Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tips For Choosing The Right Graphic Designer

Before you begin a relationship with a graphic design firm it is worth spending some time asking about their work processes, and telling them about yours. By following the suggestions below you can avoid the costly mistake of commissioning the wrong graphic designer for your company.

1. Ask who will you be working with

You need to know who will be working on your project from day to day. Larger firms sometimes send their best person to win your business but palm the work off to junior designers once they have you through the door. Asking this question from the outset can save you disappointment at the final results. It also gives you a chance to see if you like the person assigned to your project.

2. Tell them what you want
Let your designer know why you need the item of communication you are producing. Then tell them what you want it to achieve. Who is your audience? What are the project constraints - time, budget, materials, approvals etc.? Make sure they understand the scope of the job and ask them how they will go about achieving the results you want.

3. Get the right fit
Good graphic design is only part of the picture. You need a design firm that has the right amount of formality, documentation and account management to suit your business’ needs. That means if it takes forever to get a formal quote or you feel like you are constantly checking up on the progress of the job, it might be time to look for a more customer focused firm.

4. Past Success
Though a graphic designer may have a distinctive style, when you look at their folio of work you should see that each project has a different feel. After all, every company is unique and you need to feel confident that the designer knows how to translate a point of difference visually. You might also want to ask how they contributed to the project and if they made any suggestions that added to the original brief. (Good designers do this all the time)

5. If you are on a good thing stick to it
It is to your advantage to develop a long-term relationship with your designer. That’s because they need to thoroughly research your business and industry to best understand how to represent you. Not only that, but consistency in design is one of the keys to strengthening your brand image.

6. What’s the damage?
Before you embark on a relationship with a design firm ask how their fees are structured so that you can budget for future projects. Also, if your project is complicated, you will want to make sure they understand (and can handle) the amount of project management involved.

7. Value for money
Your budget is going to determine to some extent the quality of work you can expect. But if you ask your designer to share any great ideas they might have, you profit from their years of industry experience. And a good idea is worth its weight in gold.

To find out more about how graphic design can work for you just visit us at

Ruth Clare is a professional copywriter with a passion for putting the customer first. She runs a graphic design business, Mono Design, with her husband in Melbourne, Australia

By: Ruth Clare

1 comment:

Kathryn McDwell said...

Well, it's true that checking past successes is important when choosing the right graphic designer. Setting out some challenges for your potential graphic designer is also an option, if you want to know his/her limits.