Tips to help find your perfect Graphic Designer
The title for this blog post really ought to be 'How to find a Graphic Designer whose style you like, is fun, friendly and professional to work with, offers value for money and will provide you with the correct files.' But that was way too long. And that little list isn't even exhaustive, not even close. It's all a bit overwhelming isn't it?
Well, don't stress too much, I'm going to give you some top tips from a designer's perspective. So let's jump in, in no particular order I might add...
Look for a designer with a niche
I know I said this list wasn't in order but I think this is the most important consideration when looking for your perfect Graphic Designer. Designers specialise in all sorts of things... some may only take on branding projects, some only do layout design, some only work for clients in certain sectors, and some create beautiful illustrations all day. So you may need to do a bit of digging around to find the kind of person you're looking for. Keep your ear to the ground in social media business groups that are relevant to your own business, see if any recommendations come up and if they do, have a little rummage on their website and social media accounts to see if their style aligns with your own. It's also good to keep a lookout for the comments the designer makes on those recommendations... do they sound like the kind of person you'd like to work with? Searching hashtags is also a good way to find niche designers, lesser used hashtags are helpful as these tend to be the reserve of those with a specialism.
Word of mouth and research
Listen closely to what others say about their experiences with designers, whether that's in social media groups or those answering posts asking for recommendations. In turn, if you spot a business with great branding and style, see if you can find out who their designer is.
This is especially good if you would like to work with someone local to you. Searching 'Graphic Designers in xyz' will bring up all manner of results for you to research. Again, have a good old look through their websites and see if any catch your eye. Websites belonging to Graphic Designers have no excuse for being rubbish... not all can build websites of course, but the least you can expect is a beautifully designed, clean and functional website even if they have briefed someone else to build it. The care they have taken to create their 'shop window' will give you an insight into the kind of business they are and how they will handle your project.
Online freelance websites
By this I mean sites such as Fiverr and People Per Hour. Now... this one comes with big warning bells! These websites are a collection of creative freelancers from all over the globe. Of course there are some amazingly talented creatives on there and many will report a great experience from using it, but please do your research. The working environment isn't the most ethical in my opinion, they are encouraging people to undercut each other to 'bid' for work, which in turn undervalues their skills and experience. There is also a competition-based design structure on some of these sites, meaning that you can ask five designers to provide a logo design for you and you only pay for the one you like. Does that sound fair to you? Would you be happy with a customer who had their dog groomed or walked by every business in your town and then only paid the one whose haircut they liked most or the person they perceived their dog had had the most fun with? I don't think you would. Just because these designers seem willing on the face of it, doesn’t make it fair. Many are trying anything they can to get traction including working for free, please don’t facilitate it. Find the right person and pay a fair price. Also, people often come unstuck because they don't receive the correct files (for a logo design for example) and then when this becomes apparent (when the aforementioned logo is needed for print or enlarged for signage) the original designer has vanished taking their files with them! Copyright is also a big consideration, are they transferring it to you upon completion for example? Please be careful, if you are one of the unlucky ones you might get yourself into all sorts of bother later down the line.
Value for money
You get what you pay for, and graphic design is no different. So if someone seems too good/cheap to be true, they probably are. What value do you place on your own skills as a groomer or trainer for example? Chances are this calculation will involve the amount you have invested into becoming qualified, getting the right the equipment, the years of knowledge you have gathered working with clients, provable results, the list goes on. Graphic design is a professional career, everyone has a history and a journey which has led them to where they are today. With that comes a vast amount of experience, technical ability, practice, and creativity. Professional Graphic Designers have the ability to build your brand into a successful business, something the likes of Canva can't do. I'd say that was pretty valuable. And don’t forget that if your business has been branded to look high-end, you can charge more for your services. It’s a win-win.
I hope that has given you a little bit of an insight into how to find your perfect Graphic Designer. It's by no means an exhaustive list but covers off the main considerations as I see them. If you have any questions or need a helping hand please do give me a shout. If I'm not quite the right fit for you that's a-okay, I might be able to recommend someone who is.er, go to a shelf and pop something in a box! Mind you... that doesn't sound like quite so much fun...