Finding a good graphic designer can be tough. Lots of people out there offering graphic design services and the quality ranges dramatically. Here are some ideas to help choose a professional.
Education - Graphic design can be tricky. The best way for a designer to develop the skills they need to be competitive in the marketplace is by going to college. Degree offerings vary but a graphic design degree from a BFA granting institution shows that your designer has a solid grounding in the principles of design and communication.
Experience - In addition to a design degree a designer should have experience working on real projects with real clients. It is easy to make a lovely project when there is no client on the other end of it. A designer who has been around the block a few years and who keeps up with industry news, trends and technology developments is going to be able to give you the most professional work.
Portfolio - Every good graphic designer will have a portfolio of quality pieces. Look for work that shows not only creativity but also organization and attention to detail. Look for designers that have experience with the type of project you need done. Need a book cover designed? Hire a book cover designer. Need a logo designed? Hire a logo designer. But also be open. Many graphic designers have experience in a variety of areas, so it’s possible to find a single person who can meet all of your visual communications needs.
Professional associations - Look for a designer who is a member of local and national organizations. In the US the most popular design organization is the AIGA—the professional association for design. It is also beneficial to work with a designer who is active in local and regional organizations.
Testimonials - While you can’t always trust that testimonials have been written authentically they can help you get an idea of what a designer is like to work with.
Personality - The best design work comes out of a close partnership. Quality design requires close interaction between you and your designer. A good designer listens closely, communicates well, is responsive and is easy to work with.