Branding is vital if you want to make an unforgettable impression on your current and future clients. More so, branding will define what the client can expect from you, and what sets you apart from your competition – branding defines who and what you are! A key element in branding is having a graphic designer assist you in bringing that idea (that emotion, or spirit) of who you are to life. In many cases, hiring a full-time on-site graphic designer is just not affordable − this is where a virtual graphic design assistant comes in.
What is a virtual graphic design assistant?
Simply put, a virtual graphic design assistant is someone who works remotely to complete your graphic design tasks. Therefore this means graphic outsourcing the work to a consultant who has studied graphic design, and used professionally designed software to produce high-quality creations that match your brief and your brand identity. The projects that such people normally work on include everything from product and packaging design, digital marketing material, book covers, to social media creations.
Can’t I just use Canva for my designs?
Some believe that using Canva is just as good as hiring a graphic designer. However, this is not true – there is a vast difference between work completed per this (or any other) web-based design tool, and per a personal graphic designer. Canva has made graphic design easy, and especially for those without any graphic design knowledge to produce a series of creative designs, making graphic design accessible. However, one should also look at the quality and the difference between creative products on this platform and those done by a professional – and there is a remarkable difference. To explain this difference, think of Canva as the microwave in the kitchen − it does not make you a chef. You can knock up a simple meal quickly, but it’s not going to wow anyone. In fact, all the microwave will do is take up space, and if that is your goal, then fine. But if you are serious about your brand, and want to be unique, then this is the wrong approach.
The reality is that many businesses are struggling, especially with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and continued lockdowns and restrictions. However, there is a cost-effective approach that has worked for many international corporations. This can work equally well for a small business or start-up venture: namely, hiring a virtual graphic design assistant.
What are the benefits of hiring a virtual graphic design assistant?
Besides the benefit of saving up to 70% of your business outlay, there are several other benefits of hiring a virtual assistant over an on-site employee, never mind opting to go the Canva route. We should still state that Canva has its place. Students use Canva for promoting a social event. However, you are not a student − you are a business. You want professional work done that represents and differentiates you from your competition – and this is the main value of hiring a graphic designer.
Among the tasks a virtual graphic designer can complete are:
- website design
- social media posts
- branded stationary such as business cards and personalised corporate gifting
- print design such as book covers
- marketing material like brochures, flyers and posters
- branded cartoons
- And most importantly editing of images.
All of these tasks can be completed according to your unique design bible, to reflect your company’s mission and vision. In adhering to your brand identity, you need to ensure that your fronts are standardised, your style is consistent, the logo is applied correctly, and all themes or tag lines are used as they should.
Using an unprofessional online design tool does not allow for that bespoke look.
Much of the debate or misunderstanding about the value of graphic designers and the notion that they can be replaced by apps comes from managers, and mostly marketing managers and social media managers who fail to grasp the fundamental value of a graphic designer. This is truly a paradox, since it comes from those who should value the uniqueness of the brands they are the custodians of. At times, however, it appears that lethargy or their own lack of pride comes to the fore. The point remains that if you want a quality solution to your design needs, you must make use of a professional graphic designer, unless you want your brand to merge into the background and be a dull representation of who you are.