Choosing the Best Graphic Design Service for Your Next Marketing Campaign

You only get one shot to make a good first impression. If you blow it, it’s an uphill battle to change someone’s mind.  Your website is no different. Creating the perfect graphic design to capture your audience’s attention can be tricky. But you don’t have to navigate the murky waters of HTML, CSS, and Adobe Photoshop to get your site looking clean and prim. That’s what a graphic design service is for.

No matter what industry you are in, a graphic designer can help you create the best-looking website for your product offerings. But there are thousands of professional services and freelancers out there that provide graphic design services. How do you choose?

Here are some simple steps to finding, choosing, and hiring the best graphic design service for you.

1. Outline the Graphic Design Services your Firm Needs

While graphic designers can create just about anything, they need to create your website or design piece with readers in mind. You are going to have to give the graphic designer something to work with.

Construct a general outline of your ideal website or design.  We don’t mean to sketch it or try to design something on your own.  Identify what design work needs to be completed – a logo, a banner, photos, etc. Brainstorm the different pages and content you’ll need and the message you want to communicate to your customers. Having a clear idea of your business’s flagship mission is imperative to designing an effective website.

Unsure of what you want to present? Go to Google and spend some time browsing through competitor websites or similar industry advertisements and take note of the things you like and dislike about them. The more detail you can provide a graphic designer about your preferences, the better.

Also, consider your budget and deadlines. How much money are you looking to put into an advertisement or website graphic? Do you need the project to be completed by a certain date?

These factors may play a role in your graphic design service choices, depending on their constraints. For the best results, plan ample time for design completion and allow for a flexible budget. Most designers don’t perform as well when pigeonholed into a cost-barrier and/or quick turnaround situation, though these are all capabilities if the situation merits it.

2. Research Some Graphic Design Services

Now that you’ve got a rough idea of what you want, it’s time to research some graphic design agencies. There are a number of resources to find the perfect graphic design service for your project.

If you are interested in working with a full-fledged design agency, try using Google to find prospective services. To help narrow your search, utilize the location specific preferences a bit or add additional context to your search like “graphic designers for engineering firms” or “best affordable graphic designers in Seattle”.

Find designers and portfolios that speak to you. You can explore designer portfolios to get a better sense of a firm or a freelancer’s strengths and skills. Take note of designers who have done work previously for similar businesses to yours or similar industries.  Of course, you can rarely go wrong with a strong design firm recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague in your network. Ask around for suggestions of design firms who have done good work for a mutual connection. This can help expedite the arduous search engine hunt for a viable option.

3. Narrow Down Your Options

So you’ve found a few graphic design services that you like. Or maybe 20.  Yikes!

Once you’ve selected a number of interesting graphic design service options, it’s time to whittle down the pool. Visit their sites and click through to some of their past work. Pay heed to how recently their site was updated, who they’ve worked with in the past, and the type of services they offer.  If the work is mostly experimental or design focused, without much in regards to commercial work, you might want to consider another firm.  Many graphic designers are artists, but not as many of them can build work for business.  Unless you are an art studio, you might consider a commercial graphic design service or B2B graphic designer.

Be careful not to lose sight of your project goals amidst portfolio items completed for big-name companies. You must select an agency based on your business needs and know that many of the big firms start their projects at $30,000.  Your budget range may allow this which should give you many opportunities not only regionally, but nationally.  A local firm we recommend for large budget graphic design work is Rusty George.  And if you’re not very well versed in the potentials of big budget advertising, you may want to hire a consultant to help you select your agency.

If that dollar figure is a little frightening and your business is looking for something a bit less expensive, keep an open mind to a design firm that works with companies similar in size to yours.  Many graphic design firms do work for as little as a couple thousand dollars, and can provide a valuable graphic design service for your project.

If available, take a look at any pricing information or other constraints. This can be a quick way to eliminate some candidates if the cost far exceeds your allotted budget.

Narrowing your options can take some time. Be patient and keep an eye out for red flags like inactivity or poor customer reviews.

4. Propose Your Project

After a diligent amount of research, you’ve finally narrowed your options to reasonable 4-5 design agencies. The next step is to reach out to them.

Pitch your proposed project along with your terms. Be sure to give as much detail as possible as to the work requested, time constraints, and spending. You can choose to contact your desired graphic design agency by phone, e-mail, or if available, in person.

Cross off services that ignore your proposal entirely. If multiple agencies return a response, be sure to wait a few days and reassess your applicant pool. Be wary of accepting the first ‘yes’.

Start a discussion with the interested candidates and take notes on their responses. Do they respond promptly to you? Are they willing to work within the terms and conditions you’ve outlined? Do they seem genuinely interested in you and your project? Due to the length of most graphic design projects, it is extremely important to ensure that you and your chosen designer work well together.

5. Compare and Choose

Decision time! Take some time to review everything you’ve learned about the different graphic design services you’ve connected with. Consult with peers to get a second opinion and revisit portfolios to jog your memory.

Once you’ve made your final decision, don’t forget about the others. Politely decline their offers and thank them for their time. If for any reason your first choice ends up being a dud, you will still have access to desirable backups.

The last thing to consider is to continue building a strong relationship with your new graphic design agency. The more they know about you and your company, the better work they will deliver. And the better your newly designed website or advertisement will perform.

Picking the Service for Your Site

Great advertising and graphic design is a major factor in attracting and retaining online traffic. The best graphic design is not the only item you should be concerned with when it comes to advertising online.  Learn more about how to optimize your site and boost your business.

Interested in how well your website stacks up? Check out your SEO score and perform a website analysis using these tools.  And, if you need a competent graphic design agency or have some graphic design services needs, we are only an email away.