Hiring a Graphic Design Company or Consultant

“Hiring people is like making friends. Pick good ones, and they’ll enrich your life. Make bad choices, and they’ll bring you down.”

— Jason Fried, Founder of Basecamp

If it’s a job worth doing, it’s a job worth doing right, and graphic design is no exception.

Too often, companies go through serious calculations to free up a proper budget for graphic design projects but then speed their way through the hiring and vetting process. At Peartree, our best and longest-lasting clients are the ones who do their homework and take the care to make an informed choice.

We invite the scrutiny of potential clients and recommend these steps in searching for a local graphic designer. Even if you don’t hire us, these steps should help prevent hiring someone who can’t complete the job:

Google — This has become the first step in practically every business decision that involves spending money on a vendor. The first two pages of results usually tell the majority of the story.

Better Business Bureau — Old school? Maybe but it can often be an easy way of determining whether a firm is even worth a phone call. Peartree’s A-Plus rating is a reflection of 20 years of jobs well done, on time and on budget. Also, we’re not accredited by the BBB, meaning we haven’t paid them money to achieve our rating. Like all the work we do, our rating is purely organic.

Education — We’ve heard the arguments that many famous creative talents never graduated high school, let alone college, and we think that’s valid for gallery and studio artists. However, working with clients in a business environment requires more than talent. It requires discipline, people skills, a collaborative spirit and the ability to work well with a variety of people and professionals. That’s what higher education teaches, so we require our designers to have a 4-year degree.

Portfolio — Every artist, creative design agency and firm will have a portfolio of past work to show you, but that’s an exercise that’s about far more than looking at pretty pictures. You want to look for a variety of designs that communicate different brand personalities. Looking for work relevant to your specific industry is also tempting, but it’s more important to see a wide range of ideas and looks. As actors are praised for their range and chameleon-like ability to play vastly different characters, an excellent graphic design firm should be able to produce compelling work for a variety of different industries.

Personality — Many graphic design projects take weeks to complete and require a measure of collaboration with the client, so it’s essential to analyze the personalities involved. Are these people you could work with for an extended period of days or weeks? The process works better when you like the people involved, as long as they meet the other qualifications above. Peartree’s culture is centered around building relationships with our clients, so we understand how important it is to have a good fit with our clients.

We believe that hiring well is 90 percent of having a successful company and our 20 years of success is proof that we know how to do it right.


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