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Selecting the Right Advertising Design Partner


It’s amazing when you find that perfect partner. The one who knows what you want and need before you do. We’re not talking about love though. We’re talking about business and marketing. Finding the right partner and, in this case, designer to help you in this great (ad)venture is beyond important. When you are working with a responsible creative team that you like and trust, life becomes a little easier. The time spent focusing on the matters–growing your business. How do you find that perfect fit though? The person or persons who can collaborate with you to take your marketing vision to the next level. While we can’t do the interviews for you, we can offer a few tips on finding the best graphic and web designers who will make reliable additions to your marketing team.


You have a lot to do. Between planning budgets, getting new customers, and keeping the current ones happy searching for a graphic designer does not have to be stressful. You have a wide range of places to find great talent, but it takes a little digging. Our advice is to consider what is the most important to you.

Is it price? Remember that quite often, you get what you pay for. This could be good or bad depending on perspective, but it’s important to focus on the end result of the marketing goal. Remember: this is how your business will appear to new customers or those seeking to work with you. It pays to put on your best face. This is usually made easier by putting a little more than $99 into your major marketing efforts.

Maybe it’s specific skill set. Perhaps you need to find a packaging designer who is experienced in working environmentally-friendly substrates or knows the latest guidelines for food packaging. Whatever the motivation, we have a rundown on where the majority of graphic and web designers hangout.


With the abundance of freelancer sites such as Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer.com, it’s easier than ever to find a designer, programmer, or writer to work on your project. While it’s easy to find a contractor, it can become harder to keep them fully dedicated to your project.

  • Pros:
  • – Good for those who are budget conscious
  • – Large pool of candidates
  • – Faster ramp-up time to get your project completed
  • Cons:
  • – Unable to fully vet candidates before hiring them for the job
  • – Easier for contractors to provide subpar work or disappear
  • – Finding a good contractor will take more time and effort
  • – May have to deal with language barriers and/or geographical issues

Local Designers

Sometimes the best talent is in your own backyard. A quick Google search can bring you scores of graphic designers and agencies ranging from small boutiques to large full-service behemoths. Tailoring your search to ‘graphic designers near me’ will give you the ability to establish more of a gut feeling for your next marketing partner since it’s easier to meet face to face.

  • Pros:
  • – Ability to meet and collaborate in person
  • – Checking out a candidate’s credentials is easier
  • – Generally easier to contact due to location (no timezone issues)
  • – More beneficial for networking and working with trusted partners
  • – Customers may also benefit from you working with local talent
  • Cons:
  • – Depending on your location, the candidate pool can be small
  • – You may not be able to find a specific skill set in your area
  • – Cost to hire is generally higher, especially in larger cities

People That You Know

Maybe you know someone who has shown some design skills in the past. Perhaps your nephew or brother has a knack for putting together websites. Sometimes it’s best, and heck, even easier in some instances to work with someone that you already know. You generally have a good idea about their strengths and weaknesses. However, working with a family member or friend can often prove to be complicated.

  • Pros:
  • – You’re working with someone that you (hopefully) like
  • – You already know this person and how they work
  • – Easier to work out a beneficial financial arrangement
  • – Better for creating a fun work environment, if they are in the office
  • – Increased productivity
  • Cons:
  • – Could be difficult to provide criticism or establish boundaries
  • – Chances for resentment to build becomes higher over money or submitted work
  • – Harder to create rules and guidelines to be followed
  • – If things go downhill, your relationship could be irreparably damaged

This is only a peek into the pros and cons of these different types of design contractors. It’s up to you to figure out what works best for your work style and business. As with anything that could have long-lasting effects on your business, it’s important to vet, vet, and vet again anyone coming into your company.

Which Personality Traits Should I Look for in A Designer?

They say that opposites attract, but is this really the case? If you’re the type of person who is more relaxed about your daily life, would you want to have a tightly wound designer or programmer working on your project? Finding the right balance between a relaxed attitude and being wound tighter than a steel drum is a fine art. While this varies from person to person, we have a few suggestions to help nail down some qualities to look for in any potential design partner.

Communication is Key
Are they able to understand the overall vision for your company? Can they provide you with ideas on how to better your business? It’s important to find someone that you can easily communicate with and who will also understand the nitty gritty parts of your company. This will help build a platform of trust between yourself, the contractor and every member of your team.

Relaxed is Good, but Not Too Much
Designers are often stereotypically categorized into two buckets: passionate, high-strung creatives or the laid-back, cool kid with his (or her) head in the clouds. You’re looking for the creative chops and talent to elevate your brand. However, a designer also needs to be able to reign in all of these concepts into constructive action. Your designer needs to be able to execute their ideas into tangible results so you can effectively relate to your audience.

Being Exceptionally Proactive
Have you ever had to get someone back to the task at hand? Or do you often feel like you are the first person to always reach out to check on the status of your project? Maybe it’s time to find a designer who doesn’t mind sending you a quick email to let you know a) they are still alive and b) your project is coming along smoothly or if not, what they are doing to get back on track. Bonus points if they have their own project management system or know how to use yours.

The Finer Points: How Will They Work with You?

We don’t have to tell you that before you begin any new project, that there needs to be a set of guidelines established. Rules that everyone needs to live by to make the working relationship run smoothly. Working out all of the kinks before embarking on a new partnership is important to maintain everyone’s sanity and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

A good design or web contractor will put your mind at ease by wanting to make sure that your project specifications are put into writing. Communication is key to design and especially important when creating a new brand or getting your product out to market. With that said you must always…

Setting Expectations
Is your designer going to provide you with 2-3 revisions or will you take whatever they give you on the first pass? While it’s up to both of you to set the ground rules of how this partnership will work, a good graphic or web designer is able to communicate exactly how they will work with you regarding the creative process.

How Will You Get the Final Product
Designers want to make sure that you have everything that you need to show off your company in the best light. It’s important to ask how your final design or product will be given to you. Will you be able to have access to the design at any time? For some types of work, you may have routine maintenance or creative updates done to text or imagery.


While it’s relatively easy to find a designer to work on your marketing materials, finding the right, long-term partner can often prove difficult. Sometimes you can get it right on the first go, but more often than not, you will have to do a little more detective work. Using just a few of these tips will help you become a more informed interviewer when searching for your next designer or programmer. Don’t forget: the perfect fit for your business is out there and waiting to help take you to the next level.

Photo Credit: Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash