Six Simple Ways to Avoid Graphic Design Disaster

Six Simple Ways to Avoid Graphic Design Disaster

My friend Dave, who has a small contracting business, was telling me about the design firm he had hired to do his website, logos and business cards. “It’s turned into a darn disaster-a graphic design DISASTER!” he lamented. After playfully chiding him for not asking me for help in the first place, I told him to immediately dismiss this firm, and to find a new one, pronto, using these six simple ways to avoid a graphic design disaster:

1. Range of Services. What kind of services does the graphic design firm provide? A good firm will be able to provide a full spectrum of services, from print to web design, and everything in between.

2. Professional Tools. A professional graphic design firm uses professional tools. Don’t be afraid to ask your would be designer if she uses Adobe, Cold Fusion, Quark, Photoshop and/or Dreamweaver. Ask them why they use what they use and pay attention to how they answer.

3. Clientele. What kind of clientele does the firm typically serve and what services are they providing? If they typically service large corporations, ask how you can be sure you won’t be treated like a small-fry. Their clientele will tell you how sensitive they may be to your needs.

4. Experience. How long have they been in business? How long have they been doing the specific task for which you are considering them? Are they a new kid on the block, or are they established? Are they incorporated or will you be paying them a check made out to cash?

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5. Portfolio. Ask to see a sample of their work, and a list of websites they’ve created. This will not only help you see their talent level, but will also help in the next step, which is…

6. References. While it’s nice to get references, I’m not a big fan. I’ve seen too many references rigged. Seriously, are you going to give a reference for the jobs that got messed up? No, instead go to the sites they should have provided you above, get the contact info, and start making some calls!

7. Reputation. Does the firm have a reputation in the industry you are in? How did you hear about them? You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if anyone has filed a complaint against them.

Using these simply measures, you should be able to avoid your own graphic design disaster and have a great experience with your designer.