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How to Find the Right Graphic Designer for Your Business

Updated on March 11, 2015
Great graphic design can help you stand out from your competitors
Great graphic design can help you stand out from your competitors | Source

Introduction

If you're in business, you know how important it is to stand out and have a consistent, easily recognizable brand. One of the most effective ways of creating a distinctive look and feel for your website, marketing materials and more is by hiring a good graphic designer.

A graphic designer can work closely with you to develop the style and flavor of all the visual elements of your business. They can take your ideas about your business and turn them into eye-catching designs that grab the attention of your customers.

This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you find a designer, interview them, provide a brief and work with them to create a unique look, feel and approach for your business and brand. We'll explore:

  • How a graphic designer can help
  • Getting recommendations
  • Reviewing portfolios
  • Contacting designers
  • Interviewing your shortlist
  • Making arrangements
  • Creating a brief
  • Expressing your vision
  • Creating and finalizing the designs

How a graphic designer can help

Graphic designers are there to help your business stand out.

A good graphic designer will consult with you to find out exactly what you need from them. Whether you're looking to refresh your brand, you want a logo design, or you need an eye-catching advert, your designer will listen to your needs and deliver on them.

They should act as both a consultant and as a creative resource that can bring your thoughts and words to life.

Getting recommendations

Talk to your business associates, colleagues and network and get recommendations - One of the best ways to find a graphic designer is through recommendations from people that you trust.

If you've noticed some good design on someone else's website, business cards or ads, talk to them about their designer. Speak with entrepreneurs in your business network and find out who they have had positive experiences with.

The approach and creativity of designers can vary hugley
The approach and creativity of designers can vary hugley | Source

Review the websites and portfolios of some graphic designers

Start looking at some portfolios and samples of work from graphic designers. Many of them will have examples of their designs on their websites and this will give you a good idea on if they would be right for you.

Although many designers can vary their styles and approaches to meet your needs, having an impressive, original portfolio is a great starting point.

Contact some designers and find out about them

Next, you should call some graphic designers to get an idea of what they can do for you. Find out what types of services they offer, the approach that they take, how good they are at communicating and get an idea of their rates.

Ask if they would be able to send you more samples of the type of work that they have completed and ask about the types of clients that they work with. This should help you create a shortlist of designers that you could work with.

A good graphic designer can create an iconic brand and image for your business
A good graphic designer can create an iconic brand and image for your business | Source

Formally interview your shortlist

Create a set of questions that you want to ask each designer. This could cover things like rates, number of revisions, how they want to receive briefs from you, contracts, turnaround times, guarantees of work and more.

Once you've completed your interview process, you should be able to select a designer that you want to work with. If you're still not sure and have two or more designers that you like, ask them if they would complete a small piece of work for you for free to help you decide.

Make arrangements with your designer

Once you know who you are going to work with, make formal arrangements with them. They will probably have a contract, terms and conditions that you need to agree to.

Read through these in detail to make sure that you are happy with any proposals. The contract should be very clear and set out rates, the revision process, guarantees of work and more.

Create your brief

The set of requirements that you provide to a graphic designer to complete work is known as a brief. Most designers will help you to put your brief together and guide you on the type of questions that you need to answer.

The brief is your chance to express what you want out of the design process, share your ideas, provide examples of other work that you like and much more. The content of the brief will change depending on the designer, but generally the more information that you can provide, the better.

Designers may surprise you with their visions
Designers may surprise you with their visions | Source

Express your vision clearly

In your brief, set out your vision for the type of design that you need as clearly as you can. If you have an idea of colors, fonts, layouts or other design elements, include them.

Remember though that the brief is a starting point, and that a graphic designer should be able to take your requirements and turn them into an original approach and design.

Allow the designer to create their designs

Once you have submitted your brief, it's time to let the designer do their work. They may send you revisions of the design from time to time to make sure that you're happy with progress. Use these revisions to provide feedback and guide the designer in the right direction.

Finalize the design

You and the designer will need to work closely together to make sure that you get the final results that you want. You'll normally be able to request tweaks to the design until it meets your needs.

A day in the life of a graphic designer

Have you ever used a graphic designer?

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In closing

Spending some time and effort finding the right graphic designer is definitely worth it.

With the right combination of creativity and expertise, you'll end up with a beautiful, unique look and feel that captures the essence of your business.

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