Know Photoshop? Great, but odds are you’re still not a designer

I’ve played a lot of great flight simulator games, sometimes managing to avoid crashing on takeoff. That doesn’t make me a pilot. I’ve also seen more episodes of “Cops” than I care to admit. That doesn’t make me a policeman.

Like my faux experiences as a pilot and policeman, too many well-meaning credit union marketers try their luck with advertising layout and design. In some cases, it’s understandable. After all, if you are a one-person shop, it may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and that you must handle all aspects of your marketing, including design.

While I can sympathize with that plight, I need to let you in on a little secret. In order for your marketing to really take off and fly, you should leave the layout and design element of it to the professionals. This isn’t to sound snobby or condescending — far from it. Advertising layout and design is both an art and a science, one whose abilities are both inherited and taught/trained. Those gifted enough to practice layout and design often spend years honing their craft, both in academic and workplace environments.

Need a few more reasons to consider leaving design work to the pros? Consider the following.

  • Expense misconceptions. The expense of investing in a designer doesn’t necessarily have to break your marketing budget. Sure, as with most things, you can spend just about whatever you want. However, with many qualified and talented designers, you can hire them to do quality work for a reasonable price. The payoff? Your marketing materials look ten-times better and the stress and hassle of design work is off your shoulders, leaving you with more time to focus on other things.
  • True collaboration. Designers truly interested in your credit union success won’t just cram their ideas down your throat. Professional designers take the vision you have for creative materials, run with it and knock your socks off with the end product. They will take the time to listen to you, learn the ins and outs of your particular credit union and mold the vision you have for materials into tangible results.
  • Brand protection. Skilled designers will work on your materials with a holistic approach that both appreciates and protects your brand. As branding becomes an increasingly important element of business marketing, your credit union should look for design professionals that respect its brand and work hard to protect it during the creation of new materials.
  • Herd mentality. Hiring a professional designer can help your material stand out from the herd. Have you seen how many marketing materials banks and credit unions pump out these days? The average consumer is hit by thousands of advertising messages a day — a fair number of those from your direct competitors. A great way for your credit union to rise above this din is to work with a qualified professional designer that creates materials that grab and hold your target market’s attention.
  • Money saver. Playing it cheap actually costs you in the long run. Churning out homegrown marketing materials may seem to save you money up front — but in the long run, you’ll end up paying more to make it look right.

There’s nothing wrong with a do-it-yourself attitude when it comes to most things. Flying an airplane or conducting an undercover drug bust are not among those things (unless you happen to be a professional pilot or policeman). Credit union marketing professionals that both recognize the limits of their design experience and the importance of having the best possible looking marketing collateral available will understand this and make the investment of hiring a professional designer.

Jeff Kjoller

Jeff Kjoller

Jeff has extensive experience in branding, art direction and graphic design, having served employers and clients in a creative capacity for more than twenty-five years. After graduating from the University ... Web: Details