What You Get by Hiring a Designer Besides Someone with Adobe

Illustration. 25 Things You Get by Hiring a Designer Besides Someone with Adobe.

Graphic design is more than just owning a computer and knowing Adobe software; graphic design is way of thinking that approaches real-world problems with creative solutions. Here are 25 reasons why clients enjoy high-quality, lasting designs by hiring a professional designer to create their print and digital marketing materials.

  • High-level design thinking
    Professional designers apply design theories from information hierarchy, visual hierarchy, color theory, typography, digital strategy, golden proportions, and more to conceptualize unique designs that resonate with a client’s customers.
Case study: Open Heart Parrot Rescue, a fictitious organization. Logo design infographic explaining its golden proportions.
Professional designers incorporate design theory like Golden Proportions into their work, like this logo design from my Open Heart Parrot Rescue case study.
  • Problem-solving
    Designers provide creative solutions to real-world business problems that boost profits and reduce costs.
  • The right combination of software
    Designers use the right tool–or software—for the job. More than knowing how to use a specific software such as Adobe Photoshop, a professional designer know how to use multiple programs together to yield high-quality, fast results.
  • Experience
    Professional designers leverage both expertise and experience to yield high-quality design fast. Even if a project takes a designer 15 minutes to sketch, the designer invested several years of education, experience, brand management skills, and vast market knowledge to work quickly and confidently in those 15 minutes.
  • Lifelong-learning
    Best practices, software, and new technology mean the field of design is constantly growing. Designers commit to lifelong-learning to keep themselves and their clients competitive.
  • Organized workflows
    Every step of the creative process is clear, and both designer and client have set clear expectations. Each party knows what to do by when to produce the best design.
  • Project management
    Designers create flexible plans to meet changing opportunities, anticipate delays, and build in grace room for multiple projects simultaneously. Service is reliably delivered even in aggressive, fast-paced work environments.
  • Client management
    Designers must tailor the creative workflow to adapt to a variety of client personalities to maximize client satisfaction and ensure high-quality service.
  • Working with ambiguity
    Designers accept that a problem not may have a clear or fixed solution, or that a solution that was successful with the same problem before may not succeed now. Designers show you how changing context influences problems and find potential creative solutions for your best course of action.
  • Troubleshooting
    Behind every success are numerous failures. Designers are excellent troubleshooters to fix problems causing clients to stumble, such as locating missing assets, converting color spaces, building scalable logos and designs, embedding key links, fixing validation errors, and more.
  • Thorough planning
    Graphic design is a service rather than a product. Designs employ various tools to tackle problems and plan creative solutions. Client questionnaires, creative briefs, mood boards, wireframes, mock-ups, and prototypes capture the vision with increasing detail so that the final design may meet and even exceed client expectations.
  • Effective presentation
    Clients obtain deeper understanding of a design and the visual messages their design is sending to customers from the designer’s effective presentation. Professional designers clearly communicate concepts so designs are memorable and clients are confident.
Case study: SPC Safety and Security. Logo design infographic explaining its symbolism. Version: "Handshake."
Case study: SPC Safety and Security. Logo design infographic explaining its symbolism. Version: "Handshake."I create infographics to help explain the visual messaging behind my logo designs when I present them to clients, like this example from the SPC Safety and Security team.
  • Documentation
    Designers provide proper documentation to ensure their client’s designs are easily reproduced and durable over time. Design systems create consistency over a client’s assortment of digital channels; brand guidelines ensure faithful printing; and code comments and naming conventions make development projects sharable.
  • Responsive design
    Responsive web design is a well-known web development technique that helps designs conform to a variety of screen sizes. Similarly, designers apply the same techniques across both print and digital media for faithful reproduction of client designs.
  • Knowledge of industry norms
    Professional designers adhere to industry norms and apply best practices to provide clients with shareable, future-proof designs.
  • Asset reuse
    Designers strategically reuse foundational components to build new designs quickly and faithfully. Master document styles, importable links and swatches, plug-ins, and code snippets enable the designer to focus on the creating the design within aggressive deadlines.
Screenshot. JSFiddle for CSS-only columns.
Screenshot. JSFiddle for CSS-only columns.JSFiddle is a great tool for storing code snippets I frequent, like this one I coded for CSS-only columns.
  • Market knowledge
    Every successful design project starts with researching peers and competitors. Clients enjoy original designs that differentiate them from their competitors in positive ways.
  • Multi-faceted
    Rarely does a design specialize in a single skill. Most designers are multi-faceted to produce better-informed designs. For instance, a graphic designer might practice web development too to plans designs that can easily be reproduced in code.
  • Originality
    Professional designers understand only original designs are memorable. Multiple steps in the creative process allow designers and clients to explore and align creative visions to produce a unique design tailored specifically to the client.
  • Working with pre-existing conditions
    Designers work building designs from scratch as well as from previously created works. A designer can adapt to multiple aesthetic styles of a variety of clients and creative projects.
  • Working knowledge of print production
    Designers may not work in the press room, but they do know how to properly prepare their designs for the printing press to guarantee faithful reproduction and high-quality to their designs. For example, a designer understands to avoid thin lines on printed promotional products, which often rub off or fail to adhere to the product. Another example, designers can give clients recommendations for print treatments and finishing, like heavy-weight paper stock or inline foils.
  • Tech savviness
    Designers are familiar with computers and know the best tools to accomplish tasks quickly, such as font management apps, file transfer programs, color calibration tests, RAM troubleshooting, and more.
  • Copyright law
    Although a graphic designer cannot replace a lawyer, a designer can advise clients on materials and actions that protect the client and ensure safe designs that adhere to licensing rules and copyright law.
  • Brand management
    Designers help clients manage their brands and match them with appropriate visuals and creative strategies.
  • Digital strategy
    Designers provide high-quality service, within budget, to the client’s satisfaction. They equip the client with the right, easy-to-use tools so that the client can enjoy years of success from their designs.  
Case study: Smile Team. A screenshot of the MailChimp WYSIWYG email editor using one of the five templates.
Working with Smile Team, I arranged an easy-to-use WYSIWYG email templates compatible with MailChimp, the popular email marketing tool so volunteers who have little budget and no coding knowledge can make emails confidently.