A logo is a pretty typical place people start when thinking about their visual brand. But the truth is, branding is about so much more than a logo. It’s about purposefully using visual cues such as colour, imagery, layout and type to make an impression.
And in business, impressions are important!
If you want people to stop and listen to what you have to say, you need to look like someone they want to stop and listen to.
If you want people to invest in you, you need to look like you’ve invested in yourself.
So, while you may be able to whip up a quick logo or social post in Canva, it’s important to stop and ask yourself what impression you actually want to create.
And if you don’t have the skills to create that impression yourself, then maybe you need a graphic designer.
5 things to consider when you need a graphic designer
Graphic design is a skill, and even though Canva is a great tool that will help you create some pretty neat images, its tools can only take you so far. So, if you’re looking to hire a graphic designer, here are five traits to look out for when choosing yours:
1. They have fantastic attention to detail
Design that really sticks out isn’t made in five minutes. It takes time and requires eagle-eyed attention to detail.
If there’s even the slightest mistake, the logo or image will look a bit off and amateurish. A great graphic designer will check their creation multiple times to ensure there are no issues with alignment, balance, look, feel and colour.
2. They’re super-organised
A lot of time, edits and drafts go into creating the perfect image, so if you need a graphic designer, they need to be super-organised.
If a graphic designer isn’t organised, their files and design variations will get lost or mixed up. And before you know it, you’re receiving unfinished or rough draft versions of work the designer never intended you to see.
When choosing your designer, make sure you ask how you will receive the work and how it’ll be labelled, so you aren’t wasting your time looking at the wrong version.
3. They’re used to working in a variety of styles
They’re not afraid to do things differently and work in a variety of different styles to what they’re used to.
Sure, you want a graphic designer who has a portfolio with styles you really love. But as projects progress, sometimes what you had in mind changes and you want something completely different.
Designers have their favoured style, but they’re also used to creating work that’s out of their comfort zone too.
4. They’re excellent problem solvers
They’re experts at what they do and know how to guide you to what you want.
Graphic designers aren’t just a tool that you get to create the images you want; they’re problem solvers too. If something isn’t working, they’ll either find a way to fix it and incorporate your ‘must-have’ element into the design.
And if they can’t, they’ll explain the reasoning behind their decision.
If a must-have element is to the detriment of your branding, then it’s best to trust their expert advice.
5. They’re great oral and visual communicators
Good design is design that works. And good design communicates the right message to the right audience.
A good designer understands how to communicate a message effectively. And not only with the final artwork. They should also be a great communicator throughout the project, so you get designs that blow your mind and the mind of your audience.
Do you really need to hire a graphic designer?
The truth is, only you can answer that, but here is my advice:
Investing in a graphic designer is a great way to get the basic foundations right.
Working with a designer to build and create brand guidelines and templates makes it easier to jump into Canva to create a brochure, leaflet or poster that feels consistent and well designed.
In the long run, it’s a lot more cost-effective than hiring a designer to jump in and design something for you in isolation.
However, if the graphic design side of your business isn’t the issue, but the web design and content aspect are, The Good Alliance has got your back.
To work out if you need a web designer, check out our article, 5 things to look for when you need a web designer. Or, to see if you need a copywriter, head over to 5 things to look for when you need a copywriter.
Need a hand creating your dream design?
If so, then our five super-helpful pieces of advice will help you work out who is the right kind of graphic designer for your business.
Or maybe we could help?
We’ve worked with hundreds of brands over the years and created an eye-catching online presence for countless coaches, consultants, charities and social enterprises.
To see if your business is the right fit, apply to work with us and let’s get the conversation started.
Oriane is a Franco-Australian brand designer who loves using her creative brain to help ethical businesses. When she’s not at her desk crafting visual identities, you’ll find her making natural soap bars for her business, Poppy Suds.