How Choosing the Right Designer is Like Ordering Fries

How Choosing the Right Designer is Like Ordering Fries

Choosing A Graphic Designer | Blueprint

Graphic designers and French fries come in all shapes and sizes. Freelancers, waffle fries, large agencies, curly fries…

There are many things to consider when choosing a designer to enter your “inner circle” and help create the vision that is in your head for your next digital marketing project.

Choosing the right designer plays a crucial role in getting the right results for the right price.

How To Choose A Graphic Designer

Not all graphic designers are the same. Every designer has a different set of skills, experience and style. Maybe you’ve been burnt in the past like that fry that is always found at the bottom of the bag. Follow these steps and you should have a better after taste when choosing a graphic designer for your next project.

Request A Portfolio

Every restaurant can claim that they have the best French fries, but how do you know if they are telling the truth? You could ask them to take a polygraph test, or you could try it for yourself. A designer can lie about their experience, but there is only one sure way to see if they are telling the truth: their portfolio.

As you examine their work, what should you look for?

Depth: Look at the depth of projects that they’ve worked on. Is this a one-off or an ongoing project? If you are able to understand the designer’s creative process, you will have a good gauge if they are right for your project.

Typography: Look at the fonts they used for each project. Some designers are one-trick ponies that are loyal to a certain font. Maybe they have a unique style or maybe they are a duplicator rather than an innovator.

A designer can blow you away with their portfolio, but if they don’t understand the client’s needs and the functionality behind their graphic decisions, you may be wasting your money.

Review Their Experience

Would you rather have a hot fry, or a fry that you buy in the frozen section of the grocery store? A designer can have a lot of experience, but if they are not up to date with industry trends and the latest technology, your campaign may be outdated.

Freedom Fries

In 2003, the French fries that were served in the US Congressional cafeteria were called “Freedom Fries” in response to France’s opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. A designer will always want creative freedom, but if they don’t understand the objective of the project and how a user will interact with your campaign, your fries may turn out soggy.

Value Fries Price

The most important thing when choosing a designer is price. If you asked a designer to design a McDonald’s french fry and they gave you the superior Chick-Fil-A waffle fry for the same price, would you complain? We all know that you get what you pay for; this expression, although commonplace, is certainly true for graphic design as well. You may get lucky and get an onion ring in your fries from Burger King, but what if you’re allergic to onion rings?

Selecting a designer purely based on price is unwise.

Fries, not Potatoes.

Every fast food establishment has that unique fry they are known for. Arby’s curly fries, Chick-Fil-A’s waffle fries, Wendy’s sea salt fries – these are just a few of the iconic fries. Your project may ask for a designer with skills like as diverse as a waffle fry, but they may actually be Steak-N-Shake skinny fry and not able to fulfill your requirements. You may ask for a large fry from the Golden Arch and end up with a bag overflowing like the fries served at Five Guys.

Always review a designer’s portfolio before making a decision. There are many “professional” photographers out there thanks to Instagram. Follow these steps and you should walk away a hot fry instead of a lumpy potato.

By: Aaron Ward
  • Adam Baxter

    Great comments aaron. When it comes to the creative part of things, its important to be keen on the subtleties of what makes a good designer.

  • Patrick Price

    Is it just me or does reading this make me HUNGRY!? Firstly, this is a great technique to get people reading! Everyone loves food so why not make comparisons to get people into what you’re writing about. Secondly, graphic design is a lot like photography and video production. All have different skills but the true test of if they’re who they say they are is by their experience and resume reel.

    You can have a text heavy resume as a photographer or even multi-media journalist but if the resume reel or portfolio is weak…move on to potato salad! Great job Aaron!

  • Excellent post. Very often people who are looking for designers don’t know where to start. They may even look through portfolios but not know what they are looking for. Their approach is “I’ll know it when I see it.” If people follow your advice, they will avoid a lot of headaches and end up with a graphic design project that achieves their goals.

  • Naima

    Great read Aaron! I agree with you that choosing a designer can be a hard task, but once you know exactly what you want, everything becomes as easy as enjoying your favorite fries. Thanks for sharing!

  • Samantha Torres

    This is a fun, but educational, read! Comparing designers to America’s favorite vegetable is a fantastic way of showing that each designer has its own merit, just like every french fry has their following. Finding the right style, and fry, for your business is the most important thing for business owners to represent themselves appropriately. Fantastic job!

  • Jeff Cline

    What a great comparison. Like fries, it’s easy to think that graphic designers are basically all cut from the same potato. You make some great points in knowing how to distinguish between the “frozen chunk” and the “over one million served”. Business owners should also consider the condiments in this equation – are you dealing with just a designer and getting only the fries? or an agency that can serve a whole meal of services?

  • Joshua Bains

    I love how far you took your metaphor.

  • Elizabeth Weaver

    Cool stuff, Aaron. Interesting point about designers being loyal to a certain style or font, hindering their abilities to branch out and really relay the message of a brand. There are so many small details within the realm of design that could make or break a company’s branding. Keep up the great work!

  • Victoria Vener

    This is such a creative and apt comparison. When looking for a graphic designer I think a lot of people don’t consider how much individual style, skill, and experience matter. Sure, every potato can become french fries, just like all graphic designers design graphics, but cut, cooking method, and seasoning make all the difference.