Argument for Design

Category: design • 3 minute read.
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This article written by Paul Wolke. Published on December 2, 2020.

There are dozens of interpretations of the diagram of Good, Fast, and Cheap. You May Pick Any Two.

  • Good and Fast - But it won’t be cheap
  • Good and Cheap - But it won’t be done fast
  • Fast and Cheap - But it won’t be good


If you’re used to working with a designer, that’s been at it for some time, it’s a painful realization when someone else takes longer to do the same thing. With all the tools that are available today, it is easy to get results quickly, but also easy to fall into design traps. For the everyday designer, there’s a mountain of choices for creating visual content. We can complete design work online, with tools on a tablet or phone, and traditional desktop software. These choices exist for the professional, too. However, they may not choose the latest and greatest tools–and that has merit. A seasoned designer can get a variety of results from same common tools that have been around for a while without needing to rely on the latest and greatest software gadgetry.

Getting quick results from new tools like pre-made templates or filters have their place in the world. That convenience comes at a cost of being “stuck” with a design. Too often, elements of those pre-fabricated results are uneditable and limit the flexibility in the design. Maintaining flexibility is one of a designer’s greatest tools. That ability to go back and edit the small foundational details has the power to leap large design hurtles.


Hourly rates and project quotes can vary. Designers early in their career typically start with lower rates to make themselves more marketable. They can run into scenarios where limitations in their lack of experience lead them to either not accomplish a job, or put more time into it than what they quoted. Designers with proven experience will finish projects quickly and will charge more money.

It all washes out to be about the same. Let me explain. Paying the higher dollar amount to the experienced designer will nearly ensure that you get a high-quality product turned around quickly. Paying the lower dollar amount to the budding artist may take a little longer and may not come back to you as polished as you might like. It’s not all black and white, though. Accepting work from a junior designer makes them better at their craft.


When it works, it works! In the world of creative, having that connection is like having a golden ticket. Designers with empathy for a client’s needs will surely produce a result that is more in line with everyone’s expectations. That’s a key piece for any seasoned or new designer. Being able to connect with the story that the client wants and needs to tell reduces time in many areas. The timeline is shorter. The time to create work is smoother, and there are fewer revisions.


Whether it be in dollars, time, or another metric, evaluate the costs of hiring a designer (photographer, web developer, video editor, music composer, or any soul doing creative work, etc) to find what will bring you the best value for your needs.

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