I have several clients who represent multiple companies, and last week, one of those clients came to me requesting a simple graphic for a new company for which he recently became the CMO. Before he went on-board, the company already had a logo designed and slogan chosen, but when I assessed them for an effective marketing strategy, I noticed that something wasn’t right.

Their branding elements were confusing. The company had a lot they wanted to convey to their market, but it was not communicated well in their graphic designs. In an effort to understand, I had to ask my client the question, “Why come to me?  Why not the other guy who should already have an understanding for your branding and business efforts?”

It was no big surprise at all when my client said that the logo was designed by an $99 online logo company. The branding was weak, because there was no strategy to speak of.

I talked with my client to get clarification on the business goals and marketing efforts.  He admitted that his team struggled over the messaging, but they didn’t know how to rectify it.  Of course, I wouldn’t expect them to, because they’re not in the visual communications business. I suggested my idea to my client, and he expressed his excitement over what I might do.

As a designer, I was able to take their ideas and convert them into simple, graphic messaging that a prospect could connect to.  And my client said, “It looks great, modern, clean and upbeat. Also sends a clearer message.”

If I had proceeded with the artwork as originally instructed, then I would not have solved my client’s messaging problem. Instead, his business probably would have gone to lose big money on weak advertising.

This is the trouble with cheap graphic design solutions.  While you might save money upfront, you risk losing big time in your longer-term efforts.