While it might seem advantageous and beneficial to hire someone who is studying graphic design in college, more often than not, you will end up with sub-par results. One of the main advantages of using an experienced designer is, in fact, their experience. Would you consider hiring someone that’s in college learning about building to build your house? You likely would hire someone with the reputation and the skill to oversee the project, with the less experienced person as their apprentice. Let’s now shift back to business, the graphic design student, might be there helping build the brand, but you have someone with experience managing the execution and hopefully mentoring the nephew.
A seasoned professional has the skills to complete the job if problems or unknown situations arise. They have a network of resources that they can lean upon to finish the job on time. With experience, comes speed and viability. On the surface, many things look great when hiring someone will little experience, but once you get further along it will often end up costing you more for time spent training or correcting the negative impact on your brand from missed opportunities and poor design choices.
Good design is good business. Clients sometimes ask ‘Why does it matter as long as my message is out there?’ This attitude is a dangerous point of view. Sub-par or off-brand designs end up looking like a cheap knock-off. Even worse than buying the knock-off designer handbag instead of shelling out for the high-quality real-thing. Sure they may be hard to distinguish from each other at first, but the real one will last. On the flipside, sometimes big name brands are overpriced. The same holds true in the advertising world. If you’re a small business, you can walk into someplace like VaynerMedia in NYC and write a check for 80, 90, 100, 250k a month to get the biggest name in the business, but they too might not be the best for your business.
My suggestion for anyone looking to take their brand to the next level, you need to make sure you are getting the most out of your money. Find someone with experience who also keeps in touch with what is going on in the ‘now.’ There is no shortage of subpar boutique advertising agencies that come with a large price tag, but have no idea what they are doing. Many of them may even have a good reputation for work they did in the past, but some “agencies” become stuck with what worked 3, 5, even 10 years ago!
Let me leave you with this one thought. Nothing important existed ten years ago. Not smartphones, not Facebook, not Youtube, not Twitter, not Instagram, not Snapchat. NOTHING.