Why is the design so expensive?

“Why is it so expensive?” the five-word sentence that rings in most of the creative minds in our society.
Maldives, with a population less than 350K, has its head geared towards growth. Keeping almost the same pace, and some cases beyond, our little community of fishermen and farmers, has excelled to compete in the modern world. Exposed to the various cultures and trends, everyone wants to be recognized uniquely. “I WANT SOMETHING, HIP AND SOMETHING UNIQUE,”.
The current business ethics follows a well-executed guideline built by entrepreneurs across the world who owned and built empires. Our society has also started to crawl its first baby steps into these ethics and ideas passed on from various sources. The belief is set and followers are marching in their footsteps. I would like to take one of the most important key components of these ethics, dissect it down to what I do, for a living. Graphic Design and Content Development.

It is a growing skill set among Generation Y or the 90’s kids and filled with hours of learning in universities and colleges, tutorials and practice. Believe me or not, it’s not less than the hours spent on earning a pilot’s license.

Growing businesses are following the marketing trend of publicizing their productsand services via multimedia. The era of social media, has spread through every community and entity surrounding personal and professional lives like wildfire. Every corner is filled with billboards or flyers, posters and brochures, carefully created by us designers.

If we take you through a normal development of a brand logo, the process follows through several steps till it reaches its final form. It goes through hours and hours of research, sketches, trials and back and forth discussions with clients. Hours of changing and re-designing the same product till we reach clients goal. So it seems. The sad part is that this is half of what happens when such a project is carried out by a group of creative minds or an individual.

The endless research is a long and tiring process which takes a look inside the client’s head on how and why the brand was created, what and how would they want the brand to be pictured as, what are the current leaders in the market and so on. This leads to the sketching process which involves, more than 100 to 200 different sketches of the brand logo, usage of colors and theme follows after and when the sketch is APPROVED. NOT to be rude, but most clients take even more time in deciding the perfect piece which fits into their imaginative brand. Then comes in the development of the brand to create the perfect cohesive idea which is posted across every media and medium.

Now to the point where this article was written to. Where that design is flashed across eyes and ears ever so perfectly, the small and devoted designer or designers is given less recognition than they deserve for their tedious work. When there are artworks sold for millions across the world which have two shades of blue painted across a canvas, the canvas(design) created with minute and microscopic details is being asked to be sold for less than a few dollars.

This community has many professions such as lawyers and doctors  that are equally educated and worth their fee. Why, then, are creative minds in my profession full of individuals struggling through bills that is overdue due and projects that are mostly due? Where other professions are being requested to make time for their clients, us designers are being asked to give all the time we have even when there is none on the client’s end. The urgency of their requirements will grind every gear in the body of the said individual or group. But as a community, I would like to say that we stand proud on meeting the clients demands which is something that almost all of us have in common.

When the client needs their logo or brand to be as strong as Apple or Google, they also need to understand the FACT that these brand developers are being paid equally or handsomely if I say so, for their popularity. When the client needs the photos of their, products to be as sharp and stunning as the posters and 50 feet -Billboards at NY Times Square, the clients agree on open budgets and endless support in those flawless executions.

Designers need be recognized as the key helm holders in such design developments and need to be appreciated financially and professionally. Sadly, most business owners don’t even know that their most valuable asset in being among high rollers is something as small as their own LOGO.
Cheers to all Creatives around the world!

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