While high quality design is hardly the entirety of effective digital marketing online, its importance can never be doubted. After all, its impact on the success of your business or charity aren’t even limited to the online world; captivating and relevant graphics will be needed for your brand’s website, social media pages, and printed materials alike.
When you’re looking for a graphic designer or graphic design agency to give your organisation’s visuals that much-needed injection of inspiration, there will be a lot to think about.
Let’s focus on five essential steps that will help you make the right decision.
1. Be clear about project requirements
What is the exact nature of the graphic design that your business needs? Here at PENNInk Productions, for instance, we have expertise in such areas as branding, logo, digital and print design.
Knowing what graphic design elements you require will help you quickly get your discussions with a prospective graphic designer to a more advanced stage.
2. Set a realistic budget
Different graphic designers and agencies have different going rates, of course. And when comparing the possibilities, you’ll need to consider this factor alongside such others as the quality and relevance of their portfolio, and how well you get along with them personally.
Again, being aware from the outset of how much your business can affordably spend will be useful when you’re talking to graphic designers about what exactly they can do for you.
3. Put together a creative brief
Once you know the kind of graphic design project you’d like to task a professional with undertaking, it’ll greatly help if you assemble a creative brief. Those two words – “creative brief” – might seem intimidating. However, what we’re really just referring to is the exact details of what you’ll require from your given project.
After all, your graphic designer won’t be able to read your mind, and as their client, you won’t be able to read theirs. That’s why it’s crucial not to give them merely vague instructions that they might interpret in a way not to your liking.
A good creative brief will include such things as an outline of your brand, applicable brand guidelines, your target audience, your budget, the expected timeline for completion of the project, and what precisely you expect the graphic designer to deliver. This, in turn, will help both you and the graphic designer to ascertain that you are the right match for each other.
4. Ask to see the designer’s portfolio
One reason why assembling a creative brief is so important, is that it will leave you better-informed as to what you do and don’t need from your graphic designer or agency.
This will be invaluable when you look through the designer’s portfolio, as you will be able to seek out examples that are similar to your own needs. If you do find them, this is a good sign that the graphic designer you’re considering has the right skills for your project.
If you’re considering PENNInk Productions for your project, it’s easy to browse a selection of our own graphic designs on our website.
5. Start with a test project
You’ll be in a phase of discovery when starting to work with a particular graphic designer or graphic design agency. That’s why it’s a good idea to begin your relationship with a small initial project, so that you can get a sense of what it really is like to work with them.
All of the key soft skills that a graphic designer should have – including communication, their willingness and ability to make suggestions, and their ability to meet deadlines and respond well to feedback and requests for revisions – will become clearer during the ‘test project’.
If this first project goes well, you really will have much more confidence to proceed onto bigger assignments with them. And if there are any issues arising from the designer’s side – rather than oversights or mistakes on your side – you shouldn’t be afraid to consider testing an alternative designer.
It can be extremely costly to your business – in terms of both design and money – if you choose a poorly matched or insufficiently skilled graphic designer or agency. So, you should be taking the above processes very seriously.
For a more detailed discussion of your needs from digital marketing online, contact the PENNInk Productions team today via phone or email.
Lisa Penn is a Visual Communications Specialist with a background in user experience and psychology. She has held a variety of roles encompassing user experience creative strategist, architect and manager, where she has successfully bridged the gap between design, technology and development.