In a recent post titled Why aren’t you (really) good at graphic design? Seth Godin discusses why good design “Is as important as driving. But easier to learn and do, and requiring less talent.”
He throws designers a bone with, “…hire the very best in the world when you need a breakthrough. But you don’t have to pay for better-than-mediocre design. You can do it yourself.”
We have a rebuttal. And we will preface it with a clear admission that we know we have nowhere near Seth’s level of acumen or expertise. But we do have good heads on our shoulders and have been doing quite well for our clients and ourselves for many years now, so we feel we have a right to chime in.
Our sensitive side wants to go on about how his post “relegates design to an ultimately worthless skill because anyone could conceivably learn to do it” and thank Seth for setting us back even further as we try to earn graphic design the respect awarded long-standing practices.
Instead we will focus on the positive. What Seth says is true but, using that same rational, you could make your own clothes, or paint your own car, or put a new roof on your house, or… well, you get the point.
What it comes down to is that if you really want to succeed, you should do what you do best and hire out the rest. We didn’t invent this concept, but it makes sense and what’s more, it works. You get more from your time and energies, and avoid a lot of frustration.
Most people really can’t create attention-grabbing design, or craft effective copy, or build a solid marketing plan, and that’s okay. There are people who can do that for you. It’s not necessary to take a DIY approach to every last aspect of your business. Instead, exploit your strengths and get help with the rest.