Jonathan is the Chief Digital Officer CDO at Marketshare, Inc. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California. Marketshare, Inc. has been helping builders with all things marketing for over 35 years. Email: [email protected]
Graphic design is a huge part of any business, but it’s an especially big part of the building business. As a builder, there’s so many pieces you need created and so many areas where you’ll need design support: from marketing materials for your new communities to signage to mock-ups of your home layouts, your business designs are a crucial part of bringing your ideas to life, developing interest in your properties, and ultimately driving sales.
Because design is so important, you’ll want to leave it to the professionals and work with a graphic design partner. But how do you find the right graphic design partner for your building business?
Ask The Right Questions
The first key to finding the right graphic design partner for your building business is to ask the right questions. When interviewing potential graphic design partners, asking the right questions and digging deep to get the information you need to make an informed decision is critical to choosing the right partner.
You should ask all potential partners:
What’s your experience working in the building industry?
Designing for the building industry takes a unique skill set. Ideally, you want to work with a graphic design partner who understands your business and how to best design to help you meet your goals of selling property and filling your communities.
Ask your potential graphic design partner about their experience working in the building industry. Dig deep to get a real sense of their industry understanding. Do they understand the unique challenges of design for builders? Do they have experience creating building-specific designs, like lead in signs or billboards? In addition to graphic design, can they create architectural mock-ups of potential homes?
The more experience your graphic design partner has in the building industry, the better they’ll be able to deliver what you need.
What areas of design do you specialize in?
Just because someone is amazing at designing a logo doesn’t mean they’ll be equally as effective as designing a marketing flyer for your new community or a sign for your sales office.
Think about the main areas you need design support and then look for a design partner that specializes in creating those types of design.
Can I see samples of your work?
When interviewing potential graphic design partners, you always want to review an extensive portfolio of their work. Reviewing past designs will give you a clear idea of what you can expect your potential partner to deliver for you.
When reviewing designs, you’ll want to look for a solid understanding and aesthetically pleasing usage of basic design principles, including:
  • Complementary color palettes
  • Typography
  • Balance
  • Alignment
  • White space
Your potential partner should also have a variety of samples similar to what you’re looking for. By looking at what they’ve done for past clients, you can get a better idea of what they can do for you.
What sets you apart from other graphic design partners?
Any graphic design partner worth their salt should be able to tell you exactly why you should work with them instead of the competition.
Maybe they have extensive experience helping builders come up with creative design ideas. Maybe their focus on sales-centric designs has helped builders fill their communities. Whatever it is that makes them unique, they should be able to spell it out in a way that builds the value for you and your business.
Look For The Right Aesthetic
Just because someone is a great designer doesn’t mean they’re the right designer for you. Different designers have different design aesthetics, and if you end up working with a designer whose aesthetic doesn’t match yours, you’ll likely end up with well-designed signs, marketing brochures, or 3-D renderings that feel completely wrong for your brand.
While it’s true that good designers can adapt their design style to suit the client, there will always be a bit of their aesthetic that sneaks into their designs. When reviewing your potential design partner’s portfolio, look for a theme in their overall aesthetic. Do they use a lot of pastels, rounded shapes, and whimsical fonts in their signage? They might be a great fit if you’re opening a senior community, but not-so-great if you’re opening a building full of sleek lofts targeted towards young professionals.
Think about your brand, your building project, and the potential homeowners you’re targeting and then look for a designing that best aligns with all three.
Ask What Else They Can Do For You
Handling the graphic design for your building business is a big responsibility. Rather than hiring a freelance graphic designer, who may get overwhelmed with the volume of work needed to support your building ventures or might not have the depth of experience you’re looking for, it’s best to look for an experienced graphic design company that has the team, resources, and experience to bring your designs to life.
But why start there? To simplify your life, why not look for a company that can handle multiple areas of your business?
Look for a partner who not only understands graphic design, but also other areas of your business, like interior design for your sales center or digital marketing to get the word out about your next community development. By finding a partner that offers a wide breadth of services, you can ensure consistency between your projects. Plus, dealing with one vendor who manages multiple areas is significantly less time intensive than managing multiple relationships with multiple vendors.
Now that you know exactly what to look for, it’s time to start looking for a graphic design partner to support your building business. Ready to take the next step? Get in touch with Marketshare to learn about how we can help.