Knocking out graphics work products has become so easy with desktop publishing. Is there any reason why we can't save a lot of money by doing this ourselves?
There are a lot of things you can do yourself. Remember that "just because you can doesn't mean you should." Your clients can make the same argument as to why they don't need your services - after all, there are lots of books and software tools to develop a moderately competent looking business or marketing plan. Similarly, there are some incredibly powerful software packages, as well as an increasing foundation of design and production literature and guidance. But the production function now in your hands excludes the perspective of an experienced graphics designer. They can see what you can't and are up to date with new practices that are not embedded in any tool. Tip:
This issue is too complex for a tip, but here are a few suggestions about graphics if you do like (and can) do a lot yourself. First, stick to good design elements and keep it simple. Overreaching in self-design is painfully obvious. Second, choose a good source of stock images, like dreamstime, iStockphoto and fotolia (there are a lot
of places, many of which sell the same photos), or Getty or Corbis for more unique images. Third, plan your color scheme carefully so that the visual feeling hangs together. For example, Adobe's free Kuler
is a great color design tool . It is amazing how much more professional your products look with a coordinated color scheme. Finally, consider how you present data (if you are a consultant, you are likely communicating results of some analysis). You should be aware of the work of Ed Tufte
and Stephen Few
are sound design guides. When you have armed yourself with these tools, reconsider your decision to forgo at least a consult with a design professional.© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA