Many small business owners find themselves at a loss when they need graphic design resources. Often, these men and women are so driven to help their business succeed that they’ve made due with DIY design for the most part; cobbling corporate literature together in Microsoft Publisher and hoping it would do the job. While this can work for small projects such as coupons and even some business cards, when it comes to big design it’s time to call in the professionals. Whether it’s a creative brochure design, a professional website design or the decal being installed on the side of the new company car, this isn’t the design that can be done at an amateur level with any hope of success.
The problem is knowing what to look for in a graphic designer, agency or crowdsourcing platform to be completely sure you’re going to get your money’s worth. While all the designers here at Designhill are professionals, you still need to know how to find one that will work for your needs and that’s where this handy list comes in. Find out a few tips on what to look for, how to look and what you need to do when you think you’ve found the one.
Here are 6 essential graphic design resources that small business owners must consider:
1. Check Out Your Competitors First
Graphic Design Resources
Before you get any graphic design resources, you should always see what your competition is doing. This isn’t to copy their work, but to see the quality and styling that you’re up against and establish any unspoken industry design standards. Some industries use specific phrases in literature and signage that, while not required by law, are expected by clients and prospective clients. The most common example of this is contractors and landscaping services: it’s a rare thing to see a sign, business card or brochure from this industry that doesn’t list “licensed, bonded, insured” somewhere in plain sight. If you’re new to the industry, make sure that you know about these unspoken rules by checking out your competitors’ work in detail before you go to a designer, as this will help you establish your needs more clearly and therefore help you choose the right designer more easily.
2. Start with a Clear Idea
Start with a Clear Idea – Graphic Design Resources
You don’t need to necessarily have a distinct vision of the design itself—that’s what you need a designer for, after all—but you should have a clear idea of what you want the design to accomplish. Do you want it to catch attention, drive sales through overt advertisement or through more subtle design cues? Do you want it to get you more web traffic or foot traffic? These are all questions you should answer before you go seeking a designer, and the answers should all go in your design brief.
3. Do Some Research
You already know more or less what you want, but finding it is the hard part. Small Businesses Do It Better recommends seeking out a designer that matches your own personal style and the vision you have for your business. The best way to do this is to go through portfolios and previous work of your prospective designers; this way you can not only see the level of work they’ve done in the past, but also their overall style. While you can expect to see a decent amount of variance between different projects, the overall preferences of the designer will shine through.
As another level of research—more like a background check—you can also check reviews, testimonials and ratings where they’re available. This will show you what previous clients have to say about working with your prospective designer.
4. Watch for Flexible Designers
One of the most important qualities to look for in a graphic designer is flexibility. Intuit’s small business center reports that you should look for versatility not just in design, but in breadth of skill. Look for designers with skill in print design, signage and even the website coding protocols needed to develop a site that is cross-compatible with multiple browsers and systems.
5. Insist on Multiple Concepts
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with excitement once you have a designer, you’ll want to make sure that they offer multiple concepts before you sign anything. Talk to prospective designers about their policy on multiple concepts to be sure that you’re getting the very best iteration of their work.
6. Crowdsource It
Graphic Design Resources
A great option for locating the very best graphic designer your business can find, on a budget your business can afford, is to crowdsource your design projects here at Designhill. Connect with multiple designers to go over dozens of concepts and styles to find the one that really sings to you. It’s easy, cost-effective and gives you access to a wider range of expert designers than ever before. Why not give it a try?
The Blog Herald reminds us that good graphic design requires both good designers and good clients. Be sure to do your part to help your new designer create exactly what your business needs to succeed.
Looking for creative and affordable graphic design resources to take your small business to the league of the Big Boys of the business world? Launch a design contest now and get to choose from 100+ designs in a matter of days!! We offer a full 100% money back guarantee! So rest assured, if you don’t find the design you love, we’ll refund all your money, no questions asked.
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