Writers can sometimes struggle to find good designers for their blog or social media channels. There are thousands of graphic designers available for hire but not all of them are good. So, how do you choose a graphic designer for your brand? Here are five points to look for when you are picking your new designer.
#1 Plan Ahead
If you are just starting out then it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Think not only of your design needs now but also in the future. Initially you might just want business cards but after that it is likely that you will need a whole lot more. If a graphic designer does not have the skills to accommodate your plans then it might be wise to keep looking. By using the same designer for all your main marketing materials you will maintain a level of consistency and this will assist with your brand awareness. Your future graphic design plans may include:
- Your company logo
- Printed stationary
- Web banners
- Website design
- Brochures and flyers
- Exhibition materials
You are going to be working with your graphic designer a lot so it’s important that your personalities gel well together. That said, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your graphic designer should think exactly the same way as you on every little thing. A good graphic designer will always look at things from a creative stand point whilst you are taking a business view. However, you should be able to communicate well, enjoy listening to each other’s ideas and share the same mutual goals for success. If in doubt, go with your gut instinct… do you like this person and want to work with them? If you have to think too hard then the answer may be no!
#3 Portfolio & References
Make an appointment with any prospective graphic designers to see their portfolio of work and we know for sure that a good graphic designer will be pleased and excited to show off their achievements. Steer clear of graphic designers who are unwilling to show samples of their work or unable to provide you with references that you can check. When you are given references don’t be afraid to check them. Some questions you should be asking include:
- How happy were you with the designs?
- Did the graphic designer meet deadlines?
- Did you enjoy working together?
- Would you use the designer again?
This isn’t necessarily a crucial factor but it may be. If your brand lies within a very niche industry then it might be better if your designer has experience within this industry. An example of this is the financial industry whose images and messaging are heavily governed by regulatory legislation. If you love your new design agency and they don’t have experience in your industry then it’s ok. However, you should carefully brief them about any restrictions, rules or practices which they will need to adhere to.
We included cost at the end of our list because it shouldn’t be the first thing you are looking for. Remember the expression “pay peanuts get monkeys”? Well, as with picking the cheapest writer, the cheapest designer may not necessarily have the most experience or be the best for your brand. However, cost is a factor you should discuss because you will need to budget for your graphic design costs and it is important to know where you stand at the start. See if your graphic designer charges per job, per hour or on a regular retainer fee basis before you make your decision.