Sunday, October 9, 2011

How Choosing the Right Graphic Designer?

Choosing a good graphic designer is extremely important in the development of your brand. There are dozens of graphic designers around and everyone you know will recommend someone.

When desk top publishing became popular, suddenly everyone was selling themselves as a graphic designer. Make sure to work with a designer who has had formal graphic design training at a reputable institution.

Spending some time to choose the right person will really pay off in the end. Look for a designer who has done work in your area of focus. If you are marketing a food product, make sure to choose a designer who has packaging, and in particular, food packaging experience. Packaging food is quite different from packaging electronic equipment! Most designers will gladly send you their portfolio for your review.

I recommend starting with three designers and narrowing it down to one. Make sure to have a conversation with each designer to see if you feel aligned to work with them from a personal chemistry standpoint.

How to find a graphic designer?

Start with your network and ask friends or colleagues who have done a great job on their brand. Look for design that you like and find out who did it. That's how I found my designer, Megan Hunt.

Every major city has a graphic design association you can call for recommendations. AIGA ( www.aiga.org ) was founded in 1914 and is the oldest and largest professional membership organization in the United States for graphic design. It has a chapter in every state. In Canada, you can contact the GDC, Society of Graphic Designers of Canada ( www.gdc.net ) for recommendations.

If you are tight on budget, go to a local art college and find out who their top graphic design students are.

Pricing design work

Before you speak to a designer for the first time, send them your brand summary. Make sure you are very clear on what you need, your timing, and your budget.

If you don't feel comfortable telling them your budget, make sure you have a number in your mind of what you are prepared to spend on design. Don't waste their time, asking for a proposal before you know if they are in your ballpark. Ask for a verbal price range to make sure they're in your ballpark. Once you know you are somewhat aligned with pricing, you can ask them to spell out the scope of the project, the deliverables, schedule and budget. I strongly advise that you do not make your decision based on price alone!

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