Don't be your own client (if you can afford it)

Written on 2013-03-27

I am a logo designer. People look at me funny when I tell them that I didn’t design my own logo but hired someone else.

In fact, I didn’t design my own stationary, nor did I contribute much to my website design. Even the text on my website was carefully crafted by someone else.

It has cost me a small fortune, but I regret nothing. Here’s why:

High Quality

If I want the best, I have to hire the best. When I try to do everything myself, I am sacrificing quality. I am merely fooling myself when I think I can do it all myself, I am not a polymath. Making a custom type logo, writing successful copy, or designing a unique websites, requires a lot of experience, expertise, and skill.

Just because I think I am good enough to pull something off, does not mean I am. I hired the experts, because I will never know how much I actually don’t know.

I smile every time I see my logo and stationary, it just makes me feel happy. Sergio Shapiro did a great job; he truly is a craftsman. People compliment me on the design of the invoice I send them. How awesome is that?

Awesome sketches by Sergey

Larkef logo sketches by Sergey Shapiro


I tell my clients never to go cheap when it comes to design. Good design always pays off. Craftsmanship adds credibility. People do actually judge the book by its cover. Don’t be like the president of the World Bank, that shows up with holes in his socks.

It is often the small details that cause a subconscious decision. I don’t want subpar design to get in the way. My first impression better be good.

I hired Nicola Evans to write my website copy, because she knows what she is doing. My writing was sloppy and boring. The new text is fresh, to the point, and sharp like a two-edged sword.

More Time

There is a folder on my computer with 30 .psd files with failed website mockups. After wasting more hours than I dare to admit, I hired my brother Jonno Riekwel.

I should have hired him from the start, he has done a marvelous job. Instead I should have used my time to work for clients, making money. Sometimes the obvious affordable option turns out to be more expensive.

I have stopped wasting hours trying to do things myself. Talent and skills are the result of hard work, I now hire those that have put in the effort to become skilled.

tl;dr (Too long; didn’t read)

Stop being your own client. Don’t settle for designs that are ‘good enough’. If your (potential) client may see it, it better be darn good. You are losing money if it is not.

Invest money in good design. Hire a proper logo designer, web designer, copywriter, or photographer. You won’t regret it.

Want to congratulate, thank, reply, or complain? Shoot me an email or send me a tweet.