Most small businesses need a graphic designer at one point or another. Finding a graphic designer may be easy, but finding the right graphic designer will take some effort on your part. There are many different online marketplaces to locate graphic design services, but finding someone online may lead you to designers who aren’t familiar with your business or your geographic locale. And choosing a graphic designer based solely on price can turn out to be an expensive mistake.
Locating the right graphic designer for your business
Before you look for a graphic designer, spend a few minutes thinking about what your business needs immediately, and what you’ll need in the coming months. Knowing what you’re looking for will help you determine whether prospective designers can do the work you need now, and how they fit into your longer-range objectives.
Your business may need print-based marketing support, such as logo design, brochures, print advertising, package design, business cards and promotional products. On the other hand, your business may need digital design support, like web design or video advertising. You may need a combination of both. Knowing what skill set you’re looking for can help you locate the right graphic designer.
Once you know what kind of support you need from a graphic designer, look locally before searching for a designer online. A local graphic designer will be responsive to the needs of your business. Your own clientele may come from all over the world, but having a local designer will allow you to have face-to-face meetings, avoid time-zone issues and give you a measure of control that you won’t have with a graphic designer or a design firm located in another state or even overseas.
Focus on the budget, but don’t focus exclusively on the bottom line. In other words, set a budget for your graphic designer, but don’t select a graphic designer based solely on the designer’s hourly rate or package cost. Working with a local designer has some intangible benefits. In addition to having more control over your projects, by working with a local design firm, you spend your dollars locally and help build the economy in the area in which you live. Sending your dollars out of your local economy is a net loss for the home team, and could make conducting business locally more difficult.
If having both flexibility and control is important, consider hiring a graphic designer as part of a creative retainer agreement. A creative retainer allows you to commit a pre-set dollar amount each month to graphic design work. It also allows you to avoid overhead costs like office space, taxes and benefits, while enabling you to take advantage of a professional designer who knows your business. A creative retainer agreement is ideal for businesses that have a steady, but variable amount of graphic design work, or that need graphic design work done regularly but don’t want to hire a part-time or full-time staff designer. It’s also a great option for businesses that have short deadlines for graphic design work.
If you would like more information about hiring a local graphic designer, or putting a creative retainer to work for you, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: kkiser, via FreeImages.com