Tips For Choosing A Graphic Designer
Graphic designers come in all shapes and sizes, freelancers, large design agencies; designers that have just left college and designers with decades of experience. Choosing the right type of designer will play a big part in you getting the right finished result for your project.
You may have a brochure that needs to be re-designed, a banner for an exhibition, maybe it is much larger; an advertising campaign that needs some seriously creative ‘outside the box’ thinking – how do you choose the right designer?
Who do you use for the project?
Are All Graphic Designers The Same?
No, not all graphic designers are the same. All are different, with different design skills, industry experience and creative flair. Some graphic designers focus on packaging, some on brochures, some on outdoor advertising etc. Some designers focus on different ‘themes’ of design such as artwork, industrial, nature, landscape etc. Depending on the sort of project that you have would determine the sort of designer that you need to talk to.
Image credit: Stéphane Giner
Is a Local Graphic Designer Better?
Well, let’s reverse the question; would you be happy working with a graphic designer that is a 4-hour drive away? Or even a plane ride away? What happens if you want to meet up and chat over a new project? The phone is great, and e-mail is also good; however as only 10% of communication is verbal then some points may be missed if the contact is not face to face.
Well, it does depend; some companies are very happy to work with graphic designers that they never see, maybe the graphic designer is in another country. Some businesses will only work with a graphic designer that is in the same town – as they crave that personal contact.
There is a big benefit in having that face to face contact with a graphic designer – as you can both look at and discuss the project in a focused manner. If you deal over the phone/e-mail the designer may be multi tasking your project with others (and not giving yours the 100% focus that is needed).
Long Term or One Off
Depending on what sort of project you are considering, would have an impact on what sort of graphic designer that you choose to work with.
If you have a one off project that is not going to require any follow up, then location may not be as much of a governing factor when it comes to building a relationship and making the project clear to the designer. An example could be a one off brochure or poster – a project that is not going to have repeat work.
If you have a number of projects that do require a certain level of understanding, market research and design synergy, then a meeting would certainly be helpful in conveying this to the designer. An example could be an advertising campaign, which may require continuity with the designs adapting them gradually throughout the campaign to communicate a subtle message.
This then follows on to something else, which also plays a factor in the selection process:
Experience – Does the graphic designer know your product/market/industry?
If you are looking for a design partner (to work on a long term project/campaign), then this will be a factor that will play a key role in how effective the finished result will be – and what results will stem from it.
If you have an important advertising campaign, or a corporate brochure; then having the right design and text is crucial if it is going to prompt the right response.
Designs that work well in one industry may not work well in another; equally the content has to be targeted to specific industry sectors. This can only be done by having experience and knowledge of how that market place works.
Price – Not always the be all and end all.
There is no getting away from it, price is an important factor and all companies are looking to save money where possible.
No-one likes paying too much for something; however quality does come at a cost. Top businesses have great designs due to using top designers. Indeed they may have paid a premium but they did get a great end result.
It is possible to get a great deal, however the problem with getting a cheap design, is that it can look cheap.
We all know that you do get what you pay for, so it is good to compare prices, to ensure that you are not overpaying (but choosing a designer based solely on price is unwise).
I hope that this article has challenged you to think hard about the sort of graphic designer that you choose to work with. There are literary hundreds of thousands of graphic designers around, thousands of good ones, hundreds of great ones, but not many that would be spot on for your project.
This in mind I have collected a few graphic designers that may well be of interest, designers that are highly creative and popular for their creative flair, both large and small, individual or agency:
Siegel+Gale is an international design and branding company that works with some of the worlds top brands offering design services from Europe, Middle East, Asia & USA
The Partners is a design agency with offices in New York and London; they work with a varied list of global brands
Mark is a graphic designer based in Cardiff in the UK; his agency works with clients from all around the world in the areas of graphic and website design.
Landor is a global design and branding company with a history going back decades. Landor has 21 offices in 16 countries and work with some of the world’s most famous brands
Just Creative Design is run by Jacob Cass in Sydney Australia; David has an outstanding reputation and has won many design awards. David works internationally for clients around the world.
Go Media is a creative agency based in Cleveland (USA); a small yet highly creative design agency working with a range of smaller clients.
Veerle Pieters is a Belgian graphic designer based in Bruges (Belgium). Veerle is an international designer offering design services and speaking around the world at events about design related topics.
David is a graphic designers based in Northern Ireland but works for clients all around the world (including many blue chip companies in the US, UK and Japan).
Cameron is a graphic designer from Florida (USA) who also acts as a guest speaker at design events and is a published author.
Agent 8 Design are a bespoke design studio based in the South of England working with a wide cross section of industries within the UK.
300 million is an award winning design and branding agency based in central London (UK); they have a varied client list of prestigious UK clients.
Working with someone local is always good – as it does bring the benefit of being able to build a relationship (and relationships are key in building good business links). Choosing a graphic designer based on their skills and experience is probably more important, as the finished product is likely to be superior and to get the results that you are hoping for.