After all, you have a computer, software and a printer, right?
A little history, if you please...
Before 1986, companies hired designers to produce even the simplest of marketing materials due to the technical skills and specialized equipment required. Then came the desktop publishing revolution in the late 1980s. Organizations soon realized they didn't have to hire out for design work anymore, and other organizations could finally afford to create their own materials. Receptionists, CAD Technicians, PR staff now became the "in-house" design resource. At the same time, many individuals set up shop as "Graphic Designers" when in fact, they were simply Desktop Publishers.
With this new revolution in full swing, companies were free to produce as much as they desired – and many did. As desktop published materials hit the streets, something interesting happened. Much of the marketing materials looked the same or were simply unappealing, thus defeating the number one point of marketing – standing out.
Companies who understood the power of design, stayed the course.
It is not coincidental that organizations that understood the power of great design maintained the services of the professionals. They understood that it's not the tools that count but the expertise behind them. This is as true today as it was then.
An experienced, professional Graphic Designer understands that great design is a result of understanding the message and intended audience, then effectively creating a visual expression (typography, image direction) that resonates and communicates value.
Desktop publishing has its place and is a great resource that empowers organizations large and small to produce cost-effective materials. However, if your intent is to develop marketing and promotional materials, consult a professional. The layout of a marketing piece (that could help or hurt your image) is only part of the process.
The Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) certification denotes a quality signal to buyers of graphic design services, helping them distinguish between graphic designers and persons with little or no training who purport to offer graphic design services.
Paul Gomirato, RGD
PG Advertising and Design