Whether you are just starting out or have been a small business owner for a while, chances are you will find yourself needing the services of a graphic designer. From logo design to website design to printed materials and more, a good graphic designer can help make your small business look professional and reinforce the high quality of products and/or services you deliver.
What makes a good graphic designer?
A good graphic designer is someone who has a distinct combination of skills and talents. They should be artistic and creative; they should be well versed in design theory and principles; they should be up to date on current design trends; and perhaps most importantly, they should be skilled at listening to your needs and translating those needs into an attractive and function end design product.
In this modern age of advanced technology and software capabilities, the best graphic designers know how to take their creative ideas and make them become reality using the most appropriate tools for the job. Not every design job requires the “latest and greatest” (and usually expensive) techniques to be done well, so a good graphic designer will strike a balance between producing the design products you want and need within the budget you have available.
What should you look for in a graphic designer?
Choosing a graphic designer involves a number of important considerations, including:
Experience – An experienced graphic designer will generally be more skilled at translating your thoughts and needs into a solid design product. Ask to see a portfolio of their work, paying particular attention to samples that fall into the same category of what you are seeking. For instance, if you’re looking for a small business logo then spend a bit more time looking at the logos they have designed in the past.
Cost – The fees charged by graphic designers can vary tremendously even for the same proposed project. Sometimes these differences are related to the quality and expertise of the designer (those with greater expertise may charge more) while other times the differences in cost are more related to the amount of time or level of service the designer plans to provide given your project requirements.
Communication – A good graphic designer knows how to communicate clearly and constructively with you as a client; this means they know how to listen to what you want, ask clarifying questions to ensure they understand, and then offer suggestions based on their design experience.
What else do you need to know about using a graphic designer?
When you use a graphic designer, take a comprehensive approach to your project needs. For instance, if you need a logo design created do you also need someone to coordinate with a printer to put that logo on new materials? What about making sure the overall design elements of all of your materials (web site, marketing materials, print ads, letterhead, business cards and so on) are coordinated and make sense in terms of your small business branding?
Some graphic designers can also handle these comprehensive tasks for you, while others are more focused on just doing design work. Before you make a final decision on choosing a graphic designer be sure you have clearly communicated the full scope of what you want and are convinced the individual has the skills and abilities to perform that full scope of work satisfactorily.