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Branding Etiquette – Rule #2: Respect Professionalism

Countless times, I’ve heard referrals and potential clients express their distaste for paying a designer for “what I can get done on VistaPrint for FREE.” By all means, I believe I speak for most graphic designers, that we encourage you to exhaust those options. But, if you choose to do so, you must show respect for what we do as professionals before you can expect anyone to show respect for you and your brand. It would be a waste of our valuable time (typically at $25 an hour) to haggle with you over why you shouldn’t have to pay X dollars for the time we dedicate to making you look good and professional. That time would be better spent marketing our services to others who respect the fact that they are receiving professionalism, personal attention and unique products and designs.


Above, you will find one of VistaPrint’s most common business card designs. You can customize this template and have 250 printed for $20 or less. But, have you considered the likelihood that you and several million other people might have the same design as well? Is that something you feel that you can take pride in? Not likely at all.

This design was made specifically for The Computer Guy by B-EZ Graphix. The design elements, technique, contrast, colors and typography all were matched to coordinate with the logo and brand of the company. Whereas, VistaPrint and its doppelgangers push generic designs that don’t offer the personal attention, responsiveness for revisions and professionalism as graphic designers.

So, if your budget is tight, either negotiate or exhaust your interim options with VistaPrint’s more affordable services. Otherwise, respect what we do as designers so that we can maintain our respect for your brand and you as a client. Nevertheless, it is always my recommendation that you prepare yourself before approaching a professional and giving your pitch. Be ready to invest in your brand. #MakeYourself

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