Unfortunately in this new age of technology, with so many brilliant creative programmes readily available and since the emergence of the dreaded ‘CLIP ART’… ‘Everybody wants to be a designer’.

Google search for ‘Clip Art’

Graphic design is a glorious profession to be in and I can totally understand why so many people want to ‘give it a go’ or ‘do it themselves’. It’s great fun, we’ve all got bags full of latent creativity waiting to leap out and shout to the world… I did that!.. and that’s OK, it’s absolutely fine, have a go… enjoy it… fill your boots… BUT and its a BIG but!Don’t make the all too common mistake of mixing business with pleasure!

If you’re doing a birthday party invite for one of your children, or you’ve been asked to knock up a quiz night poster for the local school, jump in with both feet, have a go… doodle away and enjoy the graphic design process:

Here’s a couple of examples of school quiz posters – the one on the left was sent to me by my sons school and the one on the right, I did for my daughters school… Both do the job! and in a way, I almost prefer the honesty and tongue in cheek simplicity of the design on the left… ‘It does what it says on the tin(and it was a brilliant night out).

The point is knowing when to stop, where to draw a line in the sand and say ‘this is great fun and I really enjoyed doing it. BUT now I need a logo for my business…’How hard can it be to design a logo? I can do that, mix a bit of business with pleasure… AND it’ll save me money!…

Simply put… It won’t!

You wouldn’t consider for a moment nipping down to the medical wholesalers, buying a bargain of the month ‘dentists drill’ and having a go at doing your own teeth! The same goes for any skilled trade. I had a go at plastering this weekend, (I was only tidying up the corner of a wall I’d knocked down) “it wasn’t a bad job”, I thought, as I stood back admiring my handiwork… but it wasn’t a full wall, or even more daunting a ceiling! The point is I’m never going to plaster a wall better than a professional plasterer… so why try? The only reason is money, but… will a badly plastered, bodged, wall save me money when I try to sell my house? I don’t think so!

Qualified, experienced, professional, graphic designers have trained for years to perfect their art, they have the knowledge and skills required to help you drive your business forward, give you a key point of difference so you stand out from the crowd and more importantly, stand out from your competitors!

A good logo should be memorable, relevant to your core business and send a message to your customers about the quality of the product or service you provide. Designed properly, it should last for the lifetime of your business. Think of it as an investment in your future, a tangible entity which adds value to your brand, so that when your looking to expand, attract quality staff, investors or project forward to when you’re ready to sell your business… Your brand needs to be strong enough to stand up for itself and to represent your business without you! GET IT RIGHT!… You only get one chance to make a good impression, so make it a good one!

To illustrate this, let me share with you a selection of some of my favourite examples of ‘Professional’ versus ‘D.I.Y.’ design, aptly titled:

The Good, the Bad & the UGLY:

(You can be the judge of which is which!?)

Apple Computers logo

Coca Cola logo

Chanel logo

Federal Express logo

McDonalds logo

Nike logo

I Love New York logo

Playboy logo

Superman logo

Burger King logo

London 2012 Olympics logo

USA ‘Characters Welcome’ logo

Architecture By Design logo

Swan Real Estate logo

Carmel Car & Limo Service logo

Health By Design logo

Countertops By Design logo

Cuts to Dye For logo

Garage Door Doctor logo

Mr Engine logo

Next Sustainability logo

Newton Works logo

Crouch Plumbing & Heating logo

Cobra Pest Control logo

K9 Compassion Foundation logo

By Design Marketing logo

My Pyramid Government logo

Tree Doctor logo

It is a logo? ( honestly 🙂 )

YEC logo

Priority Medical Services logo

HASC Center logo

National Safe Place logo

A-Style Clothing logo

Catholic Youth Commission logo

Mont-Satellite logo

China Reataurant logo

Sydney Wrestling Club logo

The Egg Shop logo

OK, so there’s no surprises with some of the good logos, a few design classics that we all know and love. Some purists might ask what the infamous 2012 London Olympics logo is doing there, towards the top? I have to admit that when it first came out, I wasn’t a big fan, but over time, it’s grown on me because it’s memorable and ‘dares to be different’, who knows, by the time the Olympics is upon us next year, maybe it will have grown on the world too and can eventually take it’s place in the hall of fame as a design classic? (comments welcome from purists and realists alike)

With the bad logos, I was spoilt for choice, FAR too many to pick from and some of the ugly ones defy belief, how they ever got past the design scribble stage is utterly beyond me.

Your logo may not be as bad as some of the examples shown here. With a bit of luck it ranks closer to the top half than the bottom half of the list and sends out the right message to your customers. Hopefully though, you can see the point, that a bad logo can do more harm than good to your business and that D.I.Y. design can in the long run end up costing you (rather than saving) you money.

If you can’t tell the difference and either like or dislike all of the examples equally, this blog probably isn’t for you, (but very well done for getting this far, you might as well hang on till the end now… we’re nearly there ?)

…in summary:

Use as much clip art graphics as you fancy for personal stuff, but

DON’T use clip art for business! Know where to ‘draw the line, ‘Don’t make the mistake of mixing ‘real business’ with ‘design fun’!

Qualified, professional graphic designers have the skills required to help you drive your business forward… so use them wisely!

Some people are born to be designers and creativity comes easy to them. Some have to work a bit harder at getting the same great results. Some think they are gods gift to design, but in reality aren’t. Some are quietly humble about their ability and are infact, far more talented than they’ll ever believe… It takes all sorts!

‘Everybody wants to be a designer’

…but not everyone can be ?(sorry!!)

Likewise, we can’t all be brilliant brain surgeons, egghead rocket scientists, international footballers, top models, famous film stars, dentists or plasterers!