Working With Designers

Choosing to hire a professional designer is the first step
toward developing a professional-looking business.

You need something created.

You either have a beautiful vision in your head, or someone tasked you with making one happen. Now you need it manifested. You don’t want to go through an agency, but you want a good graphic designer.

And they are everywhere. They come in all specialties, shapes, and colors. Hell, even your best friend’s neighbor’s daughter is a designer — I mean, she has Photoshop and InDesign, so she must be. Right?

Not necessarily.

It takes skill. Talent. An eye for what works and what doesn’t … and why. Now that’s not to say your best friend’s neighbor’s daughter isn’t a designer, but simply having the tools doesn’t make you one. Knowing how to use them — and use them well — does.

So how do you find a good designer?

There are good designers and there are the right designers. I’ll say that part again: there are good designers – and a lot of ’em – but that doesn’t make them the right designer for you.

Ok, so how do you find the right designer?

They need a few key traits. The right designer should be able to:

Clearly Understand Your Vision

This may take several rounds of questions. In fact, they should ask lots of questions. Try to be patient with them and give as much detail as possible.

Be Able to Manifest That Vision

What good is a designer who understands your vision but can’t put it to paper? If need be, start with sketches.

Plot the Best Course

Experienced designers will know pitfalls, concerns, and things you may need to consider with your project. They also should be able to recommend alternative options.

Be Professional

At least to a degree, and when necessary. They should return calls and e-mails in a timely manner and look and act professional when the need arises. Don’t let a designer feed you a line of crap otherwise.

Keep in mind that a true designer is an artist at heart. Good ones are versatile, but often still have a “signature style” that may come through in their work. Start by looking at their portfolio. Does anything look similar to your vision? If your idea is complex, does the same level of complexity show in their work? If you have an elaborate idea and the attention to detail is absent in their portfolio pieces, they might not be a good fit for you.

Finding the right designer before a project starts is crucial. Depending on your project, you may be spending weeks, months — in some cases, years — working with this person (and it goes without saying that if you work with them for years, you’ve found the right designer). Designers are visual people, so if possible, arrange a meeting and have them sketch out your idea. If the designer is struggling or isn’t able to recreate your vision, find a designer who can. If they nailed it, well, that’s your designer!

Why are you telling me all this?

Because if I’m going to work with you, I want you to feel that way about me and my abilities. I want you to feel I’m the right designer for your project. All artists realize they can’t be everything to everyone, nor can I. But I have several things I do very well. If you’re looking for one of those things, then we should talk.