March 12th, 2010 by Pete Stevenson
Anyone can go online and find dozens of offers for free design services for logos, business cards, postcards, flyers, websites, and just about any other advertising presentation a business might need.
So why would you ever pay for design services?
There’s usually a pretty big catch to these special deals. The designer, printer, or advertising company owns your company’s creative materials. This usually isn’t a problem as long as you continue doing business with the same company who designed your presentation materials. But if you ever need to hire a new designer, shop around for another printer, or run your ad with a different publisher, you’ll need to start all over from scratch.
Before taking advantage of a free design offer, double check to find out what your creative rights are.
- Will the company provide you with the original creative materials upon completion of the project?
- Are you allowed to modify and alter the original artwork however you see fit?
- Are you allowed to re-use the creative in other advertisements or marketing materials?
If not, consider whether or not you have any need to re-use the same creative presentation again.
And don’t forget to do your homework and shop around for the best total design, production, and advertising rate.
Paying extra to contract your own design work may seem more expensive up front. But you probably aren’t getting the best advertising rate or printing price with the free design package. Also consider the long term value of owning your creative materials which you can use indefinitely versus re-designing your materials every time you change your production and marketing contracts.