How to choose a Professional Graphic Designer

If you run any kind of business at all, from a farm in the middle of Montana to a technology firm in Silicone Valley, chances are good you need a professional graphics designer to give your business a professional touch.
Montreal Graphic Designers
Graphic Designers handle the visual side of your business, from logos and t-shirts to media content for your website and book covers. Attempt to do these things yourself, and the results can be—well—amateurish. This isn’t just a problem for your art skills, it can spell a death sentence for your business. Customers judge you based on how you look, and an advertisement that looks unprofessional will never succeed.

Convinced you need a designer to help you now? That’s great! Here are some tips that will help you choose one that will give your business the look you are hoping for:

Referrals, referrals, referrals

Especially in the case of book covers, logos, or other work that is essential to the function of your business, ask customers who have used the graphics designer before if they are happy with the results. In the event of a new artist, a portfolio of samples may be useful information, but there are other factors to consider besides great works. Were the pieces done on time? Was the designer polite and professional? Did the graphics designer make the item requested, or did they make something that was beautiful but not quite what you had in mind?

Sometimes changes made by the graphics designer can end up being better than you imagined. As a good example, they may show you how your design looks, and then show you a modification they recommend to make it better. You can see for yourself the improvement. A great artist knows how to take your ideas and boost them, but also will give you what you want.

Choose a designer that matches your unique style

Every graphics designer is different, and some of them specialize in different things. If you want someone who is good at photo manipulation for example, you might not want one that specializes in airbrushing or computer sketches. If you plan on making your graphics into a poster or other printable item, ask the graphic’s designer in question if they are familiar with printers and how things look when they are all printed out. Often times what looks good on the computer does not look good once it is printed, and the type can be illegible if not done properly. Your graphics designer needs to have an understanding of this and be able to handle the situation appropriately.

For other art, collecting samples of the styles you like and are interested in can help your Graphics Designer understand what you are looking for, and make sure you are compatible. Your graphics designer will often be able to tell you if they can help you based off of your pictures—most graphics designers don’t actually want to get in over their heads with an incompatible style, and will quickyl tell you.

Make sure your graphics designer can handle your work load

A graphics designer may be part of a larger company, or may be a single person working on their own. A single person may be fine for most uses, but if you need someone for an entire graphic novel or an extensive amount of work for many different websites, you may want to make sure they can handle the workload you are offering them. If you really like a particular artist and want to work with them exclusively, prepare for longer wait times so they can get your work done with the same level of quality you have seen and loved in their portfolios.

Read the contract carefully

Make sure that you are aware of what you are getting with the graphic designer you have chosen. There is nothing wrong with asking to look at their contract before you agree to a partnership with them. By reading the contract, you may avoid surprises you thought were hidden, but in fact were right there in the contract. Things like extra fees for each redo of a logo, or limits to how many times you can ask for changes may seem surprising, but they are often common inclusions to a contract. Make sure you know what you are getting into so you are not surprised.

Ask about confidentiality
Confidential Graphic Designer
It may not be too important to you that an advertisement remain hidden, but if you are having a graphics designer work on an important part of your awesome new product, you may not want it to be seen by your competition before it is released. Make sure the graphics designer of your choice will keep your designs confidential unless you specifically give them permission to use the work in their portfolio or to display on their website.

Review a minimum of 3 professional graphic designers before making a choice

You never know what you will find when you are looking for a designer. You may think you’ve found a person you like, only to be dazzled by the person right after. You may dismiss the first one as too pricey, and then go back to them after you see what cheaper designers can offer. Viewing a wide range of professionals can also help you get a feel for what the market is like, and choose a person who is appropriate.

Graphic designers are critical to every business, and choosing one for your own use is something you should take seriously. Follow these tips to ensure your artist is someone that you work well with and give you the results you are hoping for. Even if you are taking your chances with a new professional graphic designer, or perhaps found quality work for a lower price, overall these recommendations should give you a person you are happy to work with. Your graphics are the most critical part of your business, and it is what your customers are going to be judging you on. Make it a good one with a professional you can trust.

Outsourcing Graphic Design Projects

Design Graphics Yourself!In the modern age of online marketing, looks are half of everything and functionality is everything else. This applies to mobile apps, more modern web apps, logos, brochures and any other aspect of online marketing.

At the startup of any such online publicity project one question always arises– Do you we hire a graphic designer to be a full time member of the team or would it be equally effective to outsource the project to a freelancer and continue to do so in the future?

The Economy of Outsourcing

Graphic design is such a great job to have outsourced. First of all, hiring a local graphic designer in a western country (UK, US , Canada or Australia) tends to come with a prohibitive price tag. Additionally there seems to be a plethora of highly talented designers operating out of other countries, including India, Brazil or Eastern Europe.

Now having a smaller task like the design of a logo or a website may be fairly easy to outsource– the graphic designers you will outsource to, are usually quite proficient in the design area of their work- when considering your options for the production of a web or mobile app, it is a completely different story.

From the startup of the creation and maintenance of a web app or mobile app there is the constant need to update and develop the work, this is when the service of a reliable in-house graphic designer will be much more effective to your purpose.

Additionally, imagine the task in question calls for the design and production of physically printed material, e.g. brochures, banners, posters, business cards etc. An outsourced designer may provide a very impressive design but when it comes time to produce the printed material, you may have to have the design rebuilt from the file to be compatible with the local print shop.

This brings us back to the need to hire a local graphic designer, however start ups — who need the skills of a qualified graphic designer– may find it hard to retain the services of high caliber designers as their fees are not only exorbitantly high but they are often too busy or unwilling to commit to a start up.

Taking Advantage of the Situation

When faced with the decision to outsource work or have the task done at home, it is vital to remember that you have many options at hand and can use various means to have your purposes addressed.

Local Designers:

When working with top level local designers you can expect them to complete exemplary work in little time. Do the groundwork as much as you can and present them with requirements in clearly defined chunks.

Plan to have work done regularly, like once or twice a month, this will help you keep regularly updated on your design features and will keep your designer on topic as well. The longer you wait in between update sessions the more work it will be for the designer.

Another option is to post projects online and offer tasks to student designers who will often be happy to improve their portfolio, at a reduced price.

Freelancers.

As mentioned before, freelancers can save you a bundle on projects that don’t get too technical. A simple logo from a US based graphic designer can cost you upwards of $500, and that’s not even getting into the really expensive figures.

You could get the same done from a talented designer based out of the Czech Republic and it will only cost you $20. Having said this there are a major caveat to having work outsourced and it has to do with file type. Properly constructed files must have certain specifications so that their information can be transferred and produced with no loss of quality.

This has to do with the way the information is stored and processed. Vector files keep a binary information code of 1s and 0s while bitmap imagery records a sequence of colored dots. Making sure your graphic designer on the other side of the globe understands this important concept will save you time and frustration.