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5 reasons NOT to use stock designs

In these tumultuous economic times, the markup budget is the first to go, and marketing managers are under the gun to produce stellar marketing collateral on a less-than-desirable budget. Okay, I get it, graphic design services can seem expensive and a bit overwhelming if you are not familiar with them. Last time I checked, there was no “style” key on your keyboard.

What is your job? Search Google for “stock designs” and go through dozens of designs trying to find the one that best suits your corporate identity. Hey this is close, I’ll buy it. Oh wait, what format should you buy it in? Word (not a design program by the way), InDesign, Illustrator? You don’t have InDesign or Illustrator on your machine, but create someone in the building could. Or, what about your kid’s friend, the one who made that cool Happy Birthday sign? Maybe they can make the appropriate edits … you get where I’m going here.

Here are five reasons NOT to purchase stock designs.

1. It is not unique. Am I stating the obvious? One would think. To save some cash, companies overlook this all the time. It would be the death of your identity if the idiot in the street used it too. If you think it doesn’t happen, let me assure you it does. Happens all the time.

two. The horse will eventually follow the cart. Now that you have this shiny new and exciting brochure with swoops, icons, and a cool typography treatment, you realize that your business cards, envelopes, and letterheads don’t match. I guess all the thought, effort, and money spent on them will have to be discarded. To be close It doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore.

3. A square word does not fit in a round paragraph. For the layout to work, the word count of your copy needs to be close to what is represented in your stock layout. You’ll end up cutting off important chunks of text to fit. Or worse, write MORE copy to fill in the empty space. You will play with the font size and line spacing. Before you know it, the type will be 8 pt. and your client will need bifocals to read it.

Four. You will have trouble printing. Not sure what PDF / X_1a: 2001 means, they are requesting the native files, the logo is pixelated, the copy is not aligned correctly, the file (and all images) are RGB instead of CMYK, colors are not They look the same on paper as they do on the computer screen, your bleeds don’t spread far enough … only if you hired that designer three months ago.

5. You are not a designer. Now, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but graphic designers are professionals. Most of us have a degree, an art background, and we understand the delicate balance of design. We know what works. We know how to sell products and services through design. Would you try the plumbing because it can turn on the water?

The design is worth it. Your business is worth it. What may seem like saving money up front may end up costing you more.

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