So you’re in the market for a graphic designer?  Maybe you’re starting a new business and you need someone to help you visualize your brand.  Or perhaps your business has been around for a long time and you’re looking to refresh your brand and catch up with the times.  Either way, you’re going to want to hire the best possible graphic designer you can find.  But how exactly do you determine who that is?  This certainly isn’t a decision to make flying by the seat of your pants, but we have 3 factors you can look at to help you make the right choice.

The portfolio.  Obviously.  Of course you are going to look at the portfolio of the graphic designers you interview.  That’s just common sense.  But what exactly are you looking for?  Unless you are an experienced graphic designer yourself, it can often be challenging to determine what separates a good portfolio from a bad one.  Generally speaking, you will want to see work that is neat with clean lines and an organizational flow.  You want to see a variety of work that demonstrates that the designer can appease a wide array of styles.  But most importantly you want to ask yourself, “Does the work in this portfolio appeal to me?”  If you don’t find it appealing, your audience might not either.

The designer.  You want to make sure that the designer is someone your business can get along with.  Is he or she flexible, reasonable, and able to take constructive criticism?  There will probably come a time where you and the designer do not agree on how a certain design should look, but at the end of the day, it is your business, not the designer’s.  You want to find a designer that is willing to work with you to create a final design that not only looks good, but also meets your needs.

The past.  Before you sign on with a graphic designer, take a look into their past.  Check out work they have done for other businesses and entertain the reviews others have provided.  After all, past experience is generally the best predictor of future performance.  Talk to the designer about their feelings about past work too.  Ask them about how they handled situations where they did not agree with the client.  Be on the lookout for red flags like making excuses or complaining about past projects.  You want to hire a designer that is both an artist AND a professional.

There are plenty of great graphic designers out there, but even more that will leave you disappointed.  Ask the right questions and do your research and you will be able to find the best designer for your needs.

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