The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

6 Tips for Finding the Right Graphic Designer

It’s that time of year again. You’re likely beginning to create pieces for your organization’s year-end campaign. Sometimes this means finding new design partners who can offer a fresh perspective on your visual communications or simply an extra set of hands to take the task off your plate.

Whether your in-house designer is maxed out, you’re looking for someone new, or you’re considering working with a designer for the first time, finding the right fit is important.

You’re willing to do what it takes on your end—share goals, stay on top of budgets, and move the review process along to stay on schedule—but you need a designer who can do their part to ensure a great outcome. Professional service providers have a duty to give you great service and involve you in the process.

If you want to embark on a project with a graphic designer, and you want it to be a big success—on time, on budget, on target, and a great experience—here are things to look for:

  1. The designer offers an initial consultation where she asks you a series of questions—and listen intently. In this initial meeting, the designer should gain an understanding of your specific needs, goals, audience, project requirements, and desired outcomes. Design can be successful only when it considers your organization and its specific goals.
  2. The designer provides an estimate that clearly details the project specifications and the work that will be done. He communicates clearly and doesn’t throw any surprises your way.
  3. The designer has relevant work examples that you like. Many designers are capable of capturing an organization’s style and doing unique things for each client, but if the designer has a portfolio with examples that don’t appeal to you, chances are that a product she creates for you won’t be what you’re looking for.
  4. The designer presents a complete project schedule so you know what stage your project is in at all times. This means you know when you will receive design drafts, when revisions are due from you, when completed revisions are due back from your designer, and, of course, the final delivery date of your project.
  5. The designer is available and responds within a reasonable amount of time. His responsiveness should be evident from the beginning—and it’s the best way to ensure you don’t go days or weeks wondering where he went with your project.
  6. The designer thinks “big picture” and offers suggestions and insights that add value to your project. She’s not just an order taker who delivers what you ask for. Instead, she suggests ways to make your project better! A designer who is leveraging her experience and envisioning your organization’s bigger picture is someone worth having on your team.

Even if all these things line up, it’s still important that you feel comfortable working closely with this person. Partnership with your designer is an essential part of your project’s success.

When choosing any professional partner, take the time and precaution to choose wisely. Finding the right fit will make all the difference in the outcomes of your projects and, ultimately, on how successfully your organization engages its audience and reaches its goals.

Looking for more tips on graphic design? Check out my blog or get in touch!

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About This Blog

Lisa Bonanno
Vice President of Digital Marketing

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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