Local or international, which graphic designer is right for you?

  • You’re in the process of starting a business and you know that you need to hire a graphic designer to design a logo and create your brand.

    You've got a handful of graphic designer recommendations from friends. Now is the time to see which design studio is right for you.

    There are benefits of widening your search to find the best designer in the world. After all, visual design is something which transcends language barriers.

    However, this depends on your business. Is it a location-based business, or are you hoping to reach an international audience?

    If you are location-based business, such as an office, studio or shop, hiring a graphic designer local to you is probably the best solution. Why? Because they will know your local area, target audience as well as your competitors.

    However, if you are looking to reach clients worldwide with your product or services, finding a logo designer globally might be the right call. But the emphasis in the brief will be on hiring a design studio with a track record of creating for a similar market, or for a particular skillset (e.g. a certain illustration style).

    There are risks to working with an international designer which are worth considering. If they don’t speak English well, a complex creative brief might not be received as clearly.

    Trends and tastes also vary widely between nations. What is considered stylish design in Dubai may be seen as gaudy to discerning design eyes in Yorkshire.

    Additionally, not everywhere has the same resources. As I learned while designing a logo for an international company which traded between Uganda and the UK, the signage in Uganda was all hand-painted, therefore my digital logo design in York had to be easy to redraw freehand in Uganda.

    There are other benefits of hiring a designer from your region. Economically, your money will stay for longer in your area, which will positively impact local prosperity. If you’re intending to grow a business in a certain place, you would be morally justified to spend your money there too.

    What if you’ve seen a designer you absolutely love the work of, but they live hundreds of miles away?

    Engage with them and ask for an estimate for your graphic design needs. You will be able to test the water as regards to your working relationship without committing to anything. You'll then be able to weigh up what kind of service you'll receive in comparison to someone closer to home.

    Working with a nearby designer will also add to your social power.

    Once your project is complete, your graphic designer is likely to post their work on their social media accounts and on their portfolio website. This will raise your brand awareness within their network for free! Your local designer will connect you with another quality freelancer such as a printer or website designer. Additionally, your graphic designer is likely to recommend your business to their contacts if you work well together.

    There’s awards to be won. If you create stunning print or digital design together, there are many different awards ceremonies in design, marketing and other industries where your project can gain press attention for you both. Who doesn’t like the idea of bringing home a gong as the mark of a successful project?

    However, press attention can be also created with a longer-distance relationship too. This summer, my design for National Geographic Traveller was featured on IPSE's Self Employed Showcase on LinkedIn. This updated my connections with my news, while promoting a very successful event to a wider audience.

    Finally, staying close to home means that your designer is easily accessible for a meeting. If you're looking for a York graphic designer, my clients are welcome to visit my design studio at Heslington Road in York. We can do creative thinking over coffee and cake, which certainly beats another Zoom call.

    Grace Abell is creative director of Abell Design, a graphic design studio in York, UK.

    https://www.abelldesign.co.uk