Quality is a case that is going down the tubes and is being replaced with the word “value”. Why pay $50 for a product when you can get a similar one for $10 made in China? Why pay $500 for a logo when someone will do it for $50?
Freelancers get caught up in this world. They think they need to compete with those other designers because they won’t get any jobs that way. They labeled their services as “cheap”. I saw a post by a fellow alumni (although years later than me) in an advertising venue for “cheap” design. I know the kind of work that comes from the college I went to and I visited the portfolio of said alumni. The work was good. Very good. It was truly quality work that wasn’t worth “cheap”. You need to value yourself. If your work is good, why allow the bottom feeders to take advantage of it? Don’t sell yourself short. You are worth more. If someone isn’t willing to work with your rates, they aren’t worth working with because they won’t value you. They don’t care about what YOU do, just that you can do it. If people didn’t value what they had to offer they wouldn’t be in business. It works both ways.
The same goes for businesses. Do you ever consider anything made in China a quality product? Cheap labor tends to produce shoddy results. They break. They can’t stand the test of time. They don’t dedicate the proper time to test their products (how many lead/toxins/breaking product recalls do you hear about?). The same thing goes for design. If you are going to hire a designer, “cheap” is going to give you a product that was not properly thought out. You can’t dedicate the time required to produce a quality product. You might see those website deals like on Intuit, but guess what? You still need to have a logo made. You have to pay a monthly service fee. Even at the base package level you are limited on page amounts. You can’t even really “own” the design. In fact, even though they offer a design service for the website, it’s about the same price as me (and I offer copyright transfer on layout – though at an additional cost – at least you have the option).
Think about the following that adds value:
- Client/Audience Research
- Copyright Transfer
- Color Options
- Style Guides
- Fully Customized Design
- Ease of Communication/Accessibility
- Refreshing an existing site
- Adding a CMS to an existing site
- Fully HTML/CSS-based layouts (no tables except for data!)
- A site tested in multiple browsers
- A site tested to meet validity checks
In the long run, it’s worth it. It’s a two-way road. We have to value each other.