Every business needs graphic design.

Whether you’re selling taxidermy mouse art on Etsy or you have a brick and mortar downtown, you need a way to let people identify your goods or services as being uniquely yours.

Nothing says “Be My Valentine” like a dead mouse.

The good news is that like nearly anything you can place a price tag on, there are design options to fit any budget. Of course, the quality of what you get depends a lot on what you’re willing to spend. Figuring out which graphic design resource works for you is an awful lot like finding the right hair stylist. Go with me on this…

Microsoft Publisher is the Home Hair Color of Design.
Why spend $100 in a salon, when you can buy hair color at Walmart for as little as $3 a box? If you’re on a tight budget and want to try a DIY approach, there are lots of tools out there to help you manage on your own. Of course, you can usually spot a boxed hair job from a mile away.

The Beauty School Salon.
If you’re operating on that same tight budget but you want to outsource to someone with more experience, why not hire someone just starting out? They’re full of enthusiasm and eager to please, and are often willing to provide cheap labor while they’re building experience and creating their portfolio.

No Appointment Necessary.
Sometimes you just can’t beat the convenience of being able to walk into the nearest salon and have a professional help you right away. This no muss, no fuss approach is similar to using the art department of your local print shop.

Nothing Beats having your Own Stylist.
Of course I’m completely biased in this category because it relates most to what I do. That said, there’s nothing like finding that one perfect stylist who knows your preferences and is a pleasure to spend time with. (Shout out to Tracie at Beauty Mark!) Building a relationship with a graphic designer who understands your brand means you can give minimal direction and consistently expect great results.

The High-End Boutique.
There are two big things to know about high-end design firms – one, you will pay top dollar for their extensive services, and two, they will make you look like a freakin’ rock star.

I suppose I’d be remissed if I didn’t mention cheap crowdsourcing sites as an option. I’d say they’d be a lot like the “toddler with scissors” of the design world, but really, that’s a topic for another day.

So, have you ever been pampered in a high-end salon? Are you an expert do-it-yourselfer? Leave me a message in the comments below!