How to Select Graphic Design Studio:
Seven "Must Have" Traits
the Secret to Selecting the Right Studio for Your Project
When looking for
a graphic design studio to turn an abstract idea into
something tangible, you want to work with someone who
listens to you and who understands you and your business.
Selecting the right graphic design studio for your project
may seem simple, but with so many different styles and
levels of talent, education and experience, be sure
to do your research. Choose someone who is not only
talented but who is also professional and can complete
your project without surprises.
Here's how to select a graphic designer who will meet
or exceed your expectations.
- Graphic design education and professional
design skills: Having a formal education
in graphic design gives the professional designer
an edge over others, because he or she has learned
the foundational principles of design and how those
principles translate into an attractive, effective
printed or web-based design. In addition, the graphic
designer you select should have the appropriate skill
set and relevant experience with projects like
yours (including software skills, InDesign experience,
HTML coding, newsletter integration, etc.) to ensure
an accurate estimate up front.
- A strong portfolio
that resonates with the viewer: Most graphic
designers offer an online portfolio of their work,
so prospective clients can get a sense of their style.
When viewing graphic designers' portfolios, consider
the work of firms whose style is similar to what you
want. Are you looking for a clean, crisp professional
design, something light-hearted and whimsical or a
design that’s a little on the kitschy side?
Do you want a bright, bold design that draws you to
it or something a little softer and more understated?
- Exceptional business skills: Excellent
business skills separate a good graphic design studio
from a great one. Of course, you want someone who
listens to your ideas and has the ability to translate
them into a tangible design, but just as importantly,
you need a graphic designer who understands basic
business necessities including deadlines, budget restrictions
and return on investment.
- Timeliness and responsiveness:
You have key deadlines to meet. To ensure that your
work flow doesn’t get interrupted, you need
a graphic design studio that completes projects on
time and that is responsive to your needs. Ask for
time estimates for the major stages of your project,
as well as regular status updates. Find out anticipated
response times for quote requests, phone calls and
e-mails. In other words, can you depend on your designer
to keep your project on track?
- Solid references: Anyone can give
you the answers you want to hear. To be sure that
you choose the right graphic design studio, check
their references. Talk to past clients to see if projects
were completed on time, within budget and to the client’s
satisfaction. Ask if they’d use the graphic
designer again and make sure to ask why or why not.
- Professionalism: A professional
graphic designer will explain his or her process to
you (what to expect, steps in the process, etc.),
answer any questions you have up front and will provide
you with a written agreement that specifies what services
have been included in the quote. During this stage,
the graphic designer should tell you what rights they
are selling to you regarding the design as well as
how many revisions are included in the originally
- Personable demeanor: Whether your
project is a one-time deal or a long-term one, you
want to work with a graphic designer who is personable
— good listener, easy to talk to, gets what
you’re saying, etc.
If you consider these seven "must have" traits
when selecting a designer for your next print or online
project, you will ensure a positive experience for everyone
involved and, ideally, you’ll find a graphic designer
with whom you want to partner on future projects.
Return to Resources, learn
about our graphic design services
or contact us to discuss your
next print or online project and ensure it goes smoothly.