This is definitely a post for someone who has been teaching indoor guard for a while with no budget... or a warning for those of you just getting into it.
The design process is a fun thing where you toss around ideas with your team, other instructors, designer, or whoever you have to toss around ideas with. You come up with the most beautiful costumes, create intricate flags, and sketch out floor designs that make your heart flutter. You put everything together and the design is so incredible that in your head you've already won circuit championships and you are taking it to the next level by signing your team up for WGI!!
Then you check out your budget for the year, see that you have a little money. So you're like ok, we will skimp a little bit on the uniforms by leaving out the head piece, purchasing the cheaper version from Amazon, or going barefoot instead of using the glistening shoes. Then you look into buying your lovely flag design digitally printed and see that it's twice the cost of having a flag pieced together with the same colors, so you go with the money-saving option. There's also a guard in the next town over trying to sell a hand-painted floor that is similar to the digital design you imagined so you buy that used off of their hands. Pretty soon, your show is a mere mirage of what you had imagined.
The thing is, we have to keep from getting discouraged at this point. Remember what color guard is really all about; beautiful flags on the floor. Art in motion. Even without the perfectly designed show, you can still create something great and beautiful. It takes the students', instructors', and parents' beliefs in the show to bring it to life. The skill and performance quality are the portions of the show truly judged. That's what counts.