Choosing A Graphic Designer

choosing a graphic designer

Finding the right graphic designer for your project may not be easy, as there are a lot of things to consider. Knowing what to look for and what to inquire will make all the difference in the world. Here are some questions you can be asking yourself if you are in search for a graphic designer:

Do I like the designer’s past work?

This should be the number one determining factor in your decision making. If you don’t enjoy most of the designer’s work, there is a pretty good chance you won’t like what they create for you. Also, don’t expect someone to deviate too far from their style comfort zone.

Does the designer appear knowledgeable?

Is the designer knowledgeable? Take the time to read through some of the writings, blog posts, etc on the designers website. Doing so may dismiss or validate any uncertainties you may have. Things you may want to check for: apparent knowledge of subject material, education (classes or colleges attended), awards or recognitions.

Do they have some experience?

Is the graphic designer experienced enough to handle your project? Find out how long the designer has been offering their services. The longer they’ve been around, the more experience they have dealing with clients and projects.

A well seasoned designer should know how to manage their time properly, resulting in a more efficient process.  It is also likely that they will have a better understanding of client relations, leading to a better experience overall. You might have to pay more for this experience but it will be worth it.

Are there any testimonials available?

Some designers have no problem telling you how great they are. Don’t just take their word for it, check to see if they have any testimonials you can read. A true testimonial should have the client’s name, their job title and the city they live.

Does the price match the quality of work?

Pricing is obviously an important factor, but choosing a designer based on price alone is probably not a wise choice. Many designers that are just starting out will offer low rates just to get clients. The down side is they will be lacking in the knowledge and experience of someone more seasoned. You don’t want to sacrifice quality just to save a few dollars.

At the same time, you can’t assume a designer will be better because their pricing is the highest. Rather than letting cost be your determining factor, take all factors into consideration.

Does the designer communicate well?

When you email the designer, how long does it take them to respond? Anything over 24 hours is probably too long, unless of course they are on vacation (wait, what’s a vacation?). Another question to ask is how well does the designer communicate? When you email or call, do they answer all of your questions? Do they rush through their responses? Are they polite and professional?

There will be a lot of back and forth conversations between you and your designer during a project. The last thing you want is to be confused, left in the dark, or waiting for answers. Communication is key.

Does the designer have a presentable website?

In today’s world, a graphic designer without a website is like a story with no ending. It just doesn’t make sense. You don’t want to hand over your hard earned money to some anonymous person who can’t provide you with a solid portfolio or information about themselves and their services.

Be cautious of sites like Craigslist and design contest sites where amateur designers claiming to be professionals is quite common. If you find a designer on one of these sites, it’s fine as long as they have something to show you other than their word.

Will my project be juggled around?

Some design firms, and even freelance designers outsource their projects to others for a commission. So when you think you are hiring a particular designer for his or her skills, you may just end up with the newbie working on your project, or even someone overseas. This practice is fine as long as the client is aware, but sometimes there is no mention of this. Don’t be afraid to ask who is going to be handling your project, so you know what you are paying for and who you will be communicating with.

I’m always open to new discussion. Please leave your comments below.


Derek Kimball

I'm a graphic designer specializing in logo design, brand identity and print design. If you enjoy this blog, consider subscribing via the "newsletter" in the website menu above. Thanks for reading.

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