Advantages of Choosing a Professional Graphic Designer

These days, some people seem to think that with access to a computer anyone can "do graphic design." To that we say, “anyone can grab a camera and take pictures, but that certainly doesn’t make everybody an Ansel Adams!” Being a great graphic designer takes training, experience, and style. A designer must understand all the rules of printing and principles of design or the client may receive artwork that that is unacceptable for press. There are a number of technical considerations that must be made, and if the artwork is not created correctly, the client could end up paying more for the printshop to correct the work.

In addition to a broad grounding in fine art, marketing, and creativity, graphic designers also build an extensive body of technical knowledge regarding paper stocks, printing inks, special processes such as foil-stamping or embossing, printing processes and limitations, digital file preparation, quality control, and troubleshooting. Graphic design encompasses any "ink-on-paper" product (brochures, logos, book jackets, billboards, packaging, etc). Each medium has its own technical considerations that designers must master in order to achieve their intended effect.

Design combines all these creative, technical, and research skills. When hiring a designer, hire a professional with sophisticated skills for enhancing your ability to connect with the intended audience and reach your business goals. The work of graphic designers today influence what your customers buy, what general consumers do, and shape perceptions of the people around us. With such power to affect purchasing decisions, the choice of a graphic designer can be one of your most important business decisions.

Some things to consider when choosing a graphic designer:

• Knowledge of the Printing Industry. Make sure your designer understands every aspect of printing and how to create artwork that works. The understanding of spot colors, CMYK, foils, emboss, and bindery are key to getting your artwork created correctly. Printing processes have limitations and a good designer needs to understand those limitations. An experienced designer will have the ability to consider all project costs while leveraging effective design. A large portion of the cost of print materials is in the printing -- the paper stock and the inks selected. An experienced graphic designer is able to design pieces that minimize the cost of printing.

• Software and Technical Knowledge. Make sure your designer knows the standard graphic programs and can create the artwork in a format that will work smoothly with the printshop. Programs that designers typically use on a regular basisinclude: QuarkXpress, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop. Some designers include CorelDraw, Freehand, and PageMaker. The process of creating properly formatted PDF files is also essential.

• Formal Education in Graphic Design. Without the foundation of formalized graphic design education, your project runs a high risk of being ineffective.

• A Strong Portfolio. The imagery should be memorable as well as appropriate for each project and appeal to its intended audience.

• Pricing. While most graphic designers may charge $50 to $100 per hour, avoid starting a relationship on a per-hour rate and work at a project rate instead. Have the designer create an estimate on a per project basis.

• Develop a Relationship. You should try to develop a personal relationship with your designer. The better a designer understands your intentions, he or she can better create designs that match your goals and the messages you wish to convey.

Whether you want to breathe some life into stale print materials or you are looking to create a snappy brochure to send out to your best clients, the right graphic designer is going to help you shine. Here at Myriad Communication Arts, we strive to bring our clients the best design possible.

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