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Unless you or one of your employees has a background in graphic design, you are most likely going to need to hire a graphic designer to design your marketing materials. A professional and talented graphic designer can have a tremendously positive influence on how your marketing materials look - and how effective they are. Read on to learn how to find the right graphic designer for your business.
Do you admire the look of another's marketing materials? Ask them who does their design work. In most cases, they'll be happy to give you a referral (as long as it's not a direct competitor). Take a look around to see who other local businesses are using, or simply consult the yellow pages for leads.
If you're located near an art or design school, contact the design department for student referrals. You can often save money by going this route, since working students and recent graduates are eager to fill their portfolios and will offer reduced rates in exchange for the work. Your designer won't have the experience of a seasoned professional, but he or she will have the formal education many online designers lack.
Freelance bidding websites such as Elance, ODesk and Guru let you compare portfolios and pit designers in a bidding war against each other, so you can effectively choose the price/quality combination that's best for your business. You can also perform an online search, or have an online printing company's experts handle your graphic design for you. PsPrint is one company that staffs full-time designers who can design brochures, postcards, catalogs, business cards and many other marketing materials. This is ultra-convenient, because you can then have your designer send your designs right over to printing and finishing and reduce an extra step. And when it comes to business, efficiency is key.
Some graphic designers work in only one field: identity development, web design, print collateral or something else entirely. Others take on a wide range of projects. Evaluate what your actual needs are and choose a designer based on those. If you need a wide range of materials designed, go with someone who does that. If you need only web design, however, choose someone who specializes in this field.
There are many avenues for finding the right graphic designer for your business. Everything else being equal, you should finalize your decision based on two factors: price and personality. A good price defends your profit margin, while someone you can easily communicate with won't waste your time.