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Choosing a better magazine designer

Your graphic designer is an extension of your brand: the visual voice that puts your company message out in front of clients and employees. She’s there to design a logo that speaks the language of your business, web pages that look right for your brand and brochures that carry your visual keys onto paper.

Graphic designers, like all creative partners, have specialities. A magazine designer may not be the same person who designs the pages for your website, or the logo you use on everything you do. But she will have certain characteristics in common with all the graphic professionals you use. Here are some of the most important.

Your magazine designer will understand your brand.

A magazine designer puts the personality of your brand into the layout of your magazine, the images you choose for the front cover, the fonts the magazine uses, and the look and feel of every single page. She’ll need to understand your brand instinctively to design a magazine in keeping with your philosophy: and she’ll need to be able to work with the branding guidelines your logo designer has left.

She’ll be local.

You can hire a graphic designer from anywhere in the world. Just turn on your computer and look on freelancer sites, or Google the words “magazine designer”. But here’s the thing – if you want to talk face to face, get a feeling for the designer and give her an idea of the passion behind your brand, how are you going to get it done via web chat or Skype? Graphic design is a tactile profession. If you live in London, hire a magazine designer who lives in London too.

She’ll be experienced – or cheap.

There are two types of graphic designer: established and highly priced, and up-and-coming and cheap. Who you choose depends on your budget. An established designer can show you her track record as a magazine designer, with plenty of portfolio examples that fit your design brief. At this end of the spectrum, you pay for the designer’s limited time as well as her proven expertise. At the other end of the scale, you’ll pay a lot less but have to gamble on your designer having the skill and understanding to do what you need.

It’s not always the case that a new graphic designer is untalented – far from it. Designers fresh out of college often have buckets of talent and some unique ideas. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you trust the pitch, or want the reassurance of an existing portfolio.

She’ll understand your market.

Whether or not your magazine designer has experience in professional design is secondary to a very important characteristic: she’ll have a good understanding of the kind of person who’s going to read the magazine. And she’ll get the link between the audience, the magazine design, and the brand. If your designer can’t talk intuitively with you about your audience and the kind of magazine layout it expects to see, or the sort of language it responds to on the page, she’s not right for your project.
It’s not always the case that you need to be fixated on the cost of a designer. You should, though, be obsessed with the designer’s ability (or otherwise) to communicate. If she can’t get through to you, she can’t get through to your audience.

This article explores the different types of graphic designer, and looks at how a small business can use certain characteristics common to all designers when picking a new freelancer.

Your magazine design is a central element in your branding. It’s vital that your magazine designer is able to connect with your readers, and to understand the link between your magazine design and the rest of your brand. Find out why your logo has to inform the way your magazine looks, and what effect your website design should have on the pages of your publication.
You’ll learn why local designers are always better than distance freelancers, and how to spot the difference between a new designer with promise and one who’s saying anything just to get a job.

Magazine Your house full designs and ideas

You’ll also find out why paying top dollar for an established designer is not always necessary, and why sometimes a fresh designer who has just graduated from college is a better option for your brand. Most importantly, the article focuses on the key personal and professional traits that all good designers share, in the hope that you’ll be able to use them to make a better decision when the time comes to pick.