Seems like more and more small businesses are opting to hire cheap designers rather than hire a professionals to create branding, presentation and collateral that represents their business.

I understand that budget can come into play when making their decision but even if that is the case it’s important to know the difference between a graphic designer and the cheap alternative the “Pixel Pushers” as they’re commonly referred to in the industry.

The problem is these pixel pushers are very accessible nowadays through sites like craigslist, fiverr, 99designs and other crowdsource sites as well as social media and businesses are leaning on them for marketing solutions.

They are passing themselves as graphic designers when they’re just people with copies of photoshop looking to earn some extra spending money.

Don’t get me wrong you can get lucky and find decent designers on some of those sites but they are far and few between and the odds of working with someone who is not capable producing quality work is greater than hiring a professional directly.

The aesthetics of a logo, ebook cover, business card, flyer or any sort of presentation materials is not always the problem because I have seen many customers that are happy with the end results from these pixel pushers but when the shiny toy has worn off that’s when they realize that as good as the design might be it does not reflect their business or the goal of the presentation.

I can sympathise with those that think they are working with real graphic designers because after all it says it right on their title “Professional Graphic Design for $5” or something ridiculous like that but remember professional graphic design will never be cheap or fast and if someone is offering to do something that seems too good to be true it probably is.

Unlike other professions where there are laws in place to stop fraud anyone can call themselves professional graphic designers and believe me I’ve seen people who have no business offering graphic design service label themselves pros.

Graphic design is a very complex trade and not many understand this. They think graphic designers just push buttons on a computer and produce instant results. It’s very easy to only look at the end results and say “I can do that” or “that shouldn’t take very long”.

Designing something that speaks, motivates and represents your business is nothing to be taken lightly and if done the right way can takes days, weeks and even sometimes months to produce.

The pixel pushers are just spitting out graphics like some kind of machine and have no problem taking your money and why should they after all many will settle and sometimes even love what is given to them for such a low price.

Many business owners, startups and entrepreneurs do not know what good design is or don’t care because they are only focused on making money so they are content with anything given to them.

For those that think good design versus cheap design is a matter of interpretation this may be true for the one requesting the designs but when it comes to depending on customer’s impression and awareness it doesn’t matter what they think it matters what their customers think and their perception.

A good indication that you are dealing with a professional and not just someone who designs graphics is if they are the ones asking all the questions.

A graphic designer needs to get to know their client and their business in order to produce something that not only looks good but will produce the return of investment a client hopes for.

My suggestions to finding a good graphic designer is to avoid these website claiming to provide graphic design at bargain prices and ask family and friends to recommend someone they know. If you are part of an online community don’t hesitate to spread the word on your search for a adequate designer.