5 traits I demand from my graphic designer

I love beautifully designed marketing materials.

Whether it be a logo, brochure, stationary, car wrap, uniform, website or banner.

Great design makes the business owner proud, and rewards the recipient.

To get to that place though, you need a great designer. And that can be a challenge.

I’ve had the same designer for 7-years – Nikola’s amazing.

I’ll tell you where I found him shortly, but first, here’s 5 traits I demand of him on each and every job.

1. No preciousness

Whilst I love designers who argue for their ideas, there comes a point where they must realise who’s paying the bills. If I don’t like a certain colour, a certain font or an image they’ve used then it needs to go. I’ll be the one living with the design in the long term.

2. Choice

Choosing from one, maybe two concepts is hard. I feel cornered. What if I don’t like either? I love having a number of concepts to choose from, that way I know I’ve explored a variety of options and ended up with one that I love.

3. Creativity

It kind of goes without saying really, but I see creativity as providing a design solution that doesn’t just look amazing, but includes an idea that makes me smile. It could be as simple as making the word ‘big’ in the Small Business Big Marketing logo, big!

4. Proactivity

I love designers who suggest things you never even considered. It shows they’re thinking long and hard about the best solution. And I’m particularly impressed when a designer has their own set of questions to ensure they extract the best brief from me. That’s proactivity, right there.

5. Speed

There’s a balance here. I once worked with a designer who said you can’t have good, cheap and fast, and there is certainly some truth to that. Great ideas can take time. That said,  it can also be those first two or three ideas that are the best. There’s a balance. What I don’t want is to be waiting weeks for something that should take one week.

If your designer doesn’t have the above traits then maybe it’s time to move on.

Here’s a solution.

I found Nikola at 99Designs. It’s a site where you post a design competition for any marketing touch point, and designers from around the world respond with their finished design. Prices range from $299 to $1,199. It’s amazing, and ticks all five boxes I listed above.

Give it a go.

You can get anything designed. And if you use this link, they’ll give you a free $99 Power Pack Upgrade that supercharges your contest by highlighting it and bumping to the top of the page, resulting in 185% more designs. Gotta love that!

So, what do you look for in a graphic designer?


8 thoughts on “5 traits I demand from my graphic designer”

  1. That’s great that you had a good experience with 99 Designs. I’d be interested to know if you deal directly with Nikola now or still post jobs and communicate through the 99D site?

  2. As a graphic designer and illustrator I completely agree with you, Tim. Great blog post. It’s nice to know the things I value in my services are sought after!

  3. Big Note Marketing - Calendars

    Same for me. I used 99 Designs to get a new logo about 4 years ago. The winner was a great designer and we have been using him for design work ever since then. I’d say we have done another 150 design and graphic jobs and it has been a very fruitful relationship.

    Graham Apolony
    Big Note Marketing
    Advertising Calendars

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