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Have you worked with a Graphic Designer in the past? Better yet, do you know what a Graphic Designer is or what they do? Graphic Design might seem like a mystery job, but it shapes everything that you see in the world around you.
Take a look around your office: A Graphic Designer created the logo for the company that made your computer monitor. The calendar that you rely on to keep yourself on track? Laid out by a Graphic Designer! The invoices that your company uses? Yep, them too! Even the magazines in your break room, the wrapper on your granola bar, and the advertisements you see while scrolling through Facebook.
Read on to learn more about what a Graphic Designer is, what they can do for your business, what to expect when you start a project and how you can make the most of the process!
What is a Graphic Designer?
Graphic Designers use computers to create layouts and graphics that often combine colour, text, illustrations and photos to visually communicate a message online or in print media. In their toolbox are the essential programs: Adobe Illustrator (for logo design and illustration), Adobe InDesign (for layout) and Adobe Photoshop (for photo editing).
Graphic Designers create layouts for almost everything you see during your day.
1) Print - mailers, publications, business cards, packaging etc.
2) Social media - ads, posts, profile and cover images etc.
3) Branding - logo design, brand standards guidelines etc.
4) Advertising - web banners, magazine ads, billboards etc.
5) Signage - business signs, banners, rink boards, vehicle lettering & magnets etc.
Why should you work with a Graphic Designer?
Graphic Designers are trained to design professional graphics. They understand how to draw attention, highlight important information, and communicate beyond the obvious written message by using colours, shapes and photos.
Professionally designed graphics make the most of your business’ investment into print, social media, branding, advertising or signage. Why use generic invoices that don’t accommodate the products or services you provide when you could have a custom-designed invoice with space for the information that is important to you? Why advertise with lawn signs if the text is too small to read? A Graphic Designer will ensure that your message is as effective as possible within the parameters.
Proper file types and sizes are also important, especially when it comes to print. Low resolution or poorly designed files can be costly to re-print or reflect poorly on your business.
How do you pick a Graphic Designer?
In a way, your Graphic Designer will be a part of your business’ team, so you want someone who gets your vision. There are a few things to consider when deciding on who will be a great fit:
1) Location: Graphic designers can do the majority of their work on the computer and online, so they can work with clients all over the world. If you communicate better face-to-face or if it’s important for you to see samples of your print design, you might consider hiring locally.
2) Price range: Contact a few designers in your desired range to get quotes on their services and learn about how they break down their costs. This will help you get a sense of what good graphic design costs, and will help you set a realistic budget.
3) Reviews: Look for reviews online and on social media
4) Portfolio: These days you should be able to see everything you’ll want on the Graphic Designer’s website or social media pages. Looking for something more specific to your project? Ask them if they can put together a few examples of similar work that they have done in the past.
5) Vibe: How well do you “click” with the Graphic Designer? Are you comfortable sharing your ideas with them? Do you find it easy and quick to communicate back and forth?
Should you stick with one Graphic Designer/firm?
Definitely! By working with one Graphic Designer, you’ll save yourself a tonne of time and money. All of your files will be in one place so you’ll get more consistent designs that match. You’ll also develop a relationship with the Graphic Designer, so they’ll have a great sense of your expectations, personal style, work habits and brand.
How does the graphic design process work?
Decide what you need and when you need it – If you’re not sure what the best fit would be, or what other options are out there, a Graphic Designer can help you make an informed decision.
Having everything needed to complete your project will make the design process smoother. Here are a few things to supply to the Graphic Designer before staring your next project:
a) Images — your own photos or selected from a stock photography website
b) Colours — brand colours; colour palettes you like
c) Logos — vector files of your company logo, as well as any others needed
e) Content — Typed up in a Word document or the body of an email and ready to be used in your project. Now’s the time to correct spelling errors and make sure your content says exactly what you want because it will reduce the number of changes during the design process.
Now’s the time to explain your vision, show off your previous projects, express your likes and dislikes, and give some examples of other designs that you’ve seen and appreciated.
The Graphic Designer will use your supplied content and inspiration to layout your project.
Once the initial design is completed, a proof of your project will be emailed to you so you can see a sample. Look everything over — check to make sure the spelling, images, colours and content are correct. Let the designer know what you like or dislike about the design and what changes need to be made.
Based on your feedback, the designer will make the required changes and send another proof to you. Sometimes only 1 round of changes is needed, and sometimes there are multiple! When you’re just about done making changes it’s a great time to request a hard copy proof.
Once you’ve looked it over one last time and you’re happy with the final design, give your approval. A final file will be created which will be ready to used online or in print.
Thanks for reading!
Emily & Lindsay
613 394 3245 x223