A lot of the time when a company needs a business card or a logo design, they go on Google and email the first couple graphic designers they find in the first page of search results. If the price is right, they hire a graphic designer. That’s about as deep as the decision goes: Find someone who can do the job, find out the cost of the job, and give them the job. All right, hang up the phone, that’s taken care of, let’s get out of the office and head to lunch.
What is good graphic design?
Beyond trying to create a visually-appealing advertisement, a graphic designer must remember what the message of the ad is, and who the message is for.
The key question should be something along the lines of, “what are we trying to achieve with this?” If we’re doing something simple like putting together a newsletter or an email advertisement, the first think we ask ourselves is, “What’s the point of this?” If you’re a business trying to sell something, then that advertisement needs to focus on that brand new product that you’re pushing, or the sale that’s starting next week, or whatever it is that you want a customer to pay for or invest in. Simple things like clean design, good font choices and a simple layout can make a huge difference. If an element doesn’t contribute to the message, then it’s drowning out the message.
If we’re doing something much more involved, like putting together the front page of your website or e-store, or the cover of a magazine or catalog, then how we answer that question, “what are we trying to achieve?” gets more involved, even if the question doesn’t change. That’s when we get down to brass tacks about brand identity, presentation, trust and so on. This can seem overwhelming, but chances are you’ve thought about what it is you want to accomplish and how you want customers to feel. You can already answer that question of what you’re trying to achieve, and we’re there to help make sure that answer is apparent to the reader or the customer.
Okay, so how do you find a good graphic designer?
For starters, a good graphic designer should be asking as many questions as you are. Think about what you read above. Many of the questions above are the sorts of questions that a graphic designer will have for you (rather than vice versa) so they know not only what you want, but what your intention is for the work you’re commissioning. Nobody is going to be able to read your mind. If they aren’t picking your brain to see what you have in mind, then it’s likely because they aren’t thinking about what the goal is for your advertising… or they don’t care.
They should be able to explain their creative process and what their priorities are, regardless of whether you’re looking for a business card or a full-blown magazine layout.
Ask to see their graphic design portfolio. Regardless of whether you’re consulting a graphic design company or a freelance graphic designer, they should absolutely be able to provide samples of their previous work. Even if they have relatively little experience–and you’re willing to take the risk of working with someone unproven–they should have conceptual ideas that they’ve put together. Ask for references. Good designers have loyal customers who come back for repeat business and are happy to talk or write to you regarding their experience.
To put it in a single sentence, a good graphic designer can make your message crystal clear, instead of muddying the waters.
Why choose Creative California for your graphic design?
When we have our first conversation with a client, our focus isn’t on how the work is going to look. Instead, we research your company, products and services, audience, past marketing, and more. We have a vested interest in your success because we want to be your partner for life. Yes, our graphic design services will result in you having an attractive ad, flyer, etc., but need to be purposeful materials. We want your message to be promoted the best way possible, and we’ll go the extra mile to make sure it is.
We have an extensive history of producing great products: from internationally-distributed magazines and effective ads that saw improved ROI, to simple things like business cards that drew a “wow” from people who received it. We know the importance of brand and message, and constantly research ways to improve our skills and thus your marketing effectiveness. We’re both professional and available. We pride ourselves in our ability to meet (and often exceed) deadlines and expectations.
But most importantly, we are excited by seeing your business thrive. Our mission is to utilize our skills to watch other businesses grow and prosper. There’s nothing more rewarding than getting a phone call from a client saying “people everywhere loved our new ad, and we’re getting more leads than ever before!” If we’re not doing that, we’re doing something wrong. So contact us today for a free estimate on your project, and see how we can help grow your business!