So your company is in desperate need of a thorough branding. You want to find an expert graphic designer, but it seems like there are just so many variables! How can you find one that will deliver what you want, in the style that you want, in a professional manner?
Or are you planning to design a complex calligraphic logo for your company?
Don’t panic! The creative aspect of graphic design may seem overwhelming if you don’t know much about it — and sometimes even if you do — but it really all boils down to professionalism. It’s not as hard as you might think to find a graphic designer that will do what you want, when you want, and how you want.
All you need to know is right here.
Know What You’re Looking For, And What You Need
The very first step toward looking for a graphic designer is looking at yourself, first. Before you can ask someone to demonstrate that they can do what you need them to, what you “need” must first be defined.
So put off asking the designers questions, and start by asking yourself the following:
- What is my company goal, and how do I expect graphic design to help us to reach that goal?
- What specific tasks and deliverables do I expect to be included in any contract?
- What is my timeline and my budget?
- What branding already exists — color choices, graphic styles, font families, and other style manual items?
- How committed am I to those choices and parameters?
It’s incredibly frustrating to work with a client who isn’t sure what they want, and who keeps asking for revisions, as though the designer can see inside their head. Don’t be that client. Put it all down on paper before you take the next step.
As you start looking into graphic designers in your area, or freelancers online, check out their previous work. Yes, it’s a great idea to look at their portfolio; but also ask who they have worked with previously, and what they’ve done. You want to see real-life examples.
Remember that those real-life examples likely reflect real-life clients with real-life expectations and demands. If you have any questions about the designer’s style and how much it is impacted by those she works for and with, ask.
If you find a designer whose style absolutely conflicts with what you want, don’t hire him thinking that it’ll be worth it because the price is right, or that you can talk him into doing something he doesn’t want to do or isn’t able to do. Look for connections — you should be able to envision that designer working with your company or brand.
How They Communicate
As mentioned previously, apart from all the creativity, hiring a graphic designer truly is a business proposition, and as such, everyone should behave themselves like professionals. So make sure to interact extensively with your potential graphic designer of choice.
Take note of the following:
- How often do they reach out and initiate contact to discuss the potential project?
- How quickly do they get back to you when you initiate a discussion?
- Does their tone of voice or how they message you online reflect respect for you as their client and your project?
If you see warning signs that communication may not go well between the two of you, it’s best to choose someone else rather than risk frustration on both sides.
And keep in mind that the designer, especially if they are a freelancer, is likely looking at the same aspects with you as a client. Be respectful of their time, as well.
What They Will Deliver
When it comes down to deliverables, you’re nearing the home stretch of actually hiring a graphic designer. Now that you’ve established that their style is compatible with yours and that they are good communicators, you can discuss your budget and timeline, as well as any restrictions or special requests, before they actually sign a contract with you and get started on your project.
Make sure to be detailed in what you expect. It’s also frustrating for a designer to receive vague directions that could be interpreted in a variety of ways; if you’re not sure whether you’re being clear, ask them if they understood; or, even better, ask them how they understood and if they could explain it back to you in their own words.
Also, ensure that the timeline and budget are very clearly laid out. They should be discussed before you get to the point of signing a contract, and you should make sure that your potential designer understands and is on board with both of these aspects. It will take work from both of you to get to the point of signing a contract that pleases all parties.
Your specifics and your details not only serve as a protection for your designer but as a guarantee for you as the client. No designer sets out to create something that their client won’t like; the more detailed you are about what you want, the better the chance that they will be able to deliver it right the first time, right out of the gate.
You And Your Graphic Designer — A Match Made In Designer Heaven
As complex as it may seem, simply because of the creativity aspect involved, finding a designer that will match your needs isn’t really all that difficult.
The most important part of it lies with you: making sure that you know exactly what you’re looking for, before you start asking someone to try and design it for you. If you’re clear on what you want and what you expect from your designer, and both of you observe the rules of professional communication, finding your ideal designer should be a breeze.
Sofia Paterson is an enthusiastic freelance content writer and digital marketer who likes to explore new ideas through creative writing. Her specialty include online marketing, engaging content, and graphic design.