Back to Blog
1.jpg
ManyPixelsNov 09, 2019
Share

How to Choose the Best Graphic Design Services for Your Business

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.

Portfolio Evaluation

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.

A portfolio constitutes.jpg 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?

Test Creativity

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.

Closing Remarks

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.

Featured Photo by rawpixel.com

More from our Blog

ManyPixelsOct 30, 2019

7 Graphic Design Basics Every Designer Should Know

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 Lines 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 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. Colors 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 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. Space 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. Balance 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. Hierarchy 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. Conclusion 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
ManyPixelsOct 30, 2019

4 Graphic Design Ideas to Impress Your Clients

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. Follow Up 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. Conclusion 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
ManyPixelsJun 24, 2019

June 2019 Design Ideas

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 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. Finin 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. Banner design 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: DisplayAds DisplayAds2 DisplayAds3 ... Read more