Posters are one of the most cost effective ways to get new customers and raise your brand awareness. Great posters are memorable, to the point, and create instant connections with potential customers. They also allow you to get creative with your marketing plans and smart brands use posters to leverage unique guerilla marketing tactics in their promotional campaigns. Furthermore, posters are proving to stay relevant even in the digital age, especially as we discover new ways to incorporate online channels and track the ROI of your poster marketing campaign.
However, one critical element of poster design and production has actually gotten more difficult in the digital era: finding and hiring great talent!
With all the endless platforms and online service providers, the risk is high that you hire the wrong poster designer to create your work. Here we will outline how to find a trusted partner to create your perfect poster and masterfully communicate your message.
Maybe someone you know has told you about a talented creative agency. A first impression isn’t just based on giving a quick lookover a website. An agency centered on design should have a well-designed, interactive website showcasing their portfolio and client references. If you like what you are seeing you need to touch all parts that a first impression can encompass, especially customer relationships. Search engines can be our friends here. With a simple Google search, search for Agency Name and Reviews. Not all agencies or designers have reviews around the web but you might get lucky and find some very happy customers in local forums or the agency name mentioned in a newsletter or blog of a customer not on their website.
To find a good partner you also need to do a quick check to see what their relationship is like with customers. Ask yourself: Do they have a newsletter? Do they have a blog? Do they show work they’ve done for customers? All of these things are indicators for how an agency treats their customers and invests in their own brand.
Let’s say that a potential partner passes your first impression test, now what? Sleep on it. Let a few days pass and think about what aspects of their work have resonated with you the most. Is their portfolio giving you that lasting impression and inspiration you’re looking for, or have you completely forgotten about it?
World-class designers let their work speak for itself. They put in the audience research and strategic thinking in the front-end so it penetrates throughout the entire piece of art. The selection colors, imagery and text work together and leave the viewer with a persisting impact lasting days or even weeks after first seeing the art.
The fastest way to see a designer or creative agency’s reputation is to look at the case studies and the customer references on their website, however take these testimonials with a grain of salt. An agency or freelancers might put up a customer reference on their website because they are friends or it could genuinely be a satisfied customer. You can always ask for a contact on the customer references, but be sure to also ask for a contact in one of their case studies. This way you can make sure that the agency or designer helped them in the long-run and really get a feel for what their challenge was and how the agency helped solve it.
Finding a poster designer online
Hiring an independant poster designer can often be cheaper and more effective than working through an agency. There are websites dedicated to crowdsourcing and connecting freelance designers with companies. The first places you should check are behance.com and dribble.com, two leading platforms held in high-regard in the design community that help you find and hire an international poster designer online.
Designers post examples from their portfolio and links to their personal websites with customer references and success stories. Behance and Dribble both offer verified customer reviews from other small businesses without having to worry about bias. Other options that can introduce you to designers are designcrowd.com and crowdspring.com. Think of using these online communities as a way to get familiar with more poster designers and agencies that you wouldn’t come across otherwise.
Hire a local poster designer
This can sometimes be the best and most reliable option for your poster design work, especially if you want to create a long-term relationship with someone you can meet face-to-face. Finding a local design professional might not be as difficult as it sounds; ask around. Local design schools will be thrilled to introduce students and recent grads who want to build their portfolio and book of business. There are also professors at these colleges that still work commercially in the world of design. Maybe you know someone who just had a logo or business card designed by an agency or local freelancer. Ask them to put you into contact as these agencies likely offer poster and graphic design as well. This way you can find out about an agency through someone you already know and trust.
Companies don’t think about this too often but if you come across a poster you like, contact that business directly and ask them introduce you to the artist. Another way to find a poster designer is through mutual interest websites like meetup.com or eventbrite.com. There are often local events for design that would connect you with the local design community. Usually these networking events are free to attend and great for meeting people in all lines of work. Business is becoming more digitalized and finding a physical person can be the best way to see if you trust this designer and explain in-person what you are looking for in your poster designs.
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There are many factors that go into finding a great poster designer for your business and there are a few easy steps to make sure that you are hiring a partner that believes in cultivating long-term customer relationships. To get the best results, a simple first impression or conversation isn’t enough. There are a lot of creative agencies and designers out there, but you will need to put in some effort to find and hire the best in class. There still remains a justified danger that the freelancer or agency you hire will not meet the requirements you set out to make your poster memorable. However, it’s possible through due diligence and research to find someone that creates brilliant posters and listens to their customers needs as well.