There’s a huge problem facing the entrepreneurial and business world today.

When I talk to other small business owners about their design needs, look over job descriptions for graphic design positions or contract jobs and ask other entrepreneurs what they’d like from their designers, the list of qualifications is longer than I am tall.

Here is a recent snap of a job description for an entry level graphic designer.

We can't expect ENTRY LEVEL DESIGNERS to fit this bill, or even seasoned professionals. It's just unrealistic.

Read over that list…there are at least 4 other job descriptions being described here.

Not only do you have to be a graphic designer, but you have to be a audio/visual editor, web developer AND project manager! When you think about in, the list of skills this designer has to possess in order to snag this job is immense.  (And trust me, when I was an entry level designer, unless you hit all the high points, you were passed over and never thought about again.)

Now, I do possess all of these skills, but I’m not willing to put out for 30K a year, (and sometimes less) knowing the realities of being part of a big box inhouse design team or professional design agency. And small businesses or worse, contract work can pay even less.

THE DESIGN INDUSTRY IS DEVALUED

The ideas and perceptions that many people have surrounding what they think a graphic designer is or does are completely FALSE and these misconceptions have DEVALUED the industry and it’s hard working population.

 

MISCONCEPTION #1: You Just Doodle All Day

FALSE

While it is true that many graphic designers are artists at heart, this isn’t what we do all day. While some paying clients do allow us to spread our creative wings and sometimes *gasp* put pencil to paper (rather than cranking out a digital creation on a tight budget and schedule) our “doodling” background is merely a stepping stone to where we all are today.

Personally, I grew up with crayons in hand and I’ve ALWAYS had an insatiable love of fine papers. The creamy textures and the feel of how a 6B pencil scratches over the grains is a sensation I cherish, but it’s not one I get to exercise on a daily basis. I do love to draw (and doodle) but that’s not what brings home the bacon.

Graphic designers may start with pencil in hand, following all of the design rules (and maybe breaking one or two along the way) sketching out the basis for a meaty, digital design.

Artistic skill is only the foundation to all the other, creative and amazing things we can do as graphic designers.

 

MISCONCEPTION #2: You’re Only an Artist… You Don’t Understand Business

FALSE (ish)

This is a tricky one…Not all design schools are created equal. But, I choose my 4-year, accredited design college very carefully and supplemented my education with incredible internship & employment opportunities. I “did my homework” and set myself up for success in the business world. But a lot of that came from my professors pushing the class to think like consumers and businesses in order to produce superior results. We didn’t ‘really’ know it at the time, but the design curriculum that was taught included branding, marketing and business skills (whaaaat? you learned all that at “ART SCHOOL?!”)

Many designers, myself included, have also taken jobs or worked on continuing education throughout their careers that supplements and enhances their business savvy mindset.

What this boils down to is the results you’re going to get on Fivrr or Freelancer aren’t the ones you’ll get from a truly educated and skilled graphic designer. 

 

MISCONCEPTION #3: Design is everywhere, so why can’t you do everything?

FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!!!

DOING EVERYTHING doesn’t get the job done RIGHT.

As an entrepreneur, running my own branding studio, I understand the necessity of the “jack of all trades.” But that’s not a healthy way to do things (it’s not efficient, it’s not quality, it’s not good in any way!)

Being everything to everyone gets a lot of designers in trouble. This means they can do a lot (i.e. tick off ALL the boxes when applying for that job above) but they aren’t truly GREAT at anything.

At Heavens to Betsy, we focus on brand design and we closely work with a team of highly skilled, educated and massively creative experts like Simply Styled Sites (Website Development) and Illuminous Marketing  (SEO & Marketing).

Why do we do this? Because we’re experts at branding and graphic design while they’re experts in their clearly defined niches.

This relationship of experts makes for a better experience and superior end product for our customers. 

We believe in being experts, not a Jack of all Trades.

 

Want to work with the experts? Contact us, we’d love to hear about your next project!

Betsy Holt

Author Betsy Holt

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