Why it might be time to say goodbye to your graphic designer

You’ve been using the same designer for years. You have built a relationship with them. You feel loyalty to them. They understand you and your brand and things happen so easily, but something has changed. You don’t feel that the service is as good as it was, but it is just too much effort to try and find someone new. Someone else that will understand you and makes the whole process easy.

Why should I listen to you?

I have been in the design industry for more than 25 years, specialising in publishing and print media. I always seek feedback from clients and from other designers and it is from these conversations I feel experienced enough to write this report.

⚠️ Warning Signs ⚠️

1) You have to work around THEIR schedule

A big no no. If your project isn’t high (preferably top) of their list then why should you allow that to continue? Your project is important. Do not let a designer make you feel otherwise - no matter how small it is. If you are willing to wait, then that is absolutely fine, just make sure you aren’t being ignored.

2) The excitement has gone

If you feel your designer is just going through the motions, then it may be time to find someone that can put some life back into your designs. If you feel the work is ‘bland’ then how will your prospective clients feel when they see it? Does it set the right impression?

3) The designer strop

My personal favourite - when a designer thinks they know your brand better than you do. They argue every change as they believe ‘this is right for you’ and if you change it ‘it will ruin the whole effect’. Designers like this are designing for their portfolio and not for you. By all means listen to the designer - they may have a valid point and one you should always consider, but you are the client. If you want something changing, you know your brand better than anyone, so stick to your guns.

4) Communication breakdown

At all times during a project there should be clear communication. Some of my clients come to me with stories of previous designers who never told them when to expect proofs, didn’t share ideas behind the design and failed to report when projects were being sent to print or being delivered. It’s such a simple element, but often forgotten.

5) Listen Up

If you brief your designer thoroughly but the project turns out completely different because the designer thought they knew a better approach, this should ring alarm bells.

If a designer delivers a proof showing what you had discussed and then moved on to a second design with a conversation outlining their thoughts and direction - then that is a great designer. Whether you like the design or not, the fact they listened to you but also showed a different perspective should be commended.

6) Mistakes & Misshapes

Mistakes happen. But they don’t happen all the time and on every project. If you are often disappointed by the outcome of your design or print product then you really need to think about moving on and finding a new and exciting design relationship.

7) Money for Nothing?

Prices have escalated since your design/client relationship started. You are happy with the designer and their work but you are starting to reduce the amount you use them, and therefore the amount of marketing you do which then reflects on your bottom line. Don’t let the actions of another business affect your business.

OK. I need a new designer - what do I do next?

What level of designer do I need?

- A new designer will be young, enthusiastic, take on any job to get experience and do it for very little money.

- Mid-range designer has experience. Some amendments and guidance will be necessary but does the job well.

- Experienced designers charge more, but get a quality job done quickly and bang on target.

If, for example, you are a start-up business and you only have a small budget to develop your branding then you should go for the new designer option or use a templated design app. If you are an established business and want your design to bring in new clients it makes more sense to work with mid-range or experienced designers. Like most things in life, you generally get what you pay for.

How do I find a new designer?

- Ask friends and other businesses. People are often very vocal when they rate a person or business. Just as importantly they are also happy to tell you who to avoid. Recommendations are a great way to start.

- Take a look online at a variety of design studio websites. Every designer is an artist and no two designers work in the same way. Study their work and choose a style that will complement your brand and budget. Make sure the work on the website is recent and check they are active on social media.

- Make sure you find a designer that specialises in the kind of work you need.

Things you should NOT do!

- Hire someone you met once at a networking event.

- Pick someone based on their location rather than design skills.

- Get your PA or another staff member to ‘knock something up’ in a non-design programme such as Word.

Whatever you decide to do, please make sure you

  1. Check the designer out fully (website, social media, recommendations and ask around for feedback).

  2. Talk to them. Make sure you understand each other.

  3. Be clear about your brand and project details. Communication is key!


If you are ready, come and talk to us…

Phone: 01476 245053

Email: info@squarkdesign.co.uk

Website: www.squarkdesign.com