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How to Find Graphic Design Services for Your Marketing Collateral


graphic design services creative briefWhen you need marketing collateral created, you find graphic design services, right? And whether your business is located in Raleigh, NC or anywhere else in the country, you’re going to be asked to provide a creative brief for the materials you want.

The mistake many business people make is commissioning materials that simply don’t cut it, according to a report by the American Marketing Association. The report states that as much as 90% of materials produced by marketing staff aren’t used by sales people, who feel they are simply not relevant enough!

Developing a Creative Brief

This is the first step you’ll take when you start looking for graphic design services to create your marketing materials. Once you have a half-decent creative brief, you can shop it around to agencies and get an idea of which company is likely to give you the best bang for your buck. Your brief needs to include:

  • An overview of the project
  • A description of the objectives of the campaign and what it’s intended to achieve
  • Detailed analysis of the target audience for the materials
  • The key messages of the campaign
  • The tone you want for your materials – professional, educational, informal, or upbeat and fun
  • The timing of the project

The more detail you provide in your creative brief, the more likely your graphic design services are to be able to deliver concepts that will work.

Finding Graphic Design Service

When you start looking for the right graphic design services, it’s important to analyze your needs before starting your search. Do you want strong artistic skills, to come up with creative design elements such as a logo, or do you need a designer with a technical focus to achieve a quality layout and finish? Are you looking for online design, print or other media? Most designers specialize in one particular type of design work, so if you want a range of marketing collateral you may need to send your creative brief to more than one designer. It’s never a good idea, though, to have separate designers working on one campaign unless there is some form of oversight to maintain the integrity of the campaign. If this is your situation, it might be better to work through someone like a marketing consultant, who can bring in and manage different graphic design services for the various aspects of the work.

Traditional vs. New Media

Choosing the right marketing materials is as important as the design and message. Your sales people will tell you that the messaging needs to be relevant to your potential customers; it should speak to the challenges they face, the risks and how your product can solve their problems. Having a fabulous website won’t be much use if your customers are blue collar workers who are barely computer literate. Similarly, a glossy brochure will simply be thrown to one side if it’s presented to customers who do all their business electronically. A mix of media is often the best bet, and the graphic design services you appoint need to understand the target market thoroughly.

Commissioning Marketing Collateral

So you’ve identified suitable graphic design services for the work you need done, your creative brief is ready and you’re excited about the possibilities, don’t rush into anything without a written quotation or proposal outlining exactly what the graphic design agency is commissioned to do.

  • Are your graphic design services having the materials printed on your behalf, and if so, what agreement do you have in place regarding price, quality and delivery time? Chances are good the cost of printing is not included in the original design quote.
  • If the designs are going straight to printing, will you get a chance to check that they conform 100% to the creative brief before the printing process begins? Make sure you have a final sign-off proof before going to print.

As exciting as it is to produce great marketing materials for your business, it’s a process full of pitfalls for the uninitiated. Download our free checklist of 10 Easy Tips for Hiring a Graphic Designer for more information, or click the banner below to schedule your free, 60-minute consultation with a professional business marketing consultant who can help with your graphic design needs.