5 tips to help you keep design cost down

By Jess Perry, Head Designer at Cutthroat Print Consulting

Today’s professional graphic design services are often times overlooked when it comes to creating marketing materials. Many believe with the aid of technology and free design software, becoming a graphic design artist is simple. The average person can place some clipart images onto a design, but when it comes to professional design for your business marketing materials, there is no debate that a high-end professional graphic designer adds a level of professionalism to any product. Time is money however, and many people hesitate to hire professional designers of that caliber because they fear a slow down in the process.

We must remember though, hiring a professional designer is a crucial step to ensure  your marketing stands out against your competition. Below are five ways that our clients can save wasted hours of design time and frustration that can arise from a hefty design bill.

1. Be prepared from the beginning

Preparation is key when it comes to design, before you even set up your consultation, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want accomplish with your marketing materials. Make sure you know who is your target audience, where it will be delivered, placed or seen. If your project has no direction at the beginning, everyone will be guessing along the way, costing you time and money.

2. Be direct about the creative process

Graphic designers are experts in the field and are constantly honing their skills by keeping up with trends in the industry; that is why you hire them, to keep your material fresh and current. If you have a specific direction you would like your materials to follow however, you need to state this up-front. Nothing is more frustrating to a designer than hearing, “You are the professional, do whatever you think looks nice”, just to have the fifth revision circle back to the clients original idea. By being direct about your ideas upfront, you will avoid costly revisions and unnecessary design charges. Suggest colors, fonts, or specific shapes you may like, and don’t be afraid to google designs you like and send them to the designer for inspiration.

3. Have your files in order

Photos and files are the number one issue when it comes to wasted design time. Below are extra tips on how to prepare proper files:

  • Do not use photos or images pulled from the internet! These files are low resolution and will appear digitized or fuzzy on your materials.
  • Ensure your logo is in vector format or in high resolution. If you do not have the logo, ask the original designer for the file, or pay extra design cost to have it recreated.
  • If you do not have your own high resolution photos, consider using images from www.shutterstock.com. There you can simply browse photos and send the photo id number to us; this will make it easy for the designer to download the file in a quick manner, without having to browse for images you may like.
  • Publisher Mock-ups are great, they give the designer an idea of your vision. Be sure however, to save and send the file in .pdf format; many designers do not keep a version of publisher on their computer since publisher does not have the proper capabilities to handle large design files.

4. Hire a professional copywriter

At CutThroat Print Consulting we believe you should always use our copywriting services! If you are willing to invest in a graphic designer, it makes sense that you should have professional copywriting to accompany your art. Having a professional write copy for you will ensure that your ideas are portrayed properly on your materials. Going back and forth on revisions because your not sure if something sounds right is a substantial waste of time and can hit your design budget hard. The more information you can provide about your company, the faster we can implement them into your design.

5. Cut down the revisions

It is obvious that the more times a designer has to make revisions, the more time adds up on your bill. There is often a misconception on the time it takes to make revisions. You may think you only need to add a phone number, and that won’t take long right? The truth however is, sometimes artwork files can become extremely large and it takes time to open these files. Once the file is open and the revisions are made, the designer has to re-save the file, which also can take a lot of time depending on file size. After the file is saved, the designer must upload the file to a hosting site because “you guessed it”, the file size is too large to send through an email, this process may take two minutes or twenty minutes. After all this, finally the links can be emailed to the client. To avoid all this extra time, look over the first draft extensively. Look at all facets of the design that may need revisions, phone numbers, spelling, perhaps adding a photo, and try to look into the future and see as many revisions as possible before you email the designer back. If you send all your revisions at once then the designer only has to open and save that file one time.