I once worked with a graphic designer who told me the Mac and its software were just tools, same as pen and paper. He was 100% right. Just having the tools does not mean you know how to use them, or better yet, use them effectively. Many people today have access to InDesign, Publisher, Dreamweaver, Photoshop and a myriad of other design software. And these people use these tools without any clue as to what goes into design. You can see the results in poorly designed, often unattractive brochures, ads and other marketing communications materials. It’s the same with writing. We all know how to write, but not everyone knows how to write well.
Design is the first thing we notice about a piece, whether it be the color scheme or the layout, the font or the images. A good designer knows how to entice you to read the piece and also to use the design to communicate certain elements of the product or service. I have been fortunate to work with great designers and I have also worked with mediocre designers. There is a difference. But either way, any professional designer is better than an amateur who thinks he or she knows what she is doing. We should all acknowledge our areas of expertise and leave some stuff to the professionals. It makes a tremendous difference. Here are some things a professional considers: readability, flow of information, aesthetics, color palette, suitable typeface and amount of white space. Another item that a professional brings to the table: creativity.
You wouldn’t go to an amateur to build your house, why would you use an amateur to create your brand identity for the world to see?