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My company has been working on updating its brand, including logo, brochures and other marketing collateral.  Being the Director of Creativity, the task of finding a graphic designer was up to me.  This is my experience.

Graphic Designer A. Since I am in a networking group that has a graphic designer my first thought was to contact them.  After all, I want to support the people in my networking group.  From all of the samples of work that they had done for other people in our group, I was pretty sure that they could do a good job for us.  Plus I knew that their rates were very reasonable.

I contacted graphic designer A by telephone and email and asked for a quote, which they sent to me promptly.  Then I agreed to work with them.  There was no contract, just an email.  The graphic designer did not contact me to find out what I wanted as far as a logo design, colors, style etc.  Basically I just told them that I wanted a logo with our name.  I was very surprised they didn’t at least send me a worksheet to fill out so they could get my ideas. Working with them was difficult.  They did not return my telephone calls, preferring to communicate via email.  Once it took them a week to return a call or email, indicating, when they finally did, that they had been out of town on an emergency.

After what seemed like 20 revisions on our project, and missing several deadlines, we finally did our own research to find examples of the type of logo that we wanted.  After that they were able to get it done.  It was a difficult experience.  We loved our logo, and the cost was right, but the experience was very frustrating.  Grade C-.

Graphic Designer B was another one I met in a networking group.  I contacted them because out of all of the graphic designers in this group, they were the only one that had contacted me outside of the group on a friendly basis.  Although I wasn’t exactly excited about the style of graphic design this designer preferred, I wanted to give them a chance.  Their rates were double of Graphic Designer A.

Graphic Designer B returned my telephone call and email right away, both by phone and email.  They provided me a quote for the project I was working on and worked with me to get it to fit within my budget.  They did not send me a predesign questionaiire either.  Can you tell I was expecting this type of communication?  However, I sent a very clear email with a sample of what I was looking for.  The first draft was right on target and I was very pleased.  My only concern was that in communicating with this designer, they let me know they were very busy, going to meetings or whatever.  It took a little longer than I expected to get the project started, and the designer did not communicate a deadline for finishing.    I felt like my project was not a priority.  Grade B.

Graphic Designer C.  After going through those experiences I decided to bid out my next project on a portal called

Elance is a website where people can connect with service providers to get projects done.  You post your project, in my case, I was looking for logo, and business card design, and then services providers bid on it.  You get to pick from the multiple providers, which enables you to find styles, prices, etc, that work for you.

After posting my project with an end date of 7 days, I received almost 100 bids.  I narrowed the bidders down by feedback score (95% satisfaction or higher), price, and style of examples in portfolio.  If I had wanted to, I could have also narrowed it down by location, or specialty.  I finally chose a provider and accepted their bid.

Graphic Designer C immediately responded to my bid acceptance and sent me a predesign questionnaire.  Nothing too difficult, just about 10 questions asking what I was looking for, what colors, styles, and sample logos I liked, and then we were off.  Within 24 hours they sent me 8 concepts.  I was very pleased.  I quickly narrowed it down and they responded again within 24 hours.  What surprised me the most about the experience with this company was that even though they are a large company with many graphic design projects, they made me feel like my project was the only one that they were working on.  They always responded quickly and kept me current on timelines.  I never felt like I had to guess what was going on.  Their price was reasonable and they threw in additional value by designing a business card and stationary exactly to my specifications.  Grade A!

In order to build buzz for your business, you’ve got to create a customer experience like none other.  You’ve got to make your customer feel like they are your number one priority by calling them back promptly, communicating, and following up.  Graphic Designer C delivered on my expectations and then some and I most highly recommend them for your graphic design and web needs!  Want to find out who they are?  Email me me with the subject line:  Graphic Designer C, and I will send you their info!
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