The creative graphic designer’s task to provide an appealing product is typically based on several different elements. Sometimes they are asked to create an ideology from a blank canvas; other times they are requested to create a finished thought from images and text provided by the client. Have you ever considered the value of a graphic designer’s time to build your desired finished product?
One of the first realizations as a business owner is the fact that you cannot do everything yourself. This is the time that you employ business partners to work with you, people that are experienced and skilled in areas that you are not. The creative graphic designer is one of those partners and sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of running our business, I think we may take these valuable individuals for granted.
Whether tasked with the implementation of designing a new logo, compiling a color/image scheme that conveys a subliminal message or just a plain and simple text placement with appealing font selection, the graphic designer’s job is complex. Sometimes, to provide the best product, a designer might need to cohesively blend all of these elements together to achieve their goal.
The creativity to implement the desired result involves “think time” for your contracted designer to plan the best outcome. As the business owner, it is extremely important that you respect this aspect of the creative process if you want to receive quality results from your designer. “Think time” enables your designer to proactively plan your project both mentally and visually to map out the best plan to achieve your desired result. The last thing you want from your designer is a knee jerk reaction to your design requests, resulting in a poorly designed product that fails to meet your requirements.
So, how does a business owner go about adding a quality graphic designer to their team? What resources and characteristics must they search for?
1. Past work history. Progressive business owners are hip to trends and changes going on in the marketplace. They pay attention to what their competitors and their peers are doing, and in this process, observe the work of various graphic designers. When shopping for a creative graphic designer, you may have admired their work through a peer or competitor or you may have even searched them out on the web.
2. Referrals. New graphic design partnerships are often formed simply through a referral. If a trusted friend or peer has a had a great relationship with a designer and you see evidence of their great work, this can often lead to the start of a relationship. New relationships built on referrals are great because trust is already earned through the referral relationship. However, because of this high level of trust, expectations are high, so it is important that the designer work hard to live up to that expectation and maintain that trust.
3. Existing relationship. You may also find a graphic designer through an existing relationship you have through another channel. It could be a trusted friend or family member or an old colleague you know that recently started their own business. Like the referral, trust is already there because the relationship exists, but the burden rests on the designer to preserve the relationship by providing a high quality product that meets the needs of their new client and partner.
Now that we have established how you choose your graphic designer, it is important to review the creative process that the business owner must follow with their graphic designer to create the best product for their business. There is much more to the process than simply choosing a graphic designer, and then telling them, “go.” They do not have a crystal ball to see into your future or your vision for your product. It is a give and take relationship.
In part II of this series, I will reveal how you can embrace the creative process with your designer and work with them lock and step to achieve the results you want. In the meantime, give your designer a hug. They deserve it.