If you are in the market for a graphic designer but aren’t quite sure how to weed out the good from the bad to the downright ugly, then check out our top tips on what tell tale signs to watch out for!
When trying to decide which graphic designer is right for your project there are a few essential questions that you simply must ask!
How long have you been in business?
Can I see your portfolio or previous work?
Do you have any references?
These three questions should be your top priority, as they are a great way to establish a better understanding of the experience each designer has. A designer that has been in business ten years should be able to help you figure out what you are trying to achieve, whereas someone who is new to the design world may take several attempts before getting it right. The more experience though the more costly!
Checking out a graphic designer’s portfolio is vital, not only to ensure that their style and your vision will mesh well, but also to identify the skills and ability of that designer. Asking for references is also key to see what experiences other clients have had, and what they have to say! References can provide you with great insights into the designer’s mindset; from whether they can take constructive criticism to whether they are open to suggestions.
Just remember…young designers are not going to have a hoard of experience and references but that doesn’t mean they are not talented enough to bring your vision to life, so they could still be worth taking a chance on if you see something in their portfolio that makes them stand out!
There is nothing worse than getting hyped up about your project, sourcing an awesome graphic designer, then emailing them sharing your enthusiasm only to sit waiting for a response that seems as though it may never come…
Professional, experienced designers will be quick to respond to all forms of client contact, from the initial enquiry right up to the project’s completion. Inexperienced designers often make the mistake of not keeping their clients up to date with the project progression, making them feel ignored and unimportant. Working in harmony with your designer is paramount to avoid unnecessary confusion and misconstrued ideas in the end.
The main quality of any graphic designer should be their ability to be ORIGINAL. Designers that copy work by plagiarizing other designs and then attempting to pass this plagiarism off as inspiration are clearly lacking in creativity. This sort of conduct will only lead to the designer developing poor credibility and a bad name for themselves.
Learning new skills, tools, and tricks of the trade is what passionate designers are constantly striving towards, as well as staying on top of what’s hot and what’s definitely not! Bad designers will always fall back into cliché designs that can be spotted as such from a mile off. Fonts such as the dreaded Comic Sans, as well as embossing and drop shadows are some of the world’s most hated design blunders and when used are the biggest tip off that the designer is an amateur.
Some designers, especially the inexperienced ones, neglect the power of a simplistic design. Cluttering up designs with unnecessary elements, effects, and detail is a surefire sign of an amateur. Experienced designers will be confident in their designs ability to stand alone without the need for fancy, difficult to comprehend concepts. White space can be your best friend, but inexperienced designers often forget this crucial fact.
Relying on Color
All good designers will understand the importance of how a design will look in black and white. This common mistake is carried out by many designers who rely too heavily on the use of color within their design, or are just too eager to add it in! Some promotional mediums do not allow for color, or only allow the use of one color at a time, which is why a great designer will always design in black and white first to ensure the identity of the design is not lost when only displayed in a single tone. Choosing color for a design should always be the last decision on a designers mind!
When hiring a graphic designer for your project, like anyone else you will want to make sure this designer can meet your deadline! Experienced designers understand the importance of meeting client’s demands and exhibiting their commitment and determination to each and every project. Some designers will procrastinate so much over their projects that they fall short of their deadlines, and in turn hand in mediocre designs as a result. The best way to gauge this punctuality is to communicate properly with the designer from the get go and make sure your expectations have been understood loud and clear!