It is misleading to think that just because designers and desktop publishers now use computers that their services generally are cheaper, as stated in "Desktop Publishing Can Help Slash Costs" (Feb. 1). I made the switch to computers, and my prices have not gone down. Here's why:
First, while it's true that computers speed up portions of the work, that portion represents a minor part of the design process. Research, concept or "thinking" time, copy writing, photography/illustration, client meetings, printing and pre-press supervision are all common design activities, and computers play almost no role in these and other important aspects of a marketing communications project.
Second, the article quoted someone who said the technology "allows us to do things for a fraction of the cost." That misses a crucial point: Who is paying for the technology?
The capital investment required to purchase the computer equipment must be recovered and is appropriately passed on to the customer in the pricing of the service. Otherwise, the supplier is losing money.