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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.

Why would you want a graphic designer? When you want to create a visual representation of a particular idea or message that achieves instant recognition.

Choosing the right person or studio can sometimes be difficult for many people who are uncertain of exactly what qualities to look for in a good designer. Here are some pointers.

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 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 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!


If you cannot get your message across to your designer then it may well be impossible to get the results you want. The right person for your project is likely to be personable and professional. Select a designer that you will enjoy working with and one that also ticks all the boxes for your intended campaign.

Education and experience

Graphic design is a fusion of art and technology where basic principles can directly affect the outcome of any campaign. Well rounded training in Graphic design courses, not just software skills, is another trait that all good graphic artists should have. A strong understanding of these fundamental operations will relay a better translation of your desired outcome.

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All artists have portfolios, a body of work which they have completed to date. Good designers should have a strong showcase of creations within a diverse range. Look for products that are in the same area that you are seeking. All campaigns should have memorable and applicable imagery covering a variety of styles and mediums.

The ability to tell a story visually

Visual marketing skills are paramount when selecting the right designer for the product. The visual artist will be able to articulate clearly the goals of the intended campaign and effectively convey this to the target audience. The capacity to convey the visual story in an engaging and compelling manner is the mark of a superior graphic technician.


This is where first class business skills and good time management are important. The designer should always have a finger on the pulse of your campaign. Failure to do so can mean cost overruns and ultimately, the total demise of your promotion.


There are a few ways to apply this acronym. I like “Keep It Simple Smart”. A designer that follows this standard will often look after most of the above topics. If you want a logo design and it comes back looking like Jackson Pollock’s “Blue Poles”, alarm bells should probably be going off.

To summarize

Most good designers will cover several varying design styles with some more adept in certain fields and mediums. While having a diverse range of design techniques at your fingertips are a good advantage, you need to be aware of the particular types of graphic design that will be beneficial to your campaign. Try interviewing three graphic designers, introduce them to your vision. Keep in mind some of the advice above and I hope you will find an extremely valuable member of your team. Lastly, have a regard for the designers input and experience. This will help to ensure that your partnership is fruitful and successful.

Graphic design, in essence, refers to a variety of artistic and professional creative disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is never more important than in visual medium. Graphic designers’ therefore, select various methods and mediums to create a visual representation of a particular idea or message that will achieve instant recognition.

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