Friday, February 22, 2013

How to find a great designer

Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 by International Coach Federation

Hiring a graphic designer can help improve your coaching business by boosting your professional appearance, creating consistency in your visual brand for better recognizability, helping you effectively communicate with clients, and, best of all, allowing you to have more time to focus on what you do best.

Prepare:
Before you begin your search, you will need to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Are you needing a logo and branding package? A brochure? Stationery set? A website? Put together a clear list of what you need to accomplish as well as any expectations, deadlines and budget.


Research:
Search for designers in your area. Ask other professionals for recommendations. Find a website or brochure you really like, contact their marketing department to see who they used. Once you’ve located three to five potential designers, check out their work on their websites. See what companies they’ve done work for, what experience they have, and if they have done work similar to what you are looking for. If the information is not readily available on their site, ask them questions such as their ability to stick to a schedule, their communication with clients, what services they provide, the number of revisions included in quoted prices and if their rates are hourly or by project. If they do not have an online portfolio, ask to see samples of their work.


Evaluate:
Based on their work, their quoted price and your budget, you should be able to narrow down the candidates. Their portfolio will give you a good sense of their personal style and capabilities. If their work does not convey the feel you are wanting for your piece, then continue your search to find someone who will be able to deliver a final product that will meet your needs.


Select:
Once you have located a designer that fits your needs, communicate clearly with them your objectives and keep in close communication throughout the design process. Be sure to get some sort of written agreement before any work begins. It is important to keep up your end of the deal with getting back to them with any content or feedback in a timely manner. Listen to any advice or guidance that they may have. You are paying them to be the professional.


Stephanie Wright is ICF’s Brand Designer. She joined the staff in August 2012 and has since helped strengthen ICF’s visual brand. She was an integral part of releasing ICF’s Brand Manual and has been working with chapters to help them strengthen their brand identity in alignment with ICF Global. Whenever you come across a beautiful brochure, a pretty ICF webpage, or a visually stunning edition of Coaching World—you can thank Stephanie! Find more of her work at swrightcreative.com. If you liked this article, check out Stephanie’s latest piece in the February edition of Coaching World, entitled “Visually Enhancing Your Online Brand.”

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