Finding Real Deal Graphic Design Services

These days there are a lot of Graphic Designers offering services online. Perhaps too many. This article covers some useful need-to-knows about Graphic Designers and what to look for when ordering a logo design, brochure design or any of the countless reasons to order a graphic design service for your company or organization’s imaging needs.

Graphic design services these days (like any services these days) have been on a downward slide for some time now (in this Designer’s opinion). Take logos for example. I can’t tell you how many logos I see out there featuring a swoosh or swipe looking graphic that shoots out as though orbiting the text that makes up the logo. I would like to tell you that the Designers who created the thousands of swoosh logos out there, utilized this staple of design because it was the best solution for their client. I can just hear them stating how this simple element is really a complex and developed “less is more” approach to their client’s design and worth every drop of the hundreds of dollars they are charging for it. I would like to tell you that but unfortunately that is just not the case.

I’m not saying that if you have a swoosh in your logo then you got scammed by a false Graphic Designer looking to make a quick buck on a simple design that catches your eye. In fact I have even used a swoosh or two in my designs (though usually at my client’s request and certainly not as the only element in the design). What I am saying is that when you look at how many logos out there feature this graphic swoosh element it becomes quite obvious that a great deal of graphic design sources these days are just trying to get their orders filled as quickly as possible without actually putting thought into the purpose of the design and the needs of the client. It is sad but true that most companies of any kind in this day and age are focusing more on looking like a company rather than actually being a company. How many times have you ordered something only to find out later it was just a gimmick designed to get the sale.

So how do you know if you are hiring a real Graphic Designer focused on doing real design work and not just one of the many impostors out there trying to look like they are putting the time and thought into your design that you are paying them good money for? A good place to start is the facts.

When you are online looking for a Graphic Designer, do a little reading. They should have an About Page, a resume or some form of credentials available on their website. If they don’t then its time to leave that website. I do not recommend testimonials because these days there is no way to verify where these wonderful comments came from. Stick to the facts and information that can be verified if need be. If you are paying hundreds of dollars or more for design services then you had better see some years of experience on that Designer’s resume. Where did they get their education and did they actually even major in Graphic Design? What does their job history look like. Have they really been a Graphic Designer at every job in their resume? It is worth it to do a little research because chances are you are going to need more design work done in the future and wouldn’t it be great to have a Designer you can depend on?

Next take a good look at their design portfolio. Do the designs look similar to each other? Maybe the elements of the designs look different (because they are for different companies) but are they all arranged about the same with the same kind of type used? Are they just putting swooshes on everything? If so then you are most likely at the site of one of the impostors who uses visual gimmicks to wow their clients and get the sale.

Beware those graphic design websites offering promises that are too good to be true (if something sounds too good to be true… ). If you are paying only $50 for a logo then your are most likely getting a pre-made graphic or clip art with your company name stamped on it to make the sale. If they say that countless designers will be working on your project then chances are you will never speak directly with those designers, or you will be paying for countless designers, or they are just using visual gimmicks to get the design sold so they can move on to the next client as quickly as possible.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Feel free to try these graphic design gimmick sites yourself. But don’t say I didn’t warn you if you find yourself with designs that are not working as you expected or Graphic Designers charging you for even a simple adjustment to your design. Gimmicks are used all over the world these days so don’t be surprised if the design that you though really popped, ends up blending in like one of those swoosh logo in a sea of thousands of swoosh logos!

Todd S.

How to Get a Junior Graphic Design Job Right Out of School

Landing your first junior graphic design job is an important turning point in your career as a graphic designer. Most of us know the industry can be tough when you’re just starting out. It can be hard to believe that you can make a living from a career in graphic design that is compelling and satisfying. Finding your first job in graphic design is important, not only because it’s your first “real” job, but because it’s a great continuation of the learning process that begins even after you graduate. Looking for that “big break” might not be so difficult if you put in the effort.

Preparation

Even before you start searching for a position, you’re going to want to do some soul-searching. A few questions you should be asking yourself is what motivates you, what kind of environment do you want to be working in, what type of work you want to do, etc. These are important questions because although you want to worry more about the learning opportunity your first junior graphic designer provides, you want to make sure you’ll be happy and productive at your job. Write down answers to the follow questions on a piece of paper to help clarify your goals:

-A little about yourself – What are your strengths, weaknesses and motivations? (What will make you perform at your best?)

-The type of work – What kind of projects do you want to work on most? (Business cards, branding, logo design, web design, etc.)

-Understanding the job market – Is your job in high demand? Is there lots of competition for your spot? (What sets you apart if there is a high level of competition?)

-Doing your research even before you start to begin your journey will be very beneficial in solidifying your goals as a junior graphic designer. If you do the right research, you can find yourself in a better position to catch the attention of sough-after employers.

Find Agencies You Want to Work For

By making a list of graphic design agencies you’d like to work for, you can use the process of elimination and finalize which agencies you’re going to contact. If you rank them based on the above criteria, it will be easier to make a decision about where you’d like to work. The size of graphic design agency is an important factor you’re going to want to consider. Normally, larger agencies we have you working on more “intern-like” duties or small jobs such as editing photos, colors, etc. but you will have access to understanding how a large agency functions as well as the feedback and support of many other seasoned co-workers. A smaller agency will be able to provide you with more responsibility on tasks and projects because of the smaller size. Although this is great, you may receive smaller compensation than a larger firm.

When seeking agencies to work for, remember to choose the one that fits you best and where you will learn the most. As a junior graphic designer, the skills you learn at your first job will prove to be invaluable – it teaches you how the graphic design industry really works in the real world (when real money is involved), it will sharpen and build confidence in your skills and improve your ability to communicate with other designers and clients. If you choose the agency that allows you to work at your full potential, you’re more likely to have complete job satisfaction.

Resume

Your resume will give your possible employer an idea of whether or not you are worth looking at further. It is important to make your resume clear and easy to read with appropriate typography choices. Your resume should reflect your design style and skill. Along with your resume, you’re also going to want to make sure you have a proper e-mail or cover letter that formally introduces yourself, what your goals are and why you’re interested in working for that specific design agency. Some important things to include in that letter include:

-Who are you
-What graphic design school you are attending and what you are taking there
-Why you are contacting this graphic design agency
-What you are hoping of getting out of working for them and why you think you’re a worthy candidate
-Any extra curricular activities you’ve participated in
-All contact information

Portfolio

Your portfolio is very important to landing your first job. If you attending design school, you should have some work pieces you can place in your portfolio. Remember to only select your best work to display – this will show your true potential and abilities. Many graphic designers who own agencies come across hundreds, if not thousands, of applications from junior graphic designers. They want to see portfolios and resumes that are original and stand out from the crowd. Any generic portfolios will usually not even be glanced at. If you have any special talents or specializations, be sure to focus on that!

Follow Up

After a week or so, contact the firm again. If you haven’t heard back from there, don’t worry. Sometimes they get busy and are unable to respond promptly. Sending them a remind not only thanks them for taking the time to look at your graphic design portfolio, but it shows you are passionate about getting a job with their business. If you’re offered a position – congratulations! If you’re offered multiple positions, be choosy about where you select. Don’t always pick the graphic design firm that will give you the most money. Sometimes these positions aren’t a good fit for you.

Getting a job right out of school as a junior designer is very doable if you do your homework and research before you start applying. Don’t lose the drive and passion you have when searching for a job. If you get turned down, don’t worry and keep applying at other places. Put a lot of effort into your portfolio and resume and you’ll reap the benefits in your first graphic design job!

Graphic Design Training — Enhancing Your Computer Graphic Design Skills

Graphic designers nowadays require not only creative abilities, but also some understanding of other graphic design-related areas such as computer graphic design.

During the 80’s, the advent of desktop publishing and of design software such as Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Fireworks, put the power and versatility of the computer at graphic designers’ fingertips. Designers for the first time were easily able to manipulate images and create 3D images using the computer. Computers are now considered to be an indispensable tool in the graphic design industry, though some traditional graphic designers may still prefer to use manual and traditional tools for their creative endeavors.

With modern graphic design concepts and methodologies always changing, graphic designers need to continually advance their knowledge of different graphic design techniques, innovations and graphic design software packages. At present, the basic instructions in graphic designing cannot guarantee for a competitive product anymore without the use of high technology, so that the demand for highly skilled graphic designers is higher than ever.

To become a computer graphic designer, the basic requirements include good creative abilities, good computers skills, and good communication skills.

Computer graphic design helps graphic designers complete their tasks faster and easier. They can effortlessly translate ideas into visual imagery, save it onto their computers and edit it whenever alterations are necessary.

There are great many benefits if you undergo computer graphic design training geared towards arming you with a wider range of cutting edge graphic design skills. Having computer design training also means a greater choice of employment. Computer graphic design skills are in great demand in such sectors as:

1. Advertising agencies – You can use your newly acquired graphic design skills to design appealing and eye-catching advertisements for different media.

2. Web design companies – Help design appealing web pages.

3. Design studios – Apply your design skills to photo editing such as editing the contrast and the brightness of colors on the photos.

4. Publishing houses – Perform layout design and editing tasks. Publications usually follow a distribution schedule; so make sure you are able to meet deadlines.

5. Corporate advertising departments – Design professional corporate ads.

6. TV and film companies – out of all the other jobs, this is where a graphic designer is most suited as it requires a comprehensive application of the designer’s skill and ability, especially if working on animation films.

Your computer graphic design training will open new doors for you into a world of greater opportunities. Your computer design knowledge, combined with your dedication and commitment, will surely help you reach your goal.