Now I am not normally one to pass judgement on other people and other companies, but today I received a flyer through my letterbox from a startup website design company based in my area. Whenever I see a new company in our industry the first thing I do is log on to their website and have a look at their design portfolio and list of clients.
Whilst their website was nothing hideous, it did feature the usual cliched stock images of women using laptops (I am not sure why they are always using laptops? Do women not use desktop computers?). Alarm bells rang when the rather small portfolio included a website which showcased the musical talents of someone by the same name as the director of the web design company. It was then that I thought ‘Oh no, another one’.
We seem to be overrun (in the South Devon area at least) by hundreds of people claiming to be web designers and graphic designers who offer their services at ridiculous prices and who offer such a wide range of services they could never be a specialist.
Similarly, I came across a website advertising the services of a Torquay based web design company which also sent alarm bells ringing when I read their list of services as follows:
- Website design
- Logo design
- Setting up Internet Connections
- Setting up printers
- Setting Up Ebay / Facebook / MySpace accounts
…and the list goes on. The most worrying thing about the above company is their price list. They are currently advertising logo design from between £45 and £60 (although this is free when you order a web design package!). You can also take advantage of their ’Free Home Page Trial’ in which you can have the home page of your website designed with no obligation to buy! Now, as I say, I am not normally one to comment on how other people run their companies, but this is surely pricing themselves out of the market (not to mention making it harder for the rest of us).
The worst thing about the companies I have mentioned is the quality of work produced. A quick check against the WC3 Validator reported over 103 errors on the home page alone (and 124 errors on the first example I mentioned). This combined with dead links, links which open in a new window for no reason, slow download speeds and table based layouts all show the quality of workmanship is simply not there.
The scary thing is that a quick Google search showed there are many more companies offering the same cheap services.
Reading other blogs it seems that this is something that all designers feel quite passionate about (especially in relation to logo design). I recently read a post by Tara on her Graphic Design Blog in which she tells of an incident in which a company had come to a designer friend of hers after having had their newly designed logo added to there company stationary and to a fleet of vehicles, only to discover that another company (from the same industry as them) already uses that very same logo. It seems that it is only after an incident like this that a client learns the benefit of seeking a skilled and professional designer, rather than trying to save a few pounds and getting it done cheap.
However, not all potential clients have had this experience and it can be frustrating having to explain why our prices are higher than the company down the road who will complete the whole project for a lot less money and throw a free logo design in for good measure!
Don’t get me wrong, there are many talented web designers and programmers in the South Devon area, some of which we have been lucky enough to work with but there seems to be a new web / design company cropping up every day!
We recently wrote a blog post about the funny things clients say and ask for and the general feedback from our readers was that it is our obligation to educate our clients to the reasoning and processes behind our industry. The problem is, businesses are based on money, and it’s very hard to explain to the client the difference between a £45 logo design and the price that would be charged by a professional graphic designer.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you feel there are lots of companies in your area letting the industry down? How do you explain to your clients the differences between the service you offer compared to a much cheaper company? Or are you a designer / company who offers cheap services and feels you have a valid reason for this?
More articles on this subject:
Why logo design does not cost $5.00 - By Jacob at Just Creative Design
6 Reasons Why a Logo Should Cost More than your Lunch - By Tara at Graphic Design Blog
Posted by Steve