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Save Graphic Designers from the Flood of Free Design

Since ancient times, the dilemma of free graphic design still haunts many graphic designers in the world today. Indeed the world has changed. Technology is developing so rapidly compared to ten or twenty years ago, but not a few graphic designers are still "stuck" in a struggle to get a fair price for their profession. There are some people or clients who actually realize the value of creativity, but because they often get free service, they tend to be stingy. Or once they are willing to pay high, they demand nothing.

In general, creative design has actually experienced an increase in the value of appreciation which continues to increase from time to time. This means that professionally competent graphic designers should be able to compete and be able to occupy important strategic positions. However, in Indonesia in particular, appreciation is very slow, even more often than not, it is underestimated and not appreciated as it should be. Or worse, a design process can degrade at a 'free' level.

The free design referred to here is more than just a friend asking for free help. However, in the advertising industry, the reality on the ground is that there are still many advertising agencies that practice free pitching. Anyway, as long as all media projects can be taken, creative work including graphic design will be accepted at any price, even for free, it doesn't matter. This ultimately changes the perspective of the client who thinks that creative work is of no higher value than printing or billboard construction costs. Lack of attention from the advertising industry itself has worsened the graphic design ecosystem.

From the level of a graphic designer, is there a role for them to contribute to reducing the value of creative design? Of course there are, though not all. The fact is that there are still design companies, independent or freelance graphic designers who are forced to join in setting the lowest possible prices in order to keep getting a job and can compete with 'dabbling' graphic designers who charge meager designs. Some clients who have the 'important is cheap' principle will naturally see quality second after price. The worst thing is that there are a lot of “real” graphic designers who can't stand in the midst of price competition.

Factors from the creative industry themselves create free designs. Now is the time, nothing to hide anymore. Let clients know there is a design budget and a production budget. If this is done jointly by the advertising and design industry players, it is hoped that it will be a positive education to clients that creative design has value.

The creative community and designers must come together to unite the vision and mission. Design schools and universities that have a Visual Communication Design major must also contribute to conveying to the community that design has no small economic value and can increase competitiveness. Clients must be aware of our existence as a design service provider and not be underestimated anymore. In the future, I hope that improving design prices is no longer just a dream.

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