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Back to school

Choosing a graphic designer

When hiring a graphic designer, this may be the beginning
of a long-term business relationship, so it’s worth taking the
time to ensure you choose the right business.

Here are some simple suggestions to help you make the right decision when assessing a
new, or current, graphic designer.

Look for signs of professionalism

There are many ways in which businesses need to be professional, from communication to
delivering outcomes. Does the designer communicate well face-to-face, on the phone, via
email? Do they provide quotes on time, clearly outlining all the information you require? Are
you constantly chasing up on the progress of a project? What about spelling errors?
Importantly, do you feel like you are being treated as an equal?

An essential trait is honesty. Do they admit to mistakes and seek to rectify them? Are they
prepared to tell you that they would struggle to meet this particular project's deadlines, or
aren’t suited to this specific project?

Ask who will be working on your project

You need to know who will be working on your project from day to day. It’s important that
the person who takes the brief is also the person who takes the project through development
to completion. It’s also important to meet this person to find out if you get along and
communicate well together.

They should ask you a lot of questions

Before you even discuss materials to be produced, the designer should be asking you what
you want to achieve. What is your organisation all about? Who is your audience? What do you
need to communicate? They should want to thoroughly understand the scope of the job in
order to go about achieving the results you want.

Are they respectful of maintaining your current branding?

Ensure that the designer refers to any existing materials you may have, and asks for relevant
information such as style guides for maintaining brand consistency. If needing a new look in
your branding, they should be asking detailed questions about your organisation, its products,
the demographic of the target audience, the success of previous marketing efforts and many
other factors.

Do they represent good value for money?

Good graphic designers aren’t necessarily the cheapest, or the most expensive. Rather, they
are the ones who give you true value for money by being thorough in their work, flexible in
attitude and professional at all times. And happily provide you with a full copy of all
completed artwork -- after all, you’ve paid for it.

Get recommendations

Ask friends or colleagues if they can recommend a graphic designer. Reputation and prior
experience is usually a good indicator of the quality of a business.

If you’re on a good thing stick to it

It’s to your advantage to develop a long-term relationship with your designer. The designer
who has a deeper knowledge of your company and products is better equipped to understand
your needs and current marketing strategy, meaning quicker and more consistent production
of materials.
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