The Value of Design

Hanna wrote a great post for us about the value of design:

This spring, a survey popped up on my Paid Viewpoint feed. While taking it, I discovered it was a survey on the importance of design as well as my view on crowdsourcing sites. I took it saying “Yeah! Pay Designers a lot!” and completely forgot about it.

Last week, Mel tweeted the article, Design Is Now Crucial to Startup Success. It was about that very survey. In the survey, 99designs found that startups, small business owners, entrepreneurs and designers care about design and think it’s an important part of the success of a small business’ success. However, 65% of the people would only pay up to $500 for a new custom logo.

I realize that a small startup or businesses may not have very much money to spare and probably wants to put more resources into other parts of the business, but I think the disconnect between the perceived value of design and the willingness to pay for good work is alarming. A good customized logo is developed by long talks about branding, colours, products and services, with a good understanding about the client base and company in general. Sketched out, many revisions and versions are required to create something that will become the face of the company. All of this will take many hours. There’s also overhead, turnaround time, level of expertise, service and support, as well as many other factors that go into being a designer. $500 isn’t exactly that much.

Designs do cost money to make. Even though art may not be exactly tangible, it’s still a product. Not only that, but a customized product built from scratch. Perhaps we’re still in a transition period: our value for design is going up at such a rate that our wallets haven’t caught up yet. Or perhaps 99designs and Paid Viewpoint surveyed the wrong people. The people they asked might want to spend a lot of money on a customized design but can’t afford it at the moment.

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