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Why small businesses need a graphic designer...

Graphic Design Okotoks

Now, more than ever, small businesses can gain a competitive advantage by hiring a graphic designer...

We can help with branding

When you think of the way business has changed, the frequency (thanks to social media) of consumers noticing your brand, it can be crucial to start with a graphic designer.

Building a website, logo and cohesive brand and identity can help your business reach new levels of recognition and loyalty.

A strong graphic designer can help you create your brand with a strength and added knowledge and experience while working within your budget, helping you find creative ways to enhance your presence, online and off, with a strategic spend guide.

Being aware of trends versus timeless design can help you save money in the long term and help you start off on the right foot, from websites to print material and online (social media).

When to use a graphic designer

Imagine you have built a logo, but find out later that

1. it is not formatted properly for use in multiple formats (online versus print), you then may find your business paying extra costs down the road by having various designers reformat your logo for use in your advertisements.

2. After using a logo for a few years, you find that, due to the various re-formatting, there is a lost consistency in color, size or that your original logo has been distorted.

3. you have spent years using a logo but because of the various changes and lack of consistency, you have not built up a loyal consumer base.

4. You have not built a strategy around your branding and design, therefore there is no clear message or feeling that your audience and consumer base gets from your business, therefore they don't understand your core values and why they should be loyal to you.

Start by working with a graphic designer and brand strategist from the beginning, that way a strong base has been built and your team, and other designers, can honour the original intention and integrity of your brand.

As for your file, your .ai, .psd. eps and all other file formats your logo has been built in, make sure you get these from the start, rather than having to ask for them down the road (people move, pass away or lose files).

A graphic designers essential skills

Start by making sure any graphic designer you hire has a balance of skills and understanding of the short and long term goals for your brand and business. By understanding the proper formats and uses of file types for web versus print, colors and typefaces, your graphic designer can help you build for the future with a timeless and noteworthy design usable for all media.

  • Logo and branding

  • Website design

  • Graphic design for social media sites

  • Photography

  • Demonstrated knowledge of SEO, SEM and SOM

  • Demonstrated experience in digital marketing and advertising

  • Print advertising

Where to start...

When you consider hiring a designer, consider the following (this will help you save money):

  • What are your needs (logo, website, branding, social media)

  • What advertising and promotional channels will you be using?

  • What does your brand stand for, what do you want your customers to know about your company?

  • What goals do you have for your company and brand, short term and long term

  • What is your budget? (both time and monetary)

  • Ask or look for testimonials for various graphic designers

  • check out their portfolio and make sure you like their signature style (every designer has one)

What you should spend...

There are lots of graphic designers, all with their own rates and guides. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

1. Look for experience, this may cost you a bit more per hour but can cost you less in the long run.

2. As you grow, does the designer you choose have the ability to grow with you?

3. New designers may cost less but the design may suffer.

4. The hourly rate for a designer will vary, this will be based on the level of experience, overhead and areas of specialization.

Overall, building a business starts with a strong foundation, it can take years to recover from a bad design or putting out the wrong image for your company. While you may want to take on the design and strategy yourself, a good designer will help you with tips or tricks to honour your brand and help you build it.

Julie Boake

awedity creative.

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