What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a process that combines graphics and text, including contact details and calls to action in a way that is intended to communicate a distinct message. Graphic design is used to create  logos, brochures, posters, signs, greeting cards, postcards, business cards, presentations, websites and online documents such as e-books – pretty much anything that is used to market a business or communicate with stakeholders.

Graphic designers work with photographers and content creators or copywriters and digital marketers to give you a complete solution for your visual communications.

Why use a Graphic Designer?

A great graphic designer does more than just push pictures around a page. They will use design principles to create a purposeful design that conveys not just your message but also evoke feelings in the viewer that align with how you want your business perceived. A graphic designer will utilise design concepts and elements such as colour, typography, balance, hierarchy, space and form to create a visual message.

Graphic Designers use professional design software such as Adobe Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop to create your work. This gives them a suite of powerful tools to create works of magic for you to market your business. A graphic designer will also use their technical skills to ensure
your job is setup correctly for printing or publishing online.

What should I look for in a Graphic Designer?

First up, take a look at their portfolio and check you like their work and style and they are doing the type of work you are looking for. 

If you are likely to need work printed – eg a brochure or catalogue, check that they have print setup experience and knowledge as mistakes there can be costly.

Check they can work with your budget. Prices vary greatly depending on experience, knowledge, positioning and services offered.

Are they going to be able to support you with any future graphic design and web design needs or do they just specialise in one thing - eg logo design.

And make sure you like them – you are likely to have an on-going long-term relationship with your graphic designer and they will need to know about your business plans, so you also need to trust them. We offer a free 30-minute Zoom call so we can get to know each other and assess whether we can work together.

What is your design process?

This depends a bit on the job. For most jobs we start with your initial contact, acceptance of the quote and payment of your deposit.

Then you fill out my design questionnaire to create a brief. There are different questionnaires tailored for different design jobs.

We have a chat over the phone or a Zoom call to clarify anything that is not clear and discuss direction. If you are a new client this is when we best get to find out about you and your business, what you like and don’t like, what your plans are and who your ideal client is.

We do some research about what others in your industry are doing, what appeals to your target market, what’s appropriate and then what we can do to differentiate you to others in your field.

Then we get to work designing.

If we’re doing a logo most packages come with three logo options to choose from. We don’t just send you the first three we come up with. Instead we spend a considerable amount of time experimenting with ideas both on paper and on-screen. We consider how each option works in a variety of spaces and mediums and whether it fits the brief. We send you the three options we think work the best for your feedback.

At this stage it is important for you to remember that we are designing for your brand to appeal to your ideal client. Quite often you are not in your target market and some clients can get bogged down in what appeals to themselves rather than their ideal client.

From the three options, you choose the one you think works the best and let us know any refinements you’d like to see. Together we’ll create a logo you will love, that is functional and will attract your target audience.

What files will I receive?

Okay, most people don't ask this question, but you really should.

The files you get depend on what the job is and what has been quoted.

For a logo you will get both vector and bitmap files in colour, black, and white. It is so important to get vector files for your logo. These are used by other marketing specialists such as other designers, printers, sign writers, screen printers, banner makers etc to produce their work. Vector files can be resized without loss of quality and remain editable.

You will also receive a style guide with colours (CMYK, RGB and PMS) and fonts specified and the different lock ups or versions of your logo.

For other types of work, the file you get depends on what you need it for. If taking it to your own printer, you will get a pdf print file fully setup to your printer’s specifications. If it is a downloadable
e-book you will get a web-optimised pdf. Social media graphics will be in a jpg format.

If you need a different format eg Microsoft Word, you need to let us know before we start the job as this makes a difference to how it is setup in the beginning.

I’ve had work done elsewhere; can I use you instead?

While we encourage you to have a long-term relationship with your graphic designer because the more they know and understand you and your business the more they can help you, sometimes things out of your control happen and we are more than happy to discuss your needs and how we can help. We often take over where a graphic designer is no longer available, or if the relationship hasn’t worked out. 

If possible, try and get your native design files from the designer before moving away.

 

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