Being in the business of building websites and SEO, “Do I need a graphic designer?” is a question that I am asked with reasonable frequency – this got me thinking and I decided to share my own views on whether or not your need to use a graphic designer for your business.

Don’t get me wrong, graphic designers certainly have their place, but they can be very expensive to use, not all, but in my personal experience, they have tended to be. Many like to appear as if they have more expertise then they do, and will “sell themselves” as having an insight to marketing, or even website design.

If you are considering using a graphic designer, it may be worth you checking out these other credentials rather than taking them at face value as graphic design, marketing, and website design all require different techniques to be effective.

If you are looking to brand, or re-brand your company, then talking to a graphic designer may be worthwhile – their expertise is in telling you what colours work with what colours, help you gain the “feel” you are looking for in your business – but unless they have got some background in marketing they may not understand the psychology of the colour combinations for example, and if they don’t have a background in website design, they may come up with a design that looks fantastic, but is a nightmare to actually use, and likewise to be found in the search engines.

It is often best to talk to a marketing expert first, discuss with them what you want to get out of your image, who your target audience is, and get their advice on the sort direction you should take, and then talk to a graphic designer to help your “finish off” the look, tidy up the images and give you a clean, sharp edge.

In my opinion it is best to use specialists for the areas they specialise in, if you are looking for marketing advice – contact a marketing consultancy, if you are looking for website design and Search Engine Optimisation, look for a specialist company that does that, if you are looking for someone to make eye catching graphics, then speak to a graphic designer. Don’t fall into the trap of “one man for all jobs” – although at first glance it can appear a cheaper solution then paying multiple people, in the long term you are likely to find you are paying a higher cost when the “one box for all” approach doesn’t work.

After all, you wouldn’t hire a carpenter to fit a new carpet, so why go to a graphic designer for your business, unless it is graphics you want?