Choosing the right graphic designer for your needs can be a daunting process, but we wanted to lay out some quick tips that may help! I'm sure you've probably heard some of the horror stories about trying to find or work with a graphic designer. It can be difficult, time consuming and frustrating to say the least, but to be fair it's no different than any other profession.
You will want to evaluate some simple things first - things that are crucial to any professional. Is your potential designer on time to meet with you? Do they treat you and your staff with respect? Did they do their research before coming? Once you've nailed down the basics, your list of potential designers will probably have culled itself. Now we can start to look for some advanced things, maybe more specific to the design industry.
Everything from how a designer dresses to how they package their work could tell you something about them. Take a look at their clothing, but avoid judging on your personal style. Instead, try to look at details that will tell you how much effort they put into their own appearance. Things like grooming and trimmed fingernails great indication of someone that pays attention to detail. You'll also want to pay attention to whether the work they present is well organized. Though these may seem like little details, they may mean a lot in determining the attention to detail that your designer will take in you and your needs.
Did your potential designer show up confidently to your door, materials in hand? Did he show up with a pen and notebook? Do they take notes during your meeting? This can be very important unless you want to spend time reiterating things that you've already told them. A designer that isn't prepared for the initial meeting probably is not going to conduct the day to day any better.
POINT OF VIEW
Everyone has their own perspective and it goes without saying that people with similar point of view's will work better together. But, it's important to find a designer that shares your beliefs and goals. The advertising for your hot dog factory will probably never achieve it's full potential as long as you are using a designer that is disgusted by meat, you need to be aware of your designer's biases. If your designer doesn't understand where you're coming from and were you want to go, they will never be able to achieve your goals.
Classic case of "size doesn't matter", when considering designers you may be loosing out if you dismiss a designer because of a small portfolio. Maybe the designer that came in a suit with a giant portfolio isn't necessarily the one for the job. Maybe the girl that has no college degree and a small portfolio that she did at home is a better fit for you. The most important thing really is quality, and a good working relationship. Don't be afraid to spend time getting to know your graphic designer, this is someone that is going to share your message with the world. It is important that they understand you and how to get you the results you desire.
Another important thing to be aware of when working with your graphic designer - they know what you don't when it comes to design. When you say "let's add more colors" or "let's move this" there is usually a good reason that they did what they did. As long as they can present a valid reason for their choices, leave it be. If you spent the time and energy choosing a designer you need to let them do their job. Graphic design is a lot more than just making something look nice. There are a lot of technical details that you may not know about. In most cases it's in your best interest to focus on what you are an expert in and let them focus on what they are an expert in. You will most likely achieve better results this way.