You may not get it ‘Your Way’

There are many online services where you can get your business cards, website or logo produced for bargain basement prices, but there is also a catch. It’s not that there is anything wrong with any of these services, it’s just that they fulfil one purpose only – price. If price is the only driver in your decision for any of these products then these sites are the way to go, but they aren’t for everyone and they certainly shouldn’t be used as the benchmark for comparing prices to that of a local designer or printer and here’s why:

1. Templates. Lets say a company has 100 website templates to choose from and they are all £50. This is a great bargain if you find a template you like, but if you don’t then you can’t expect a local web designer to match that price. Why? Well the templates are sold at £50 a go to everyone so the cost (in time) to create each one is recouped over time because the template is sold hundreds (perhaps thousands) of times. Your web designer is creating a site for you and you only, not a template for resale.

2. Off the shelf. I’ve seen logo design websites claiming that 2 of their designers will produce 5 ideas for your logo with unlimited rounds of amends and all for £50. You may get lucky, but I would say that if you care about how your brand is represented and you want a proper bespoke logo rather than one created from clipart then this is going to take time. Typically I would expect to: take a detailed brief from a client, analyse what is required, research possible fonts, sketch a few ideas, produce a number of initial concepts and through a few (but not ‘unlimited’) rounds of amends reduce and refine the selection until the client has their finished logo and is entirely satisfied with it. I would be surprised if you would get that level of care and attention to your job from someone offering to churn it out for £50.

3. Who is the artworker? With some sites you are able to upload your own imagery or even your own artwork, which is great as long as you have the time. However, if you are employing someone else to spend their time doing it then you need to pay them. Even on  the template sites you have to enter all your details in the correct places, select the colours, move the elements around and then approve the design, so the website is saving money by getting you to do more of the work

4. Volume. In terms of business card printing, these companies are more than likely printing your cards on a huge sheet with many other customer’s cards. This will be on a press that continually prints business cards on a set paper stock and only in 4-colour process  – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your local printer changes the colours and the paper stock to match the needs of each customer’s job, which means the settings on the press have to be changed – which takes time and therefore costs money. You won’t be able to get any of your printed artwork produced using spot colours using these companies as they don’t run them.

5. Service. Don’t get me wrong I am not suggesting that you get bad service from these companies, but you can’t expect the same personal service as your local provider, it just stands to reason. The person operating the press is looking many different customer’s artwork all at the same time – they’ll be checking for colour consistency, but they may not spot a mistake in your artwork (such as a spelling error) whereas your local printer might. You wont be able to have a chat with a designer and get suggestions of what you could do with your artwork to improve it, you may not be able to ask them questions at all. Most of all, you are not likely to get the rapport that comes from a building a long standing relationship. That’s not a criticism of these companies – they offer a great way to produce your work cheaply – but in doing so their customer interaction is going to be more limited, because their income per customer dictates as such.

The internet is awash with cheap suppliers offering a ‘mass-produced’ experience, but they are not the greatest value for everyone. If you feel that you need a more bespoke experience then please contact us today and we’d be pleased to help.

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