I recently read an article in HOW Magazine (Feb. 2010 issue) titled The Q Factor. This particular article was talking about how in-house designers (that is, designers within a company’s own creative and/or marketing department) need to focus on the quality of their work. In the article, it was clear that the quality of an in-house designer’s work is important to stand out and make the company’s business execs take notice.
The article went on to say how in-house designers are often treated as liabilities, profit drains, and necessary evils in the eyes of corporate execs…at least until execs meet and talk with designers realizing that they are a vital part of business, and understand business and marketing objectives.
In many ways I think the same holds true for freelance designers. I notice this especially when a non-creative business (i.e. an accounting firm) or executive hires a freelancer. Not all the time, but many times in those situations designers get treated as if they don’t understand enough about business, in terms of numbers and profitability, to understand the needs of that business’ marketing messages. As stated in the above mentioned article, “Too often, management assumes that designers are needed just to implement the ideas of others.”
While designers can certainly implement the ideas of others their real benefit is that they have many of their own creative ideas. Designers have a knack for beyond-the-box thinking to solve various communication challenges. In a sense designers offer a level of quality for a company’s visuals and marketing messaging that business execs. can’t create with their spreadsheets. Hence, it’s necessary to hire a quality designer. Your business will thank you later.