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What To Look For In A Great Graphic Designer

Updated: May 26, 2022

I’ll start this one off with a direct quote from TMB Senior Designer Emma, ‘look for people like us!’. If only it were that easy right? Just between you and me, it can be, all you need to do is get in touch but we can chat more on that later.

First things first, check out a designer’s portfolio before you initiate contact, there is no point moving to the next steps if you’re not ‘feeling’ their design style or if their body of work doesn’t impress you.

Another key point we like to add here is that a graphic designer should know how to have fun because at the end of the day it’s not brain surgery, being creative is meant to be a fun process.

When vetting potential designers to work with you should be able to see that they have a broad stylistic knowledge and be able to offer you a great variety of designs and details.

Warning Signs

To make the process of finding a graphic designer to work with, there are a few warning signs that you should look out for:

⚠️ A qualification is important as this means the designer has been trained in the fundamental software that all designers should know how to navigate.

⚠️ If they aren’t open to collaboration don’t bother with them, teamwork makes the dream work, after all.

⚠️ Their portfolio is one-tone, you can liken this to a one-trick-pony, all their designs for clients appear to look pretty similar to one another.

⚠️ They neglect the basics of design such as best practice use of typography and colour, there are just some rules that weren’t meant to be broken.

Desirable Qualities

Enough of the negative, here are some qualities that a great graphic designer will possess:

⭐️ They can easily vary their design tone which will be evident in their portfolio.

⭐️ They ask A LOT of questions and they will try to get as much information out of you about your business or brand and your unique personality and identity to help drive their design decisions.

⭐️ They actually want to understand your brand and target market which ties in with the point above.

⭐️ You’ll be communicating frequently whether it be a project update, design iteration or yet another question from them. Radio silence is not a good thing!

Working With Your Designer

When beginning a project with any designer whether the relationship is new or not always provide a comprehensive brief. If you’re not sure where to start, ask for a brief template which you can follow.

The more information you provide the more informed the designer is about your vision and in-turn the process will be much smoother and faster.

Remember, the designer is trying to work WITH you, NOT AGAINST you, they are only trying to bring your designs to life, not destroy you so be open-minded and respectful. The best way to approach a design that isn’t quite right is always with constructive feedback. Harsh criticism will do you no favours to get the design to the point where you want it, plus, being overly critical can make you come across as being rude. Finally, be specific in your feedback about the components that you DO like as this will further help the designer to gain further understanding of the aesthetic that you love.


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