I often hear clients mention the difficulty of finding good designers for their budget. It’s one of the main reasons given by clients who get sucked into the quagmire of design contest websites.
The reality is there are thousands of designers available at every level of cost, from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands.
Where to look
The more effort a client puts into finding the right designer, the more likely he or she will be to receive the standard of design they deserve. I’m often approached by potential clients that need work I don’t specialise in, so I’ve collated a few resources I hope will help.
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 an influential “tweeter” 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 for clients to contact companies that have distinctive brand identities, websites, 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 the work that’s sought after. The designers I know are happy to recommend their competitors. We’re nice like that.
Thanks to everyone who offered “where to look” suggestions on Google+ and Twitter. If you’ve any other useful sources, or thoughts on those listed, feel free to comment.
Photo via Thinkstock