Last week I met someone who said he ‘did a bit of graphic design’ – something that always sets alarm bells ringing with me. On probing him further, I found out that he was in fact a printer who was able to use Adobe InDesign, the industry standard for design professionals. This is a bit like me saying I’m a novelist as I happen to own a copy of Microsoft Word!
So, how do you know if your designer is any good? Here are a few clues:
1 They will have a deep seated love of all things artistic, probably going back to their childhood.
2 They are very likely to have a GCSE and A-level in Art.
3 They will have completed a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, and a BA Hons in Graphic Design (or similar, e.g. Visual Communication) at a reputable university.
4 They will be able to show you a portfolio of work demonstrating their understanding of typography, colour and composition.
5 You should be confident that they are intelligent enough to interpret your brief and provide a solution that both looks good and does the job it should.
If you are still not sure, ask the designer if they have any recommendations from past clients. Don’t write off a talented recent graduate who will not yet have any references or testimonials though; we all need someone to give us a break!
If you’d like to find out more about how to choose and brief a graphic designer, saving yourself time, stress and money, sign up to receive my quarterly newsletter and download a free copy of my e-book.