hipster shoesThe plight of the hipster… Actually, let me be clear and say the plight of the creative professional. Design itself is an integral part of how we see the world around us. It’s in every color scheme to every office building with a sense of feng shui. The creative professional helps to shape ideas and create entire concepts. The plight, however, is that the work being done can go unnoticed and for many getting into a creative field, that can pose a problem.

When first starting a business in design (just as an example), or freelancing, a big issue most creative professionals find is that they don’t know how to charge for services. A major part of that problem are the misconceptions behind what potential clients believe designers do. Those misconceptions can lead to many clients undervaluing design services. What the client might see as a few button presses or sketches leads them to question the cost, especially with various “do-it-yourself” design services. The fact that color theory, marketing practices, and other design principles are used in design are often not considered or seen as a way of up-selling “something that can be done by anyone”.

A logo is not just a logo. In creating a logo, there are different elements involved. A designer creates a brand and not just a graphic that appeals to a few. The logo carries meaning and serves to represent the client from the choice of color to the choice of font and even readability from far away. When we first started The West India Design Company, we found that a majority of our clients were not aware of what goes into design whether print or digital. We found that some clients were shocked to find what the market rate for some services are because that market isn’t readily shown to the general public. How then can we expect potential clients to know how much we should be paid. It’s not like a designer is a mechanic.

mechanic benchCreative mechanics. Perhaps, in the creative world, we should start marketing ourselves as mechanics with set prices for services rendered. An oil change/flyer for $… You get my drift. When dealing with skilled professionals such as auto mechanics, the general public usually has an idea as to what they might pay or what to expect as a deadline. An oil change might take an hour while an engine block replacement might take a week depending on what other work needs to be done. When it comes to creative professions such as design, photography, video, music, or interactive media, a lot of clients are really at a disadvantage when not knowing all that a creative project might take.

Shine a Spotlight. It’s past due for the general populace to see creative professions in a more traditional light. Artists and designers have been around in one way, shape, or form, for as long as civilization has. Creative professionals have shown us ideas, changed the way we see our world, given us new concepts, and have been instrumental in how we sell our brands. It’s time that we point that out to make it easier for others to see.