Top Tips to Remember When Hiring a Graphic Design Firm for a Business
Dated graphic design with a 1980s flair isn’t the branding your company wants to be associated with. So, if your company hasn’t upgraded its branding since the 1980s, it may be time for a change.
Graphic design is an age-old profession in which concepts, graphics and imagery continue to evolve. A professional graphic design firm can transform your brand’s marketing materials from dated to modern while retaining the emotional connection to your audience.
Every business must have their visual communications reflect their company’s values and worth. A business must demonstrate to customers and clients that it values it’s image. Just as an employee needs to come to work dressed professionally, graphic design needs to communicate a businesses’ professionalism.
Otherwise, that business may not be taken seriously or worse, it may repel their target audience.
But, hiring a graphic design firm takes tact, patience, and know-how about the graphic design industry. If you want to hire the best graphic design firm to meet your needs, then read on for helpful tips to guide you through the process.
Updating the Outdated: Tips for Hiring a Graphic Design Firm
Outsourcing aspects of your business is a challenge. As business owners, we all have a bottom line we need to adhere to, however, we would hate to waste time and money by hiring the wrong graphic design firm.
Explore the following tips for hiring a graphic design firm so you can feel confident in your investment.
1. Understand Your Company
Hiring a graphic design firm isn’t just about finding a great graphic design portfolio. It’s also about re-assessing your company and connecting your audience to its goals and values. Which is another aspect of understanding your company — reviewing exactly who your current target audience is and how they shop for your product or services.
To discover this information, you need to research your businesses’ demographics and target audience. An experienced, professional graphic design firm will help you do this. A truly experienced and skilled firm will either request this creative brief before taking your project, or offer to develop it with you, so they can use it to create the perfect design for your business and your audience.
2. Analyze Their Portfolio
Graphic designers are advanced “business” artists. And, just like any other artists, graphic designers have different styles and techniques at which they excel. For example, some graphic designers may excel at freehand illustration, whereas others may excel at creating graphic designs in a technical style.
Analyze any potential graphic design firm’s portfolio to determine if their style and skills are right for your company.
3. Release Emotional Attachments
Graphic design and marketing materials mark a time in a company’s history. Just by looking back on a company’s logo (take a look at the history of your favorite Sports teams logos) we can be flooded with nostalgia and happy memories. This often can make upgrading graphic design materials so difficult.
But, when we struggle to let go of our emotional attachments to previous phases in our business, we may be preventing growth and expansion.
We may also have an attachment to certain images, photos, and fonts.
Always keep in mind that a seasoned graphic designer is an expert in their field. While they understand the value of emotion, they also are well-versed in marketing and visual communication trends.
To make sure you’re sending the right message, trust your graphic designer when they offer you advice concerning these design components.
4. Create Goals
Without clear goals, your graphic design firm may not produce the results you want.
You know your business better than anyone. And, while graphic designers know how to create compelling visual designs, they may miss the mark if your design goals aren’t clear.
Compile a list of goals (or ask the design firm to work with you to define your goals), such as upgrading your lmarketing materials to target millennials, or re-branding your logo to better reflect your businesses image. An experienced, well-organized graphic design firm will act as a partnership with your business, rather than just regurgitate your ideas.
5. Set a Budget
Graphic design firms will either charge by the hour or per project. So, before you seek out a graphic design firm, you’ll want to define your budget. By doing so, you ensure that the graphic design firm understands your expectations.
Your budget will allow you to assess which graphic design firm can meet your design goals based on your budget. If you have only $500 to rebrand your logo, you might need to consider a freelance designer over a professional graphic design firm.
6. Ask for References
Many graphic design firms have customer testimonials on their websites. While these testimonials provide some insight, they don’t give you the whole picture. Seek out other references such as Google reviews. And In addition to reading online testimonials, it’s also recommended to ask for previous client references.
You can speak with these references directly to determine how satisfied they were and to learn more about the graphic design firm’s process.
7. Be Open-Minded
When you trust the skills of a graphic design firm, it’s important to be open-minded. Allow them to be creative so that they can meet your goals and vision.
Cultivate a sense of teamwork by granting your graphic design firm space to experiment. Give them a chance to show you the best work they can come up with instead of just recreating your own ideas.
You may discover that the graphic design firm’s work exceeds your expectations as a result.
8. Expand Their Duties
Consistency is essential to every business. To increase your company’s brand recognition, it’s recommended to include your graphic design firm in designing materials for your entire brand — signage, tradeshows, social media and website.
Brand recognition promotes trust and familiarity for your customers. And, since many of your customers will find your services and products online, they need to be able to seamlessly identify your business through visual communication.
Ask the graphic design firm to create designs that are cohesive and compatible for your social media and website. Gather their advice and recommendations to ensure your brand’s online presence accurately reflects your in-person materials.
Hiring the Right Graphic Design Firm for Your Business
By following these tips for hiring a graphic design firm, you’ll be one step closer to updating your marketing materials.
In addition to hiring a graphic design firm, you should also consider updating your marketing strategy. In the Digital Age, your competitors can be located thousands of miles away. But, with the right graphic design, branding, and marketing strategy, you can compete successfully in a global market.
Interested in hiring a high-quality marketing and graphic design firm? Contact us today to learn more about our services and to schedule a consultation.