Is Design Expensive or is it Valuable?

It happens all the time. A potential client calls. They have an urgent need. Which is funny, because it’s marketing, not heart surgery. They want the best work and they want it super fast and they want it cheaper than it costs, they want a deal. This is also interesting because you don't get a new iPhone and complain that there's only $20 worth of parts in your $1000 tool. You pay for it because of the completeness of the design.

They have forgotten that there are three ways they can get the job done; good, fast, and cheap.

The problem is, you can only pick two. I can do design for cheap, but it will either be low quality work, or it will take a very long time. I can do work very fast and urgently, but it will be very expensive if you want top tier work. Yet, we aren’t even approaching this properly by speaking this way. We are speaking about design as an expense, not an investment of high value. There is a big difference.

The thing about good design, is that when done properly, it has a direct correlation to sales and your customer relationships. Every branding and packaging professional knows exactly what I am talking about.

The combination of a logo and icon that tells your story, coupled with good packaging and marketing, if done right and built from a proper understanding of your brand and your audience, can change an entire marketplace. All of your favorite brands have done this, and if you want real success on a multi-state, national or international level, you have to do it right.

You need to understand your vision and your mission and your five to ten year business plan. You need testing. You need focus groups. You need consulting. You need in store research… Designing visual solutions to enable maximum connection to the customer isn’t something you wing, it’s something you purposefully design and execute on a solid foundation of research. This ensures high likelihood of success (nothing is ever guaranteed in life, not really.) If branding and packaging is done right, you almost can’t lose as long as you operate the rest of your business properly as well.

So, if branding and package design helps your business succeed over the long term, even if it only 5% responsible overall (I know it’s a lot more than that, visual storytelling is how all customers connect to you first), what’s that worth over the life of your business? Well, if your business makes a million dollars a year for ten years what’s 5 percent of that value? It’s half a million dollars.

Now let me ask you this, would you pay someone half a million dollars if you knew that you were guaranteed a product that would help you to make 9.5 million? I sure as hell would. Every time. The funny thing is that when the value is actually that high on branding a company, clients balk at ten thousand or even five for their branding.
You know what that tells me? That potential client doesn’t understand my value, nor do they understand theirs, and just like dating, no one wants a serious relationship with someone who doesn’t understand their own value.

So if you are out there, thinking that marketing and design services are “expensive,” do you yourself a favor and change your mindset, it's the only way you are going to get super high quality work from beginning to end.

If you don’t want to change your mindset and you want “wing it” design services, there are plenty of sites where you can get what you want for a lot cheaper than you are hoping to pay me or any other freelancer worth a damn. Google "cheap design services," or go directly to, and more. If you are looking to reduce expense and get super-average work with no research and very little value (which means, no matter how cheap it is, it's expensive) all while getting it done quickly, that’s the place for you.
You can Venmo me $100 for saving you $5000 or more.
@Jesse-Barney ;)

If you know how valuable your company is, and you want only the very best, with proper research and testing resulting in a product that you know you can rely on, then you should call me because my work isn't expensive, my work is valuable. Any designer who knows their place will tell you the same thing.

Jesse Barney

September 24, 2020