The topic of this post came to mind as a result of recent conversations with a few different clients. As with every new client-designer relationship, the first conversations are really about gaining trust and “figuring each other out.” As a designer, I’m trying to gain insight into what they want to accomplish and drill down to learn their fundamental goals. As the client (and perhaps this is not always the case) I get the overwhelming sense that they are trying to figure out my skill level and whether or not they can really trust me to deliver what they’re looking for.

And I get that, I really do. Because – who wants to pay money for something they don’t like? No one!

Throughout some recent conversations, however, I’ve noticed that some clients ultimately believe they could design the project themselves — if only they had the software. Now don’t get me wrong — I can respect someone with a clear vision and design direction, and honestly that makes my job so much easier if they can tell me straight out of the gate what they like, what they don’t like, etc… but to think that what I do can be accomplished by any old person with the software, is a stretch.

Not only am I well-versed in the language these software programs use (masks, anchor points, healing tool, clones, warps, etc…), but I also have the experience and knowledge that can only be gained by doing this job full-time for several years. For example – did you know that if you want to produce a professionally printed booklet, the page count needs to be a multiple of 4 (4, 8, 12…)? That’s because pages are printed on a spread and then folded down to create the finished book size — 1 page therefore equals 4 finished pages. Printing restrictions like this are extremely important for determining the very design and layout of a project.

Or, say, did you know that any image used within a printed piece must exist as a high-resolution (300 dpi) graphic, so that when printed will produce with crisp, clear edges (as opposed to pixelated and blurry)? If you were to pull thumbnail images off Google and stretch to make larger, the end result would not look very good!

Example: The Facebook icon on the left has been saved from the internet and enlarged. Notice the pixelated edges that cause the image to appear blurry and undefined. The image on the right was downloaded as a high-resolution image and sized accurately to remain clean and clear.
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The point of this post isn’t to say “look what I know” — but more to stress the importance of hiring a professional designer. We have knowledge of best practices and the experience to see them through in order to create the highest quality designs. Trust us!

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