Choosing a graphic designer to work with can be a confusing process. In this digital age the market is crowded, and some services even offer the option to customize templates for everything from business cards to websites.
With this in mind, how do you choose a professional with whom to entrust your graphic design needs? This is, after all, the image that your company will project to potential clients and the figurative face of your business. A true pro will create and maintain your sterling visual identity while educating and offering you advice along the way in a manner no online template ever could.
I will always 100% love the handmade over a digitally-crafted equivalent.
In many instances it may well be faster, more cost-effective, whatever, to create something on-screen; this, in its own right, takes a great deal of craft and care to be done well. In the end though, what always pushes the same project over the top (again, personal opinion) is the narrative of the analog.
The example that plants this thought in my head at this hour is this “Juicy” piece by Danielle Evans. Looking at the initial image, the overhead of the lemon lettering, is pleasant enough. For me, the real treats are the detail shots. Seeing the process, the knife, the bowl; it brings it all together.
Design that makes an emotional connection to the end user/viewer is special, and sometimes it’s that human element that brings it all together. A process that may be outdated in the age of Photoshop wizards can still spark a magic all its own.
Do what you can to produce good work. Be it running that last, perhaps unnecessary spell-check, visually aligning instead of snapping to guides, tweaking the way the shadow falls on the wall behind that bottle, or what have you. It’s the little things that will end up making the difference in the long run.
Did you design a logo? Make sure the client gets a clearly named, well-structured package of files. Even if they can’t open an .eps on their end and have no idea what it is, if you put in that folder labeled companyname_logo_vector, they can find it when their sign company asks for the vector to do a lasercut job. Maybe they want to throw it up on Facebook as their profile image? Have that 180px square jpeg ready to roll in _web > social > facebook .
This goes for everything. If you do concrete flatwork, cut the edge down before it starts to dry between pours. If you sell lawn equipment, learn how to swap the air filter in that lawnmower. Realtor? Be bang-on with your math to avoid revising paperwork.
You may have restrictions on what you can do in terms of your own experience/abilities, client budget, or production timelines. The one thing you can always do is produce spot-on, well-crafted work that makes your client’s life that much easier.