Potential clients have told me how difficult it can be to find good designers for their budget. It’s one reason why people get sucked into the quagmire of design contest websites.
But there are thousands of designers available for all kinds of budgets, whether you have a few hundred pounds to spend, or tens of thousands.
Where to look
The more effort you put into finding the right designer, the more likely you’ll be to get the level of design you deserve. I’m not always the right fit for the projects I’m approached about, so I’ve collated a few broad resources that I hope are helpful.
Photo via Thinkstock
Creative Review. One of the design profession’s leading publications.
Behance. A portfolio network where designers show-off their skills.
LinkedIn. Allows designers to display their Behance portfolios on their LinkedIn profiles.
THE DRUM. News, information, jobs, a comprehensive directory, and more.
FormFiftyFive. Design inspiration from around the world.
AIGA. US-centric, but designers and clients don’t need to be in the same country.
Graphic Artists Guild. Similar to AIGA, I think, only smaller.
Twitter. You could search for a relevant term, or ask someone to post a request.
Identity Designed. Brand identity case studies from designers across the globe.
Dribbble. A “show and tell for creatives.”
Forrst. Similar to Dribbble in some ways.
Coroflot. Portfolios showcasing a wide range of creative specialities.
Creativepool. Jobs, portfolios, and freelancers.
Design Week. A professional publication with news and features.
Cargo. A popular portfolio platform with a “featured sites” showcase.
Graphic BirdWatching. Promotion of female graphic designers everywhere.
Design blogs. Those are just a few of the ones I like visiting.
Additionally, it can be a good idea to contact companies that have distinctive identities, websites, printed material, etc. No harm in asking who created the work. Designers, too, can be a great source of referrals, even if they don’t specialise in what you’re looking for. The designers I know are happy to recommend their competitors.
Further resource: Design Business and Ethics, from AIGA.
Thanks to everyone who offered “where to look” suggestions on Google+ and Twitter. If you’ve any other useful sources feel free to comment.