A visual representation of a business venture — that, basically, is graphic design. The one who arranges the visual elements of that representation on a medium is the graphic designer.
Graphic design, as defined in Wikipedia, is “the methodology of visual communication, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image … [it] often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.” It is, in many cases, placed under visual communication and communication design.
Graphic designers use a combination of various techniques in order to achieve a cohesive whole, that is, a visual representation of a brand. These include the use of images, typography, layout, symbols, colors, and even a carefully-crafted phrase, in order to get a message across.
One common issue of businesses is their struggle with their own graphic design or own logo. Since this is the initial image that conveys an enterprise to the customer, it is important to hire a professional that could translate the business owner’s thoughts and turn them into an image or design. In essence, the visual representation of the company should reflect what the company or product is, and it must convey that message to the market.
Selecting a Graphic Designer
Another great question is, how does one choose a graphic designer? Clients often have some difficulty in selecting the right graphic designer simply because they don’t know what to look for. Cairril lists down several qualities that a business owner needs to consider in choosing:
Good portfolio. One must take time in reviewing the past projects of a prospective graphic designer, and check the story behind each project they have done in the past. For instance, an ad for kids will definitely be lively while an ad for older persons should not include small type, and a luxury cruise’s landing page would convey a different feeling than that of a computer game’s.
A graphic designer needs to be able to keep up with the trends while still providing a company with the right design that can withstand the test of time
Marketing inclined. A good graphic designer should be able to communicate and motivate. They should be able translate a product or service to the audience in a way that would evoke a certain reaction and, eventually, action. The design is not merely there as a decoration; rather, it should be able to tell prospective clients and customers what the company offers or provides. Of course, the designer should be able to explain to the business owner how their work will affect the business in a positive way.
Business sense. A designer should be able to understand efficiency, that is, they should be able use the least amount of resources like time and money with maximum results.
Educated in graphic design. As Cairrl explains, graphic design is both an art and craft, thus, one should select a graphic designer who has the foundation and basic principles to be effective in printed communication. Proper training and experience along with real talent would make a difference. Along with this, the candidate must also have the necessary software skills to translate this to a visual representation of the company.
Professional and amiable. It goes without saying, a business owner needs to select someone they are comfortable working with. Good and open communication is important, as well as being able to comfortably talk through ideas openly. Of course, open communication does not mean being too familiar — a graphic designer needs to remain professional all throughout the project.
Furthermore, as Small Business Do It Better points out, one needs to select a designer “whose style of design matches the style you need,” emphasizing that it’s not necessarily about the style that the business owner wants but one that best represents the brand.