In a recent inquiry about the areas in which businesses struggle most, there was a prevailing response received from a large number of small business owners. If you think that this was social media or marketing, etc. then you are in for a surprise. The area in which small businesses most commonly face hurdles and feel most disoriented is hiring a graphic designer. Small business owners often feel out of their comfort zone when it comes to selecting a professional to design their logos, printed materials and website design elements, and they are often left unsatisfied with the final results. To prevent this scenario, here are a few tips to stick to when choosing a graphic designer for your business needs.
Hire a professional
As much as you may be tempted to engage a relative or a student to create your design, always prefer hiring a professional! A professional designer is the only person who is well versed enough with the ever-changing technology and will know the right software to be used for each specific type of design requirement. For example, T-shirt and billboard industries do not use the Adobe Creative Suite but instead rely on other software products.
Your chosen designer should have ample knowledge of computers, web and print production and the compatibility of different software solutions. For instance, the products of Apple do not run Flash.
Remember that if something looks good on the computer screen it will not necessarily look good when printed out. Thus, the professional you hire should be well versed with all the aspects of the graphic design.
Know what you want and give examples
Before even setting out on a search for a designer, you should determine what exactly you need. If you give your graphic designer only vague suggestions, you are most likely not going to be satisfied with the final product and you will have to start all over again.
Providing examples can be of great help in this regard. You can find sources or website that have a look and feel similar to what you are aiming to achieve for your design. These will be a good starting point that will aid both you and the designer in the process.
Draw a preliminary frame
This directly corresponds with the above tip. Even a very basic mockup or sketch will go a long way in putting you and the graphic designer you have chosen to work with on the same page prior to starting the project. This is also an easier way to clear your thoughts and expectations from your desired graphic design. This is even more useful if you are engaged in a large-scale project, for instance a website, as it will also give an insight into the user experience.
Asses the way the designers present their own work
Before making a final selection of the graphic designer or agency you will engage to do your job, take a look at the way they present their own work. If they are taking great care in projecting a professional appearance, they will most likely exercise the same attention to detail when working on your project, too.
Also, always select an artist who has enough experience in the specific type of design work you need them for. Choose a professional whose design style corresponds with the one you need (note that we say need and not want, as what you want may not necessarily fit your target audience’s needs). This approach has an added bonus, too – when the designer is working within their comfort zone, the results are always more impressive.
Take care of the ownership rights
Always ensure that all the ownership rights of the graphic design you pay for and the source files are transferred to your name in the end. Also, never hesitate to ask for a written agreement with the designer. It is a crucial rule to have the entire legal rights of ownership to your design, be it a logo, a print design or a web design, because that shields you from legal actions and allows you to use the graphic content in any way you see fit in the future.
Do you have any experience in dealing with a graphic designer? Do you have any other tips to share?