The prime function of a graphic designer is to create and manage your business's visual appearance in print, online and in the press.
A good design consultancy will also be able to help you with your marketing strategy when required. You may not require every discipline a graphic designer can offer. Most studios will cover your day-to-day needs, but there are some areas where you may need to find a niche specialist.
Here are a few of the disciplines you may need:
If you need illustrations or cartoons, ask your graphic designer to organise them as they know the best specialists to use and brief them accordingly.
As with printers and photographers, it's best to take time to find a graphic designer you feel comfortable working with and who you feel understands your company's business an what you are looking to achieve. It's best to stick with a designer you like as they will get to know your corporate style needs and the way you like to work.
The best way to find a design studio is by recommendation, so ask around suppliers and friends. Many designers take ads in local business directories - always check their websites to see samples of work and to get a feel for the type of company they are.
Some larger printers have their own designers, but I have found them to be less creative than individual firms. They are usually employed to create straightforward jobs and to make adjustments to other jobs supplied.
Ask designers you feel may be suitable to come in and present their portfolio of work, so you can make a final decision as to who to use.
It's important to establish how they will manage your work, who would be your main contact, and what happens during holidays or illness.
The best designers will have good creativity combined with sound technical ability to deliver practical and effective design. A good way to judge creativity is to see if their portfolio demonstrates that their design solutions suit the intended target audiences, without just churning out predictable formulaic visuals.
This article is an abstract from a book by Alan Godfrey called 'How To Handle Your Company Publicity.'