What do you think of when you think of graphic design? Perhaps you think of artsy ads, vibrant graphics on a blog, or a beautiful fashion spread in a print magazine.
With so many varying and different elements within the field of graphic design, it may be difficult to understand what the term really means. This is hard to do because there are so many intricacies and sub-fields in graphic design.
Luckily, we can help remove the mystery to at least some degree. Read on to learn more about what graphic design is, why it is important for businesses, and how to hire a graphic designer for your startup or small business.
What is Graphic Design?
Graphic design is a field in which professional creatives will develop visual content for the purpose of communicating a message. Typically, design principles are used by businesses and organizations to improve their marketing endeavors.
By using a sort of visual hierarchy and layout techniques, graphics can create images and typography that a consumer will be attracted to. Graphic designers are not simply artists– they are technical professionals that understand the logic behind digital elements, interactive designs, user experience, and user interface.
Why is Graphic Design Important?
Graphic design makes it possible for startups to optimize their marketing endeavors across virtually every channel. It’s an important element in creating and building a successful brand. If you hire a graphic designer and become consistent in your marketing materials, you could end up with a brand that is recognizable and established. And, of course, that means better revenue and more sales.
To put it simply, a startup or small business will have trouble scaling if they don’t have a professional on board who understands how visual appeal can pull in leads. You really shouldn’t skip out on a graphic designer if your products or services are meant to appeal to a specific niche consumer base.
Let’s consider an example. A startup develops an incredibly useful mobile application for ordering laundry wash-and-dry delivery services. The app itself is capable of doing what the user needs– placing an order. However, the application lacks the ability do so with just a few clicks. It also doesn’t offer notifications or display anything other than boring text. This is where a graphic designer can come into play to deliver graphic services in the form of UX and UI design.er
How Much Does Graphic Design Cost?
The cost of hiring a graphic designer comes down to the type of graphic design services they offer, their ability to develop UI or UX code, their web design knowledge, location, etc. On average, though, rates that are typically charged by graphic designers who freelance are between $15 and $150 per hour. The average rate is around $25 per hour.
Some graphic designers do not bill by the hour. Some will set a fixed price for a project. If you plan to hire a graphic designer for a part or full-time position, the salary you offer should take experience and portfolio quality into consideration.
What is the Process of Graphic Design?
The graphic design process involves five important steps. A good designer will follow these steps for every project, even the small ones. While it may not take long to do with some projects, it can take quite a long time on major projects.
- Gather information. This typically involves working closely with a client or employer to understand what they need. A graphic designer will ask questions, jot down notes, and get to know the client and project better.
- Conduct research. A graphic designer will look at market trends, competing businesses, designs, color schemes, and product evaluation before developing their strategy.
- Develop a good strategy. This step begins by listing all of the steps involved in using all of the information that has been researched. Essentially, this is the planning stage.
- Develop concepts and present them. This is the meat of the graphic design process. It involves developing drafts, evaluating the drafts with the client, and editing or adjusting the drafts.
- Project production and final product. Once the completed design is ready to go, it’s time to actually produce it. This step involves coding the website or developing the piece of media for advertising.
How to Hire Graphic Designers?
When it comes to hiring a graphic design professional, there are a few options available.
The first option is to work with a design firm. Design firms are typically made up of teams of graphic designers, web design specialists, UI and UX developers, etc. The services a design firm will typically offer include design management, product development, experience coherence, brand legacy, and miscellaneous marketing. Of course we’d be remiss without mentioning that the Peterman Design Firm has world class designers and we’ve worked on probably thousands of different graphic designs by now.
Another option would be to search through marketplaces that specifically target graphic designers. A few popular platforms including Thumbtack, Freelancer.com, and Upwork. These can be hit or miss, but are great if you are just starting out.
Lastly, you also have the option of simply listing a graphic designer job post on a freelancing website or job board. This option is the start of building your own internal team, though you may eventually have a agency partner as well, as many companies do.
How Does Graphic Design Fit into Product Development?
When it comes to web design, a graphic designer can use a variety of colors, logos, typography, and artistic composition to match your unique product with the relevant interests of your target audience. This is massively helpful when it comes to creating a brand image with substantial definition. Graphic designers are also incredibly helpful in attracting the type of market share you are looking for.
What Tools are Used for Graphic Design?
There are a ton of different tools that a designer will use for graphic design projects. While not every project needs every tool, using the right tools can make a huge difference in quality of work and ability to use the assets created. Here at our firm, we have many different tools so we can help our clients, no matter what tool was used before. Here’s a short list of some of the tools graphic designers use to create the amazing designs you see every day.
- Proofhub or another proofing tool
- Graphic design publishing software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fotor.
- Developer tools for UI and UX
- Web design tools such as
- Content review software such as Filestage
- Photo editors like Pixlr.
- Website graphic apps like Bannersnack and DesignBold.
- Logo makers
- Prototyping apps like Marvel
- Text editors for coding websites such as Sublime Text and Github
Some graphic designers will also use drag and drop web design platforms as well, though it is always wise to hire a web developer to create better websites, rather than drag and drop options. We have spent hundreds of hours moving websites to custom coded website to allow the design to improve.
Who Provides the Best Graphic Design?
If you’ve never hired a graphic design professional, then you may be scratching your head over what job requirements, experience, and expertise to look for. When it comes down to it, the ideal graphic designer for your project depends on your unique needs. However, a good graphic designer will have the following qualifications:
- Very strong digital graphic design skills
- Layout and analytical skills
- The ability to be highly creative and reasonably flexible
- An incredible eye for detail
- Working knowledge of publishing tools, design software, and miscellaneous design tools such as tablets
- UI, UX, and web design knowledge
- A portfolio of diverse work
- Experience as a graphic designer
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Working with different clients, I learned that there are many things that I find important. One of these important things is how to make it easier when you hire a designer. I found out that these three things are crucial if you want to hire the best designer for your project.