Seth Godin asks why aren't you really good at graphic design?.
As Godin points out, there are a lot of really great resources out there that make design easy for the non-designer.
Perhaps the reason the non-designer is NOT really good at graphic design is that maybe they are better at numbers than they are at art. Maybe they spent 4, 6, or 8 years in college studying economics and not design. Simply put, they are not designers and I would assert that most business people have no desire to be.
When your focus is on saving nickels over enhancing your brand image, your result is usually a formula for poorly executed marketing.
Godin makes a point that it is important to hire someone when it counts, but when does it count for the business owner uneducated in the importance of good design? Does this mean you should be spending $100 an hour to have someone put together a sign up sheet for a golf tournament or a fax cover sheet. No. What about business cards? Absolutely.
Business cards are sales tool. It is usually one of the first interactions a customer has with your marketing. If it doesn't make a powerful impression through design, you haven't done anything to gain trust with the customer.
What about brochures or annual reports? It is best to consult with a professional first to see what your options are. Getting a second and third opinion couldn't hurt. Ask them how hiring them for the project would enhance and grow your business. The answer should determine whether you want to do it yourself or not.
©2009 David Scott | Cosmic: Advertising & Design