You’re elated that your business is taking off because the long days have finally paid off. And now, it’s time to make things official with a logo. But, graphic design is not your area of expertise. So, you figure it’s best to leave it to a professional that’ll get the job done to your satisfaction.
However, as irony would have it, there’s a boatload of graphic designers, design styles, and portfolios that have flooded the creative industry. As a result, filtering through the noise to find the ideal fit for your business is no easy feat.
Furthermore, with an untrained eye in design, the differences and nuances will have you entangled in a web of confusion.
But fret not, because we’re here to help. This article explores some smart ways on how to choose the best graphic design services for your business that’ll take it to the next level. Read on!
Have Clarity on Your Expectations and Goals
This entails gathering and penning down all your thoughts on the graphic design services you need. Yes, it may seem pedantic. But it certainly pays off to so because the last thing you need is veering off your goal when you’re bombarded by design options to choose from.
These thoughts will come in handy when you need to refocus on what you need to achieve.
So, begin with logical questions like:
What is your objective? Just one or two sentences detailing what you’re trying to accomplish will suffice.
What’s your budget? You’ll inevitably stumble upon a barrage of designs that’ll take your breath away but exceed your budget. So, by being strict with your budget, you’ll avoid getting overly enamored.
What’s your desired timeframe for the project? With this, you’ll be able to select graphic design servicesthat tally with your timeline.
What is your target market like? Where do they live? How old are they? What do they enjoy doing for fun?
What feelings do you want to evoke from your target market when they interact with your brand?
The answers to these questions serve as the roadmap to choosing the ideal graphic design services for your business. It’s particularly when you get overwhelmed with options, momentarily forgetting your initial goals. Doing so also keeps you user-focused. So, rather than serving you as an individual, they’re serving your business’ brand.
Now that you’re armed with a clear vision, it’s time to delve into the fun part, looking through portfolios. When evaluating portfolios, you’ll want to factor in relative and absolute elements. The latter encompasses the skill set, professionalism level, and expertise of the graphic design company to hire.
The former (relative) entails how well the designer’s style tallies with your business’ brand along with a certain Je-ne-sais-quois that captures the interest of your target market.
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Photo by Flo Dahm from Pexels
A portfolio constitutes the visual work and the story behind it, both of which have great importance.
The Visuals: When analyzing a portfolio’s overall look, you need to factor in the following: does it have one cohesive theme?
How unique is each design? With regards to your brand, here’s where you consider aspects such as colors, line, texture, shape, space, typography (font design).
As you take the plethora of portfolios into consideration, you’ll get better at being able to translate the visuals into words, in a jiffy. This boils down to 2 steps.
Describing what you see in the first few words that come to mind without over-analyzing every portfolio that meets your eye.
Make a comparison of this description with the detailed goals and expectations that you wrote down to see if they tally. For instance, assume you described your business’ brand as exuding professionalism, well-organized, and established in the given industry. So, you’ll want to focus solely on simple shapes, cool colors, and classic fonts. As a bonus, you can consider the canvas. In a nutshell, this is the online portfolio of your business. Consider:
1) Does the structure make sense? Does it exude easy navigation?
2) Did the graphic designer create an online portfolio from scratch? Did they use a template?
These questions shed light when making your selection if you’re seeking versatility in the graphic design services for your business.
The story behind it: There’s more to a design portfolio than a set of images. It’s an array of solutions to certain design problems rolled into one. So, while the visuals lure us in, what’s more important, is the story behind the visuals. Consider:
1) Does the designer have a user-centric approach for your business?
2) Does the candidate carefully describe the goal of the graphic design project?
A great tactic in selecting ideal graphic design services for your business is to throw unexpected questions at candidates during the interview process. This opens your eyes to their creativity level and determines whether or not they’d be a great fit for your brand.
For instance, you can present a candidate with a competitor’s design piece and ask them to explain what they would do differently, given a chance. Ultimately, you want to hire a designer that can think creatively on the fly.
Assign a Short Trial Project
As an employer, you’re probably familiar with the employees that oversell themselves just to get hired. They look good on paper only to, later on, discover their incompetence. This is no different when choosing graphic design services for your business.
So, to avoid this predicament, assign potential candidates a short trial project that would take a few hours to complete. An example would be to design a simple logo. The paid project doesn’t have to be challenging to complete. It should only showcase every candidate’s creativity and the expertise they claim to have.
Ultimately, choosing the ideal graphic design services for your business stems beyond the skill set. It entails a designer’s work style and overall creativity that is equally as essential as their skills if not more important.
And, these are not aspects that you’ll find on a resume and can only be pinpointed practically. So, to make the ideal selection, it’s in your best interest to be more hands-on during the vetting process.
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Picture this: A job that grants you a ton of creative freedom and pays handsomely. It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, not exactly. This job is being a graphic designer.
And, nearly every organization, not just in the United States but across the globe needs one on their team. But, with resumes of graphic design jobs running into thousands a month, it can be an uphill task to stand out from the pack.
Like the barrage of other applicants, you’ve probably sent out countless resumes, without much luck of culling responses from potential employers, let alone landing an interview. After weeks of radio silence, the aura of hope you once had, slowly fades away.
You then begin to question what it takes to get hired as a graphic designer. But, before, you throw in the towel, chin up! This article explores the 5 must-have graphic design skills that’ll put you ahead of the game. Read on!
1. Motion Design
Do you know what’s better than a motionless image? One that’s in motion! While this may be a fundamental graphic design skill, motion design is immersive. And, it’ll continue being a crucial factor in logos, social media marketing, websites, and illustrations.
For a boatload of graphic designers, mastering the art of motion design means factoring in the aspects of movement, sound, space, and time into their current skill set. So, tools that do the trick when it comes to the excellent creation of motion design are Maxon Cinema 4D and Adobe After-Effects. The motion skills you acquire will pay off, given that UX or UI models demand more responsive and fluid graphics.
2. User Experience (UX) Design
With the advent of technology, graphic design is becoming increasingly digital-oriented. Furthermore, there is a spike in the number of customers that are selecting companies and brands that can offer them that personal touch when it comes to user experience. This has thereby ushered in a new component that graphic designers need to include in their skill set; UX Design.
It’s no secret that this type of graphic design wholly impacts an entire brand, and is inclusive of apps, services, products, and website. Tiptop UX graphic designers possess the uncanny ability to furnish users with an amazing experience that shines through in exceptional usability and design.
UX design entails evoking the feeling that users get when everything is logically organized and seems perfect. It should then come as no surprise that its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years.
UX and graphic designers have a plethora of overlapping skills, which makes the former an attractive option for those seeking to diversify. Having a strong grasp of UX design skills paves the way for the creation of improved designs and knowledge in the factors that steer client and user decision-making.
3. Color Theory
With color being ubiquitous and a source of information, it significantly impacts the design selection process. Studies show that 62-90% of people make up their minds within a 90-second window of assessing a product based on color alone. The reason behind this intriguing fact is that colors affect a viewer’s mood.
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Photo by Theme Photos on Unsplash
While there is a barrage of color palette tools that aid in color selection, it’s vital to grasp the theory behind them. Doing so facilitates the effective use of colors with a valid explanation behind your selection as a designer. Moreover, taking theory classes puts you at the forefront of graphic design.
If you’ve had to defend your work, then you understand better than anyone that profound knowledge of color theory will aid in supporting your design choices. This goes beyond a mere gut feeling for what you think is pleasing to the eye.
Just like UX design, coding is one of the must-have graphic design skills. But this doesn’t mean delving into the nuts and bolts of it to become the greatest coder that ever lived. It entails grasping just enough coding skills to be on the same page with developers.
As a result, you’ll know what they require doing to make your designs work. Taking the time to learn even the most fundamental coding skills will give you the uncanny ability to churn out new design ideas coupled with their iterations, in a jiffy.
So, armed with some HTML5 knowledge or scripting in Adobe Illustrator will put you steps ahead of your competitors.
5. Social Media Marketing
In today’s digital era, nearly all brands are striving to cultivate a strong social media presence. Some brands even prioritize social media marketing over their actual website. You’re probably wondering why.
Well, this is because their target market is on social media. So, it’s just a matter of discovering the most ideal social media platform for each business.
It’s, therefore, a no-brainer that graphic designers need to understand the importance of social media and, more importantly, how it works. But this doesn’t mean spending every waking moment on social media because that’s where social media marketers come into play.
Nonetheless, it’s essential to know the basics like the difference between an Instagram Story and a regular post. You should also understand how your customers plan on utilizing Facebook Live Video to engage their audience. So, when designing an image for social media, it’s vital to keep these factors in mind.
Furthermore, learning how to leverage the power of social media involves treating yourself as a brand, particularly if you’re looking to lure in customers. While there’s no handbook when it comes to social media, it’s all about using it for business and pleasure rolled into one. Then, allow that knowledge to spill over into your graphic design career.
Hone Your Skills
Regardless of whether you’re seeking to get a leg up in your career, diversify into a new area of expertise, you can’t go wrong by mastering these graphic design skills.
Furthermore, even if you’re unfamiliar with some of these skills, the beauty of it is that it’s never too late to start learning. In doing so, coupled with utilizing the latest graphic design technology, you’ll be able to hone your skills and stay ahead of the game.
After all, who doesn’t want to become a more capable and all-rounded professional?
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A picture is worth a thousand words. This adage has never been more suited to anything else than graphic design. For some of us, graphic design is a passion. Its creative aspect lures us in. The feeling of starting an entirely new project is priceless, along with tweaking a design to ensure it’s perfect enough to share with the rest of the world.
Nonetheless, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Like everything else in life, graphic design packs a set of challenges. And, sometimes, even the smallest hurdle can quickly turn the perfect project into a nightmare. But, as they say, experience is the best teacher. So, more experience paves the way for the better handling of these obstacles.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the 4 main graphic design challenges along with how to overcome each. Read on!
1. Creative Burnout
Burnout is something that inevitably happens after some time, especially among seasoned professionals. In place of a blank canvas that allowed you to get your creative juices flowing, is an adversary that lies between you and anything else you may be doing.
At times, creative burnout is a direct outcome of doing something repeatedly with the absence of other creative outlets. Therefore, to avoid this predicament, it’s recommended to take up a hobby such as painting, to keep you in a creative space.
Doing so paves the way for you to do something delightful outside your comfort zone, thereby keeping creativity burning inside you throughout your everyday graphic design work.
2. Defending Your Work
Graphic design involves dealing with non-creative individuals on day-to-day. This can leave you entangled in a web of frustration where you always have to defend your work and design choices.
The feedback coupled with the input you receive will usually make you cringe. “Enlarge the logo.” “Make the logo smaller.” “Let’s use this color instead because it’s my favorite.”These are just a fraction of the phrases that make your heart sink.
It’s an inevitable challenge in the world of graphic design. An easy way out would be to keep your head down, bottle up your frustrations and let the client deal with the consequences. After all, isn’t the customer always right? But, there’s also the other side of the coin that entails railing and ranting, insisting that you know best.
Well, the viable solution to this challenge would be to take the empathy route. Concisely and calmly explain to the client why and how you arrived at a given design decision, and what the consequences of their preference are.
You can also politely pepper the client with questions to gain an in-depth understanding as to why they want to go in a certain direction. Then offer reasonable compromises that are in the design project’s best interest.
3. Getting Disrespected
It’s a no-brainer that no one enjoys being taken for granted or worse still have someone imply that their job is simple. Usually, such statements are made out of ignorance rather than malice. Nonetheless, it’s infuriating to hear.
In graphic design, it’s no different, and you may have been told any the following.
“Making pictures for a living must be exciting.” “Graphic design must be the easiest job on the planet.” “Doesn’t Photoshop take on the bulk of the graphic design work?”
While it may be tempting, fight the urge to respond to these snarky remarks that get your heart racing in anger. Be the bigger person. Calmly and rationally letting them know that while you enjoy what you do for a living, the nuts and bolts of graphic design is no easy feat.
Ultimately, the goal is to be understood, which entails understanding where other people are coming from and educating them on the reality of graphic design. As a result, you’ll get them to see things from your perspective.
4. Missing Deadlines
Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels
In the creative world of graphic design, the thought of missing deadlines is enough to get your heart racing for all the wrong reasons. Ideally, you want to avoid this predicament. But, sometimes, it can be beyond your control and happen anyway. So, the next course of action would be to deal with this challenge, but how?
Start by being practical about what this means for you and your client. Usually, these deadlines are self-imposed to allow for flexibility. These are referred to as ‘soft’ deadlines. In today’s digital, there is an increasing number of this type of deadline. ‘Hard’ deadlines are those that are set in stone.
So, when you don’t meet a ‘hard’ deadline, your client is engulfed in anger and disappointment. But the best thing you can do in this situation is to maintain your composure and remorsefully explain why you were unable to meet the given deadline.
Also, remember to conduct yourself professionally. In most cases, this goes a long way in your client being empathetic and giving you a chance to make it right. After all, you’re human, and mistakes happen. Contrarily, being overly defensive and responding emotionally increases the odds of the situation not ending well.
While these are the main 4 graphic design challenges to overcome, another major one that shouldn’t be overlooked is:
Making Promises You Can’t Deliver
This is one of the most adverse and potentially damaging challenges in the world of graphic design. When coming up with expectations and deadlines with your clients, ensure you don’t oversell yourself.
Otherwise, you’ll, later on, have to eat humble pie when you don’t fulfill your end of the bargain. So, it’s safer to complete a project ahead of time and downplay it. Then, exceed your client’s expectations.
Experience is the Best Teacher
These are just a few of the challenges you can expect and overcome in the graphic design industry. Nonetheless, these shouldn’t be the obstacles that stand in the way between you and your zeal to shine through this creative field.
Behind every challenge lies a viable solution. And ultimately, it’s through experience that you learn how to conquer these challenges like a champ. After all, isn't experience the best teacher?
Do any of these graphic design challenges resonate with you? How did you overcome them? Do you have others that you’d like to share? Let us know!
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It’s no secret that looking for the ideal types of graphic design that suit your brand can be overwhelming. While there’s a barrage of great designs, there’s also the batch that’s not so pleasing to the eye. So, how do you sift through it all to discover graphic design types that’ll mesh well with your business’ website, logo, email marketing campaigns, and social media accounts?
Well, buckle up as we give you some insider information on the types of graphic design that’ll enhance your brand and take it to the next level.
1. Visual Identity
A brand refers to the relationship between a business and its target market (audience). Being the voice of a business, a brand communicates its emotions, experiences, personality, essence, and tone. So, the visual identity is a type of graphic design that acts as the face of your brand. It communicates the intangible qualities through color, images, and shapes.
Graphic designers that specialize in visual identity partner with a business’ stakeholders to create color palettes, a library of images, logos, and typography (font style). These are all a representation of your brand’s personality.
Along with the generic business cards and stationery, graphic designers usually formulate style guidelines. These are a description of the top of the range practices and offer visual branding examples that are applicable across different media. It’s through these guidelines that your brand maintains consistency in future applications.
Designers that specialize in visual identity must be well-versed in other types of graphic design. As a result, they’ll be able to come up with design elements that are appropriate for all visual media. Moreover, they need to possess unbeatable creative, communication, and conceptual skills. And, have a knack for researching on your brand’s competitors coupled with current trends.
2.Advertising and Marketing
When you think of graphic design, thoughts of designs created for marketing and advertising purposes come to mind. It should then come as no surprise that your brand depends on successful advertising efforts to tap into its target market’s decision-making process.
The goal of excellent marketing is to engage people based on awareness, wants, satisfaction, and needs concerning the products or services your business offers. Given that visual content is generally more engaging, this type of graphic design aids in improved communication and effective marketing/ advertising.
By teaming up with experts in advertising and marketing graphic design, you’ll be able to create assets that’ll come in handy in effectively promoting your brand. These experts have the option of specializing in a certain type of media or creating a broad range of collateral for digital and print media.
It’s a no-brainer that most products need to be packaged to protect them from damage. Packaging also makes the storage and distribution process a breeze. But, it’s also a means of directly communicating your brand to customers. This makes it a highly valuable tool for promoting your business.
Every can, canister, box, or bottle is an opportunity to tell the story of your brand. So, what better what to enhance it than by hiring a designer that’s skilled in Packaging Graphic Design?
They come up with concepts, create mockups, and generate the print-ready files for products. So, this requires a profound knowledge of industrial manufacturing, design, and print processes involved.
Given that packaging graphic design touches on a barrage of disciplines, it’s a normal occurrence for designers to create other assets like visual identity and photography, for a product.
A packaging graphic designer must possess the ability to meet your clients’ demands and keep up with the current trends to successfully enhance your brand.
Why Is Enhancing Your Brand Important?
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Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash
Through the above types of graphic design, branding is essential to your business because of the significant impact it has on your company. It alters how your target market perceives your brand. So, this may lead to increased brand awareness, which ultimately sends new business your way.
1. Increased Recognition
As a result of enhancing your brand through the above types of graphic design, your business acquires more recognition. This paves the way for more customers, which translates to increased profits that’ll have you laughing all the way to the bank.
The logo which is part of Visual Identity graphic design is the most crucial aspect of branding because it’s the face of your company. So, the logo should not only command attention from your audience but should also make a mark.
2. Increased Business Value
By using the above types of graphic design to boost your brand, you’re able to strongly establish your business in the market. This results in future business as it gives your company more leverage in the sector.
3. Increased Clientele
It’s a no-brainer that a great brand will easily drum up the referral and repeat customers. So, great graphic design that paves the way for a good and lasting impression of your company amongst your clientele, they’re likely to do transact with you.
This is as a result of the familiarity coupled with assumed reliability that comes with using a brand they can trust. Upon properly establishing your brand in the industry, word of mouth will be your company’s most effective marketing technique.
4. Improved Employee Satisfaction and Pride
Employees working for your strongly branded company as a result of implementing the above categories of graphic design will have more satisfaction. Moreover, they’ll take more pride in the work they do.
The satisfaction that stems from working for a reputable brand in a given industry is more fulfilling and will ultimately boost employee productivity. This is because working in a branded office gives your employees a sense of satisfaction and belonging.
As a result, you reap the benefits in the form of increased profits that’ll have you beaming with joy.
The Ideal Types of Graphic Design Do the Trick
Graphic design is an industry that’s constantly evolving. And, there is an increasing demand for expert designers. So, when seeking an ideal fit for the job, being versed in the various types of graphic design will aid in pinpointing the specialist you need.
Are you curious about other types of graphic design that can boost your brand? Get in touch with us today!
Featured Photo by Lukas Bieri on Pixabay
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Graphic design is a large and expansive field. It can be difficult as a graphic designer to know where to start. Of course, the answer is different for everyone. There are plenty of tools used by different graphic designers that achieve awesome results.
This list focuses on 10 tools that are very helpful to almost any graphic designer. You should at least be familiar with these tools so that you can identify what works best for the work you are trying to complete.
Graphic Design Software
Photoshop is perhaps the most famous of all graphic designer programs. Even if you aren’t a graphic designer, you have surely heard of this graphics editing tool.
Photoshop is the industry standard for editing photos and creating digital art. Photoshop offers countless tools and applications to allow photo manipulation and the creation of whole new images. If you are a graphic designer and you are looking for a place to start, then Photoshop is the obvious place to start. While perhaps not the favorite of every graphic designer out there, it can’t hurt to learn the most popular program.
Illustrator is the appropriate next step to Photoshop. Illustrator is a vector graphics editing program and, together with Photoshop, it covers all of the design tools that many graphic designers will ever need.
Illustrator is more adept at creating images of your own. The vast amount of image creation tools and sophisticated layering techniques allow graphic designers the opportunity to create images no matter how complicated. Illustrator is simple enough for beginners to learn yet offers tools and techniques that are sophisticated enough for the most experienced graphic designers. It is no wonder it has remained the industry standard for graphics and logo design.
Procreate is a raster graphics editor that was released in 2011. It is relatively new and has taken the graphic design industry by storm, even challenging Photoshop and Illustrator in many circles. The goal of Procreate was to replicate the natural feel of drawing with a pen (or paintbrush) and paper. It is designed to be used with a stylus for the true drawing experience. From there, choose several brushes, blend modes, masks, filters, and many other tools. It is easy to see why the intuitive experience of Procreate has challenged the Adobe Creative Suite for the graphic design software throne.
Canva is a great tool designed with simplicity in mind. If you are a beginning graphic designer or even if you aren’t a graphic designer at all, Canva is an option that is simple enough for you. It uses basic pre-made templates and simple design elements along with multiple creation tools to modify and edit your work, creating a sophisticated graphic design experience that is simple enough for beginners to use.
Graphic Design Hardware
A Good Laptop
Probably the main tool in your graphic design arsenal is your computer. Most graphic designers can’t do anything without a good computer. Even the best software is useless without one. The most popular choice seems to be the MacBook Pro but it really comes down to what you are comfortable with, not brand identity. Most types of Macs or PCs can run the major graphic design software so it is really personal preference.
The Wacom Bamboo is a tablet designed to replicate the experience of physically drawing with a pencil and paper on your computer. The tablet attaches to your computer and allows you to draw with the stylus, transferring the results right to your design software of choice. It takes some getting used to but the textured surface of a Wacom tablet does its best to replicate the feeling of creating a sketch with a real pen and paper.
External Hard Drive
One thing you will quickly learn about graphic design is that image and design files are huge! A good external hard drive is a must so that your computer doesn’t fill up with files in a matter of weeks. Space is more affordable than ever these days and you can get a massive sized external hard drive for cheap.
iPad + Apple Pencil
Designers have been using iPads for years now and the Apple Pencil has further revolutionized this process. The Apple Pencil is one of the most intuitive, best-reviewed styluses out there for drawing your own designs and creating visual content. It is much more responsive than almost any stylus on the market and simplifies the process of drawing your designs on a tablet in a way that no other stylus can. The lag is almost zero and the precision is extremely accurate.
If you are interested in photography and photo manipulation in your designs, then a good camera is a must. DSLR cameras take high-quality photos and are relatively affordable. When taking pictures for graphic design, the last thing you want to worry about is the quality of the photo itself. So, if you are looking to add photos to your designs, take images for websites, or even share photos on social media, a good DSLR camera supplements all these needs.
Pen and Paper!
Of course, the most basic design tool of all, the old fashioned pen and paper. A pen (or crayon) and paper is probably the first drawing tool you ever used. Graphic designers still find it useful for anything from drawing out initial sketches to creating high-quality mock-ups or even full designs. Even with all the sophisticated steps forward that graphic design has taken, the power of the pen and paper will never be lost.
So there you have it! The 10 tools that graphic designers everywhere use to achieve unique and amazing results. Of course, the nature of design is that it is all different so your needs will, of course, differ from the next designer; however, we think that the tools on this list are a great addition to any designer’s arsenal. Have fun designing!
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Getting graphic design work done can be pretty complicated. Without a doubt, one of the most important steps in this process is hiring the right graphic designer for the job. But how do you choose the right one? A quick Google search or look through the classifieds will show hundreds of people advertising these services so picking a good one can be a tough task.
In this article, we outline five things you should keep in mind to make sure you hire the right graphic designer and get the most out of the work once you make your choice. There are many steps you can take to make the process easier for both you and the graphic designer. Here are some of the most important.
Probably the most important step in choosing a good graphic designer and getting the proper designs made is actually knowing what you want out of the design process. This means careful preparation and outlining of exactly what your goals are. If you don’t properly outline what you want, you won’t be able to properly communicate it to the designer and you won’t end up with the results you were imagining.
Proper preparation includes knowing what you want designed, knowing the general feel and aesthetic you are aiming for, the target audience, and being able to provide an outline of your brand. These factors are essential if you intend to effectively communicate your design needs. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for, then you can start the hiring process for a professional designer to put it together.
Do Your Research
Next up is finding a professional graphic designer. The most important part of this process is simple – do your research! In order to find a good designer that provides the reputable services you are looking for, you need to do spend some time learning more about possible candidates for the job.
One valuable source of research is simply asking around. Almost all businesses use graphic design services so ask friends, family, co-workers, or anyone you can think of. Chances are, someone can point you to a designer who they had a positive experience with and that can help alleviate a lot of your worries.
Next up, us sites that are specifically set up for hiring designers. Sites such as manypixels.co take your requests and match you up with a good designer in a matter of days. They are made to alleviate the pressure of choosing a professional designer and instead match you with one that suits your needs. Designs are revised as many times as you need and are only finalized when you are happy.
Overall, it is a wise choice to survey the market as much as possible and, again, research is key.
Communicate Your Needs Effectively
Once you’ve found a graphic designer that you think you can work with, you will quickly learn how important communication is. While you are hiring a designer for their expertise, there is also a burden on you to communicate exactly what your goals are and what kind of design you are trying to achieve. Remember, although the designer is hired to bring their special skills to the task, you are still working with them. They can’t read your mind, after all.
Schedule a sit-down at the start of the process where you can clearly outline your goals for the project as well as all the specifics that you outlined when you were planning the project in the first place. Be sure that everyone involved understands these goals and don’t be afraid to take suggestions about the graphic design as well. After this initial sit down, be sure to keep up open communication with your graphic designer at all times to make sure the project moves along smoothly.
Remember, aside from communicating what you want out of your graphic designer, you should also ask enough questions to determine whether they are capable of achieving that. Ask about their experiences, their education within the design field, previous clients and work experience, and anything you think is relevant to determining whether they are someone you should hire.
A high level of experience often speaks to a history of customer satisfaction and tells you that this is someone you can trust. But you should do everything you can to be a great client, too, which means being open and transparent and (of course) paying on time and when agreed upon. Do your best to ensure that you hire the best person for the job and someone with whom you can have an excellent working relationship.
Of course, perhaps the most important question you should ask when deciding which graphic designer you should hire is, is it a good fit? This comes down to personal preference. Before you hire a graphic designer, use all the info you have gathered to determine one simple thing: is this person a good fit for me, my business, and this project? Is this the right graphic designer to help you achieve your goals?
There are many ways that you can find this out, which is another reason why it’s important to know what you want and do the research and due diligence necessary to know that you are hiring someone who can meet your expectations. Ideally, by the end of this process, you should just know that this person can provide the level of service that you are seeking.
As you can see, there are many options available when choosing a graphic designer. Overall, the most important thing is choosing someone who you can work with to achieve your goals. We’ve shown you what you need to do to outline these goals and the research, analysis, and conversations you must have to communicate them.
You can see how all these pieces work together to help you pick a graphic desiner who is a great fit for you and for your brand. And at the end of the day, finding that fit is most important.... Read more
So, you’re looking to get into graphic design and you don’t know where to start. It’s an understandable predicament. The nature of design means that there are so many elements to consider and, though the fundamentals of graphic design are important, the only limits are your creativity. Creativity is a pretty tough thing to box in, after all. That said, there are some principles of design and basic concepts that seem to span across all areas of design. As a beginning graphic designer, these are the concepts that you need to learn about.
In this article, we look at seven basic principles of graphic design that are essential to understand as you learn about theory in design school or teach yourself the elements of design. By understanding the basics, you can begin to expand your knowledge and see how these concepts fit into the broader landscape of design and art in general.
7 Graphic Design Basics
One of the basics of graphic design is a concept that is so simple, you might not realize how important it is. Of course, we’re talking about the line! A majority of every visual design is in some way comprised of lines. Understanding how these lines work together to form the big picture is crucial in any artists’ interpretation of design. You may find that the most basic tool of any design program is the line tool, and for good reason. Understanding how to build a design from its most basic point is the best way to get started.
Shapes are a logical extension of the line. A shape is really just a combination of lines but learning to use shapes effectively is crucial for any graphic designer. Shapes can be used in everything, from minimalist designs to combining many shapes to create something quite complex. Realistically, any design - even photorealistic drawing - is just learning to draw shapes in just the right way. Learning how to use shapes is perhaps the most important thing you will learn as a graphic designer.
Next up is color. Color is a key weapon in the arsenal of any designer. It sounds like a simple subject, but the possibilities and combinations that can be achieved with color are endless. Whether it is a simple design that highlights a single color, or a grand, detailed tapestry, color is what permeates the entire design and makes up the overall feel.
Text is a major part of design these days. If you are adding words to your design, a good understanding of text is crucial. Not only does it help to convey the message you are trying to say, but a good text also elevates the entire design. By choosing a font that matches the feel of your design, you increase the impact of your message. Additionally, adjusting the size, color, thickness, and shape of your text further adds its impact.
Remember, the text is not as simple as the words you are trying to say. A good graphic designer uses it as an integral part of the overall design.
Sometimes more important than what you do in design is what you don’t do. Space perfectly illustrates this concept. In design, space is the area that is left blank or is only filled with a background color. The way that a designer uses space drastically impacts how the design is perceived. A design with a lot of space is perceived as open and easy to look at which is why so many logos and websites are designed in the simplest way possible.
Depending on the type of design you are going for, you should be familiar with the implications of using too much or too little space. It might be the most important aspect of the overall perception of your design at first glance.
This is where you can start to put all your design principles to use. From shapes, to colors, to space, balance is what really ties it all together in a completed design.
Balance is the way that all the design elements are grouped and how they are spread out throughout the design. It involves combining individual elements into one cohesive whole that creates a design to achieve your goal.
Well-balanced designs could be highly symmetrical, asymmetrical, designed in a circular pattern, or more. The key here is understanding the type of balance you are going for and using the tools you have to achieve that. It is a big picture strategy and you should plan for the type of balance you want before you begin your design.
Finally, hierarchy is a principle of design which determines which elements of your design are focal points. Which do you want the viewer to focus on? Hierarchy can help you achieve great design while drawing the viewer to a certain key element. Generally, the larger something is, the more of a focal point it is; however, this can also be influenced by placement, shape, and even contrasting colors.
Knowing about hierarchy is crucial in certain types of design, specifically website design where you want to accentuate key facts and pages or information pamphlets and business cards where you want to draw the reader to certain details. An understanding of hierarchy is important for functional and practical designs.
These seven design basics we highlighted are key concepts that beginners and advanced graphic designers alike should understand. Design is really only the sum of its parts and by understanding even the most basic concepts, you can create something of great complexity.
These concepts also help you understand design from a practical standpoint. So much of design is about highlighting key points or creating an overall “feel”. These big-picture concepts do just that and open your toolbox to create designs that achieve what you are aiming for.... Read more
Perhaps you have gone into graphic design thinking it’s all about creative freedom and the romantic notion of putting together the perfect designs to match your tastes. While that’s part of it, another main part of being a graphic designer is client relations. Working with clients quickly shows you that there is much more to being a graphic designer than making designs.
As a graphic designer, impressing your clients is perhaps the most important thing you can do to grow your business. Identifying and responding to a client’s needs is crucial to make sure that they are satisfied with your work.
This article focuses on four important ideas that you can use to impress your clients and have them coming back for more (or giving you those all-important referrals). So let’s get started:
Identify the Client’s Needs
Impressing a client is all about appealing to their needs. As a graphic designer, your first and biggest priority should be delivering what your clients want.
To do this, you must first properly assess their needs. This starts by sitting down with the client and finding out what they are looking for. This initial meeting could be the most important part of the entire design process. Find out what it is that they want you to design and then discuss their goals with their branding and imagery. You need to ask many questions and get a complete picture of the branding design they’re looking for.
It is very important to establish these benchmarks at the very beginning of the process. This way, you have something to use as a frame of reference and both you and your client have all the details out on the table. You will find it is much easier to work with someone when they have clearly outlined what they want. It holds you both accountable for creating the perfect design.
Be Up Front
As we mentioned, it is very important fora client to outline everything they want from the design process; however, as a graphic designer, this burden ultimately falls on you. You have to let the client know exactly what they can expect.
Some things you should let prospective clients know upfront are how much they can expect to pay, how much time you expect everything to take, and a little about how they should expect the process to go. These are realistic expectations and it is better to just get them out of the way than to have it catch them by surprise.
You need to be sure not to overpromise. You might find that people are a lot more understanding when designers let them know what to expect whereas if you promise something and don’t deliver, conflicts arise. If you know your process, it is very easy to simply lay it all out at the outset. Don’t create problems where they don’t need to exist.
Create a Product That They Really Want
Of course, you want to create a design based on what you discussed with the client at the initial meeting. You want to meet their needs and you absolutely should do your best to give them what they want. That said, as a graphic designer, a major part of your job is also adding your own expertise and skill set to the job.
You are the design professional, after all, so you need to take the ideas and aesthetic clients are looking for and apply your own expertise, skill, and talent. This includes doing research on the company and its competitors to create something that is in line with their industry and reflects current design trends.
It is all about finding that delicate balance between what your client wants and how to add your own expertise and professionalism. After all, if they could do it themselves, they wouldn’t have hired you after all. The best practice is generally just to keep your client in the loop whenever possible. Let them know how your work is progressing and be open about the process.
A huge part of graphic design (or any client-facing role, really) is in the follow-up. You want to deliver something that your client is truly happy with but know that your job doesn’t end there. Once you have successfully delivered a design, you should always follow up to make sure they are happy with what you have done and to keep up to date with their business in general. This can be something as simple as wishing them a happy birthday, remember, you’re just trying to stay on the top of their mind. That way, if they ever need further graphic design services or if a friend asks them for a referral, your name is at the top of the list!
Follow up is a technique that is lost on so many people in customer service roles. Once the job is over, your work as a graphic designer is not! Follow up is a great (and very easy!) way to lock down repeat business and referrals.
As you can see, your job as a graphic designer goes well beyond making designs and you really have to be great at managing clients for your business to succeed. The most important thing is perhaps to manage expectations. Keep your client in the loop the entire time and be sure that what you are creating matches up with their needs.
Remember, they hired you to do a job for them which means it’s up to you to make sure that their needs are met. They brought you on board because you have skills that they don’t so adding your talent, expertise, and skillset is a crucial factor as well. Finding this balance can be a difficult task but with openness and communication, you can really nail it and give your clients exactly what they are looking for!... Read more
Here we go again, here are our favourite design requests of the month of July.
All those design requests have made by our ManyPixels designers. Congratulations Juan, Adit, Ita, Evgenia, Christian, Wis, Nurul fore being be featured in this month's collection.
1. Blog post images
One very good way to make your content stand out is to illustrate your articles with images throughout: It is easier to read! Blog post images are a very popular type of requests that companies or bloggers order on ManyPixels.
Blog post images
2. Comparison graphics (with illustrations)
Another popular design request on ManyPixels are comparison graphic design requests (with our without illustrations). Comparing how your product stands out from the competition or comparing different customers (before / after, or with / without) is a great way to explain your value proposition to your prospective customers.
3. Brochure with illustrations
This one is my personal favourite! Whether you are sending a print or digital brochures, complementing it with illustrations is a great way to appear more professional and convey the benefits you are offering to your customers.
Brochure with illustrations
4. Infographic design
Here's a creative way to amplify your content: Graphic design to repurpose your content. As a company or blogger you probably have a ton of content but having infographics is a great way to re-use and reformat the content you already produced.
5. Landing page with quirky or cartoonish illustrations
Here's a trend in design: cartoonish illustrations on landing pages / marketing websites. They make your website have a unique feel and distinctive branding.
Landing page with cartoonish illustrations
6. Carousel Facebook ad designs (with illustrations)
Here's two ideas for your next Facebook advertising campaign: Tell a story or show the multiple benefits your product / services has. A great way to do so is to use illustrations (they are great for storytelling) and the Carousel ad format from Facebook.
Carousel ad designs
7. Isometric illustrations
Here's a unique type of design request our designers love to do: Isometric illustrations. These illustrations are great for video game companies or simply if you want to design a city, design an office building, or design a map.
Here's an example design by our team:
7. Children book illustrations or character design
A huge audience is for products (books, gaming, education) is children and the best way to communicate what you do: With illustrations!
Here's an example made by our team with fun character illustration designs:
Children book illustration
8. Lead magnet design
What is the next step after you attract traffic to your website? Convert your users! The best way to convert your users it to offer a free product / service / sample and that is called a lead magnet. We do that at ManyPixels with our design library.
You can use this lead magnet on your blog / on our main website.
Here's an example of lead magnet (without copywriting):
Lead magnet design
9. Packaging design
Are you running an e-commerce store or any store that deliver physical products? Having a great packaging is great for marketing / improves the value perception of your product.
Here's an example done by our team in July for a moving service company (and their custom moving boxes!):
10. Custom multipurpose illustrations
I think you noticed: We love illustrations! Here is some more inspiration. You can use illustrations to complement your how it works page, the different services / products you offer, or simply to make your website more easy to understand.
If you need custom design made, you can always check out our website.... Read more
Each month, we're doing a small round up with design trends and ideas for your next requests. Here are 7 ideas for what you can request in June.
1. Blog post illustrations
The currency of internet is content. Great content will help you get ranked on search engine, but also educate customers. One way to make your content more interesting and engaging is by creating blog post headers / illustrations.
Here's a simple blog post header by Alex:
Blog post header
Another request idea is to request multiple blog post headers at once. This is useful if you want to plan this along your content calendar:
Here's an example done by Alex:
Blog post header
2. Custom illustrations
Another popular request is custom illustrations. You can use them for practically anything you want!
Custom illustrations 2
3. Landing page illustrations
Another request you can make is landing page illustrations. They will capture the visitor attention and reduce bounce rate. And as an added bonus: This makes your branding more unique!
Landing page illustrations
Here is another example done by our team:
Landing page illustrations
4. Pinterest image design
Another great source of leads for your business is Pinterest. Here is an example of design made by our team:
Pinterest image design
5. Logo and brand guide
One of our most popular type of request is logo and brand guides. Here is one our team made for a fin tech startup.
6. Banner design
Banners are a great way to catch the attention. Whether they are to display on your website (to ask customers to download an ebook for example) or for advertising, having a well-designed banner will improve conversions.
7. Display ads
Another popular request you can order is display ads. Whether it is for Google or Facebook, you can make one request and ask them to have them designed for multiple platforms.
Here are some examples designed by our team:
... Read more