Graphic Design: DIY or Hire
There are many cases when a DIY or "Do it Yourself" is appropriate. It can save money while also making the end result personalized to you as you are the one completing the task. However, there are certain occasions when getting the work done by a professional is going to be more beneficial to you in the long run. The following are a few components/situations where in our experience it is better to DIY or Hire. In any case, it is all about your skill and comfort level.
The creation of your name (whether it is your business or you as a brand yourself), you can do this yourself. It will involve some research to see if your name can transfer over to an available domain name as well as isn't registered for other businesses. You don't want to have a lawsuit appear later down the line when you are successful due to an issue with trademarks/copyright. However, a name is very personal. Professionals can help you by doing this research and customer research, but this is also something you can do alone if you are committed to putting the time and energy in.
Colour Scheme: DIY
The colours for both your website and brand are something you can develop yourself. Once again, it requires research. There are free resources online on the psychology behind colours that can help you with this. It is important to keep in mind what sort of tone you are trying to convey and if you are trying to inspire a certain emotional reaction that will later become associated with your brand. For instance, McDonald's has red and yellow: red is a stimulating colour and can increase heart rate, leading to increased appetite, while yellow is happy and easily spotted for their road signs.
Layout: DIY or Hire
The layout of your website, including where headers are, image placement, menu on the left or top... these can all be done yourself, if you are using a hosting platform you are comfortable with or are tech-savvy. You can play around and insert content where you want. The reason to hire a professional is if you aren't comfortable with adjusting your website design or aren't sure about how you want your site to appear. Professionals can help you design a clean website that is easily navigated.
Word/Content: DIY or Hire
You can do this yourself for sure. However, some people aren't the most eloquent and that is fine. If it is not your strong suit, then it is better to hire someone who has experience as a content developer to ensure that your content is engaging and effectively represents the point you are trying to get across.
Unless you are skilled in photography--and have a professional camera--it is better to hire a professional. The photographs you have on your website are an extension of your brand. Additionally, how the images turn out can influence your conversion rates. Images that are poor quality or blurry can be a turn off for a lack of positive aesthetic reasons, but they can also make other's question the quality of your brand. Additionally, images are taken into account in page ranking. The poorer the quality, the negative impact that has on your overall organic standings.
Once again, unless you are skilled in graphic design for creating a digital logo, it is better to hire out. This logo will often be a key identifier for you and put on different kinds of marketing merchandise (from emails to business cards to posters and even shirts). As a result, a clear yet creative logo is vital.
Marketing Products: DIY/Hire
For items "off" your website, such as stickers, it is best that at least the artist portion of it (such as your logo) is professionally done, but the product itself you can often complete alone. When you are creating stickers, posters, pamphlets, etc, there are many free resources to teach you how to align your components and you can get them printed at a shop or done yourself if you have the proper equipment.
Everything that goes into your site and brand should be an accurate representation. It should be a driver or your mission and values. If they don't align, even if it is professional done, it can hurt you. That is why some customers choose to have everything professionally done (especially if they don't have their own skilled team to take care of this) to ensure brand consistency. Every graphic is a transmission of information about your brand and as we've discussed before, the first impression is crucial. The LiveFive Web Design team is here to assist you in all your web design needs, from graphic design to marketing.