The Commoditization Of Design: May Not Be Such A Bad Thing (In Some Ways)


As I was driving down the highway the other day, I noticed yet another company vehicle sporting an absolutely atrocious brand (probably designed by a sign company in a hurry). This got me thinking about how design has become more and more of a quick commodity in modern culture.

As a former designer, like my designer compatriots, I shudder at websites that feature logos created with lightning quick speed, that use multiple variations of a similar design, and that were done by designers who offer unlimited revisions for a couple hundred dollars (though the thing that many designers do not want to admit is that some of these cheap on-the-fly logos aren’t half bad for what they are and who they’re for).

But there is a big difference between what those guys offer and what high-caliber professional firms offer.

That difference is actually why, several years ago, we switched from being a design firm to being a brand marketing services firm. The difference is strategy.

Companies and not-for-profits may be able to get graphic design services cheaper and cheaper and quicker and quicker in today’s marketplace. But the bigger, better and smarter clients need strategy and real expertise when it comes to their brand, messaging, marketing and positioning. That’s a whole different ballgame than just making something look pretty.

So, while quick, cheap and decent design just might make the world look a bit prettier (which certainly isn’t such a bad thing), good strategy is what delivers real and lasting results.


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