Are you thinking of hiring a graphic designer for your next big project? Perhaps you want to re-brand your business or you are looking for a new brand identity altogether. You may be looking to hire an in-house graphic designer for your company, or perhaps you want a freelancer to work with. Your project might be a large multimedia project, or perhaps you only want a single logo.
Whatever your design needs may be, good graphic design is an important part of your brand, and can have a massive impact on your success. Alongside design skill and technical prowess, there is a certain set of ‘soft skills’ that every good graphic designer should have. Looking for these habits in a potential graphic designer, will help you to find and hire the best graphic designer for your project. Here are five habits that excellent graphic designers cultivate:
1) They ask relevant questions.
A good graphic designer makes it their business to familiarize themselves totally with their client’s needs. The designer does this by asking you, their client, many relevant questions. Your designer needs to know who your target market is, what competition there is in your field, and which platforms you personally use most to reach out to your potential clients. You can read more about what your designer should be asking you in this article, “5 Questions Your Graphic Design Team Should Always be Asking.”
2) They prioritize good communication.
A good graphic designer will talk you through their basic process before they begin the project. This does not mean that your designer should bombard you with a bunch of technical terms and updates that you do not understand. Good communication from your designer involves a very basic step-by-step guide of their design process, as well as a framework for how long each step should take. When you know what to expect and when to expect it, you are free to focus your attention on other important business matters while your designer is free to create.
3) They do a lot of research.
Good graphic designers know that research is an integral part of an effective graphic design process. Your graphic designer should be researching your competition, their logos, brand identities and promotional methods. They should also be researching various avenues of visual inspiration as input for the creation of your project. Depending on the nature of the project, your graphic designer should be looking at print materials, websites, brochures and e-resources that have a similar set of characteristics to that which you, as the client, are envisioning.
4) They provide their sketch ideas in a format that helps you visualize the end result.
Many graphic designers make the mistake of sending their roughest initial sketches to their client during the concept phase of the project. These sketches, although they make sense to the designer, are often confusing to the client because the client cannot physically share the vision of the graphic designer through these sketches alone. A good graphic designer makes it a habit to first refine their initial sketches. They come up with a narrative and pros and cons for each potential concept, and put this together in an attractive and easy-to-read format before presenting it to the client. As the client, you should expect no less from your designer.
5) They provide honest design guidance, even if it contradicts your idea.
At risk of stating the obvious, a good graphic designer is a good graphic designer because they know good design. A great graphic designer also knows that their client may sometimes have a request or idea that does not steer the project towards optimal design. Although it is the designer’s prerogative to create and cater to the client’s vision in as much as is possible, it is also their responsibility to let the client know if a certain idea is not going to achieve the desired result. Your graphic designer should be able to provide honest design guidance with empathy, suggesting alternatives and backing it up with good explanations, while still giving you the final choice in the matter.
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when hiring the best graphic designer for your project. If you would like to talk to a design team who practice all of these design principles, contact the Grateful Heart Design team today. You can reach us here.
Do you know of more characteristics to add to the list? What would you like to see in a graphic designer working with you? Chat to us in the comments below!
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