic designer trades time for money. Meanwhile, the business owner reaps compounding rewards for years.
- Design is a growth factor. You can’t scale a business when the brand identity is a house of cards. Design inconsistencies create trust walls and turbulence that prevent accelerated growth. Inconsistent design indicates that a brand is too malleable. It might be chasing opportunities rather than forging a clear path. Investors don’t like that.
- Design is an anchor. It’s a busy digital landscape out there. It’s confusing. If you’re trying to grow, you need to stay laser-focused. Design keeps your brand consistent (visually and symbolically). In a sense, good brand design is the eye of the storm.
If you’re currently a designer, stop being a designer. Be a design expert.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, take a close look at your brand. What does your design say about your business?