6 People Every Graphic Designer Should Know

Networking is one of the most important things you can do in any industry and the graphic design industry is no exception. Below is a list of 6 types of people every graphic designer should know. So start networking with the right people now and you might be able to dodge some bullets and have a more successful career in design!

1. Accountant

Unless you are an expert at something as important as your finances, I would recommend finding an expert. The graphic design career is not always the most financially stable one, especially if you are working freelance or running your own studio. Like most businesses their is often a constant battle to find new clients and actually get your clients to pay up. Having a professional accountant can help you make the most of the money you do have, help you save money and keep things organized you; saving you lots of time and money.

2. Lawyer

No one wants to have to hire a lawyer ( because that often means there’s a problem ), but having a lawyer on hand can is very important. Whether its about negotiating a contract or settling a dispute with clients, having a lawyer ready to go that you trust is very valuable. Start off by asking family and friends if they know anyone and make sure you know what the lawyer specializes in because most lawyers will only accept certain types of cases, so you may need to make contact with several different types of lawyers or a firm that can handle multiple types of issues.

3. Web Designer

Having both graphic and web design skills is great and something to work towards, but many graphic designer prefer to specialize in graphic design, don’t have the time to code websites or just dislike coding sites! If that’s the case then you should have at least two web designer contacts that you can outsource work to when needed. They can help you set up your portfolio site, code websites for clients and help ensure your website is optimized for search engine traffic, meaning more projects for you!

4. A Better Designer

Its always good to have a mentor or at least some one you consider a more experienced designer. Getting honest critiques by some one with a fresh eye is very important. Designers often miss errors and other details after looking at the same design for 10 hours so being able to show other designers your work and get some good feedback is priceless.

5. Another Person in the Industry

Actually, you should have as many contacts in the industry as humanly possible! Knowing people in the industry will help you stay up to date with the latest industry news, jobs openings and much more. be sure to make actual friends and stay in contact though because its rude to talk to some one once and then 3 years later ask for a huge favor! So be professional, respectful and helpful to all your contacts.

6. Photographer

Photography is another valuable skill set not all designers have time to pick up. A great photographer can help you create custom stock photos, textures and even shoot your own work. Showcasing your design projects in real life situations or even just printed and photographed with a nice background is a proven method of getting more clients. It makes viewers of your personal portfolio or studio website more comfortable knowing your work has actually been printed and displayed in public!

Who else should designers know? Let us know in the comments!

29 comments on “6 People Every Graphic Designer Should Know”

  1. Logo Designer Reply

    I think it is certainly a good idea to have other designers around you or at least share your work on other blogs and get some feedback on your work to see how you might improve. If you only look at your own work all the time from your own point of view it can be very limiting on how you could potentially evolve as a better designer. Even better if you can find a designer with a few more years experience to offer their evaluation of your design process.

  2. Leslie Reply

    I’d also add 1) a writer and 2) a printing rep. I’ve gotten countless referrals from the writers I know — our work is symbiotic. Most of the writers I know are always looking for a good designer to make their words visually sing.

    A good printing rep is invaluable, too. There’s a lot of give and take at the beginning of a project, and running your idea past the printer to make sure it will work *before* you design it is always a good use of your time. A really good printer will usually have ideas for you, too, either to cut costs, or to try a new technique, paper or ink.

  3. Neil Reply

    The lawyer is a given; I managed to get some T&Cs and privacy docs for a recent project through connections to a top law firm. I imagine there’s a few routes for creating your own, but if you’re handling customer/client data, it feels much better to have the help of a professional.

    Perhaps you could add an ‘IT Systems/Backups/Administrator’ type contact to the list – the people who’ll made you feel bad for not having incremental backups of all your work. And a recruiter is always good to know.

  4. Gary holmes Reply

    Good article and list. I would definitely add printer to the list (Kind Item #5). Printers not only save you money on jobs, but are good at sharing knowledge and making suggestions. They also can bring you new clients and business.

  5. George - LogoDesign.org Reply

    You know, I think I’ve got everyone on that list accounted for, I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now, LOL. Depending on the whether the designer freelances or runs a design firm you could add having a good PR person to that list, that’s something I don’t have but should probably do something about.

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. Preston Lee Reply

    Thanks for the post. I agree with David and Jacob: Journalists (or PR people) and a copywriter. You could probably even have one person that does both for you. Most lovers of PR are excellent writers.

  7. Zack M Reply

    I especially agree with #5. That’s been so helpful for me.
    It’s nice to have someone you can trade knowledge with.

  8. Josh Reply

    I mean no offense to any PR folks here, but I would go with either a journalist or freelance writer first if you want something written. A copy editor/proofer is another good person to know.

  9. Alex H Reply

    I think I might be needing a lawyer soon because I have not received money for a work a did recently. I wonder what is considered too late in order to start calling a lawyer?

  10. daniel [dekowboy] Reply

    I’m on the same page wit everyone, but i love Denote’s contribution because illustrators are great assets to the graphic designer. i under estimated my illustration skill until i joined an advertising firm, there i realized the value of this unique skill. i also believe animators a of great assets.

  11. logo design blog Reply

    I think having a few printing contacts is a really good idea. Need to know printers that can provide digital, lithographic full colour and pantome colour plus print on a variety of stock including recycled and of you will need printers that offer a good trade discount so that you can make a little money on the printing while still providing your clients with a good price on the printing service.

  12. Nikki Reply

    This is some great advice and very true. Thanks for pointing it out. Contacts are so important. It’s much more likely to get a job or start a career through someone you know rather than a stranger. Friends and contacts can help you out so much when searching for openings but sometimes the hard part is trying to find good ones. You can make a lot of contacts but a lot of quality contacts are better than just knowing people in the industry. It’s a very cut throat world and not everyone will take the opportunity to help you out. Hopefully every stuggling artist finds those who will.

  13. Luke Whitburn Reply

    Very true – I always like having several designers around for the same project – its amazing how different they can be and provide a great perspective. Copy writers and web designers – are good as well.

  14. Ryan Colgin Reply

    I would say a marketing/advertising guru (for you and your clients). And definitely a copywriter and print rep (as mentioned in other comments). Print reps can be more efficient than only one printer because they can browse multiple printers and pull the best quotes/materials/turn around time.

    Great post and comments!

  15. Rory Martin Reply

    Concise list, very beneficial to know other designers, to learn and draw inspiration from it keeps your work fresh to bounce ideas off others. I think your designs can go stale if you lock yourself away not communicating with others.
    A “copywriter” is very handy to, if your not great with the words. However I do think you’ve missed one vital person off the list “the client”. How else do you pay the bills?

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