How do I hire a graphic designer to tie my marketing brochure together?
So I put together a marketing brochure for a small construction business in microsoft word. The content is good and the pictures are ok, but the document needs a graphic designer to touch it all up and tie it together.
Ideally, I would like the designer to work with photoshop, and realign the material and space it so the brochure reads clearer and is more attractive.
I have never hired a graphic designer before and do not know how to tell him/ her exactly what to do.
Nor am I clear on how much to expect to pay him/ her for the doing the final touches.
Any advice in this regard would be greatly appreciated.
Just a quick observation or two...
While I do some graphic design myself, I wouldn't exactly call myself a "graphic designer" per se.... although I do share my home with one (and she's great), so I think I can make a second-hand comment or so.
The situation you've described is not one that really good graphic designers like to jump into... where a client (or potential client) has already "designed" something in Word (or, God forbid, Powerpoint) and want an artist who can "fix it" or "make it better." Nor would they wanted to be dictated what tools to use to create it, as you specified Photoshop (A real graphic designer would never design a brochure in Photoshop, they would likely want to use Quark or InDesign or other creation software which is much more suited to that type of work, and is pre-press friendly).
Instead, I'd suggest you find a good graphic designer, and listen to them... see what they can do with a design fresh from the ground up. Tell them what you need, what you want, what you are trying to accomplish, who your target audience is, all that jazz... but do not dictate the design to them. If you find someone good, then trust them. You'll get much better results.
You said you didn't know how to "tell him/her exactly what to do." Well, that's just it, you shouldn't tell them what to do, you should tell them what you are trying to accomplish, and let them tell/show you how to do it. You'll be much happier and you'll get much better and more effective results.
Find one or two potential candidates, look at their portfolios, see if you like their work and whether their style fits with what you have in mind and what you are trying to accomplish, and if their rates fit in with what you have in mind.
If, on the other hand, you are really happy with what you have and you are just looking for someone to, as you said, do "the final touches," then you don't need a real graphic designer. The guy or gal down at your printer (or even Kinkos) can do that. I wouldn't recommend it that way, though.
I'm probably seeming harsh, but I often go home to hear horror stories of clients micromanaging their graphic designs, and most often those clients are people who are way out of their area of expertise who should be leaving it to the pros. Not all of them are, but the vast majority are.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
What Todd says.
To understand it even better, how does it make you feel when the business owner jumps in and starts telling you how you should make the video?
One of the biggest problems in our society is that since everyone now has internet access to the raw information that used to be only in the hands of professionals in multiple industries, we all feel that somehow gives us the ability to tell actual experts about how to successfully do what we're beginners at, but that they've been doing for decades.
Unless you're a high level professional at something. Chances are all you can do is "backseat drive" the project towards lower standards than an expert that actually knows what they're doing.
Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.
Being married to a real graphic designer myself, I can tell you every word in Todd's post is Gospel truth.
As to finding them, there are sites out there where they congregate looking for commissions. One that my wife used to use was freelance.com. The general idea is that you lay out the details of the job, and the artists bid competitively on it.
Some operations like this apparently add a fee for moderating the transaction space and overall hosting of the thing, and I think that a portion of the money is split between each of the artists that submit a bid, to cover a bit of their costs in preparing the bids. That seems quite fair to me.
I hate crowd sourcing, it's really hurt the video biz. However....I figured if you can't beat them, join them. That's the way all creative services are going when someone is looking for a source to do a project and they don't have a clue. A couple of years ago I found a great graphic artist out east who did my brochure based on my back of the napkin sketches and a few revisions back and forth. I'm very happy with it and use it as a leave behind or mail to prospects. It's a slim jim self mailer although I put them in evelopes so they arrive looking nice. Very important that it is under one ounce with a business card so keep that uppermost in mind.
Most pros will want to use the software programs they are most familiar with so be prepared they may need to start over. If you are interested in my guy's name you can PM me.
Lastly, it's best if you have the graphic artist be in charge of the printing even if it costs a little more. My experience has been if there's any problem with the printing, such as the fold, you become a ping pong ball between the artists and the printer.
[Ned Miller] " ...it's best if you have the graphic artist be in charge of the printing even if it costs a little more."
I should have thought to mention that, but yes that's true as well.
My significant other almost always handles getting the printing done, for dozens of clients. A good graphic artist does this all the time and knows how to "speak printer" which has some pretty specific needs and requirements. And it takes the client out of the middle if the printer has tech questions... if a different file type is needed, if a particular embedded font needs to be included, a photo swapped or changed to a different resolution, etc. And while the end client does get to approve it, the graphic artist will be the first one to see the printer's proof and sign off on it first and kill any issues before they become a problem.
And it actually usually doesn't cost more... sometimes it even costs less in the end. Artists frequently work so closely with printers they are known to them and get different rates or sweetheart deals... just because the printer knows they are going to be dealing with someone who knows what they are doing and will make it easy... rather than just some joker who walks in off the street.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Todd is correct on everything, but I will expand in one area.
It's almost ALWAYS a bad idea to give a designer something with any layout AT ALL. I've been guilty of this as a partially developed art director, when I give a real (fully developed) art director something in Quark and this seems to leave them obligated to use that as a starting point. The net result is I get back something which looks a little (sometimes a lot) better than what I did, but not something fresh and original.
You are best to provide the copy in Word with no formatting, just indications of which photos relate to which parts of the copy and which parts are headlines and sub-heads. Then let the art director come back with a couple or more variations. DO NOT give them a Word "layout" and expect them to improve that. You may want to provide style guidance in the form of ads or other print media that you think heads down the right path but the looser you are with the starting point the better their end product is likely to be.
AND, if you've never seen "ClientsfromHell.net" from the UK you owe it to yourself to get an up close and personal look at the perspective of the designer. That website would be even funnier if it were not so true.