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Resplendence, a blog from Radiant Resolution about graphic design

Who is the Right Designer for You?

So you’ve decided you need creative services. There are a lot of designers out there. How do you know which designer is right for you? Usually, a client will choose a designer they trust over a designer with a strong portfolio. I can't speak for all designers, only myself. So I’m here to tell you more about my business, my style, and my process, rather than show you my portfolio, to help you make a decision on what kind of designer is best for you. I’m being honest here, and I (or other designers similar to myself) may not be the right fit for you. So read on to see if you identify with the statements below. I'm always happy to recommend another designer if your needs are outside of my scope.

(On a separate note, I'm now including a TL;DR section at the bottom of each post, for a shortened attention span :) TL;DR= too long; didn't read).

Professionalism is a priority. You won’t find any trendy designer/hipster verbiage on my design website. Some designers use a different “lingo” on their site to appear more informal or creative…I’m actually not quite sure what the purpose is to be completely honest. But I believe in formality and professionalism, and always treating the customer with respect.

I work well without hand-holding and in-person meetings. Some clients want to be heavily involved in the process from start to finish including preliminary sketches and mock-ups, and others prefer to hand their project specs to the designer and get a fully-completed product back in return. Since I work a daytime job, I freelance during evening hours and am not readily available to meet in person. I make myself available by phone and e-mail 24/7, so to most of my clients it is not important to be physically present. Many of my clients are not local either, so I have a lot of experience working through deadlines and challenges of being thousands of miles from my client. There's not much need for you to be involved in my behind-the-scenes work (i.e. the research and sketching process) so I prefer to send you a complete project (with the exception of websites, where I let clients see the template before adding the content).

I’m quick and efficient. So, this sounds like a positive, how could it be negative? Well, if you are planning to drag revisions on a project out over several months, I may not be for you. If you are ready to have your project first-pass design in a few days to a week, then complete the revision process and finish shortly after, I would be perfect for you. My schedule fills up quickly, so I take new tasks seriously when a client contacts me, and I plan my time for the upcoming weeks accordingly. The good side to this is that I rarely charge for rush jobs, because most of my jobs are completed within 48 hours anyway.

I’ll do what you want. If you are stuck on a bad idea for your design and you are unrelenting, I’ll give you my professional opinion and then do as you ask. I’ll show you the difference between your idea and mine, and if you still like yours better I’ll complete it your way. Many designers will refuse to put out a bad design for fear of a bad reputation. It’s more important to me that my client is satisfied (and hopefully offers to refer me to more potential clients) than to have missed an opportunity for a strong portfolio piece.

I have years of education and experience. I’m sure you’ve heard it before if you’ve read any of my blog! I have a bachelors and a masters in graphic design, 10+ years of professional experience, and several years of running my own design business. If you are looking for free work, I am probably not the right person for you. You may be interested in an intern or college student looking to build their portfolio if you are looking for free or very cheap work. Having said that, my prices are comparatively very affordable, and I’ll also often do free work for a nonprofit or good cause.

You are granted full rights to your designs. Many designers retain the rights to the work they do for you, or request that you come to them first if you need revisions or edits. This may be something you haven’t thought about before, but if you do not own exclusive rights to your artwork, you may be stuck with the same designer for the rest of the time you use that design. I hand over rights to my client when their work is finished, only retaining rights to use work in my portfolio or for advertising purposes. I rely on the positive experience a client had with me in order to gain their business in the future, not an exclusive rights contract.

So there you have it! For those of you who found this TL;DR:

If you are liking the idea of little involvement and just getting a project off of your plate, I may be the designer for you. If you're looking to be more involved in a drawn-out process, perhaps selecting a design firm may be the best choice for you, though there are drawbacks of a higher expense and possibly slower turnaround and response time. It's completely your decision to determine what is best for you and your business. I would suggest in addition to finding a designer (or company) you can trust, always review their portfolio and make sure that they can do a variety of different styles (and do them well)!

Ready to start your project today? Ask me for a free quote.

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About Brittany Klein

Brittany Klein is a freelance graphic designer from Maryland. She established her company, Radiant Resolution, in 2008 after receiving her Master of Arts degree in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design. She has since written blogs, e-books, and articles centered around graphic design and fine art for many organizations across the country.

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