6 Qualities Of A Great Graphic Designer

desk of a graphic designer with a computer and color pallets

Graphic design is an important component of marketing and sales. It’s objective is to create designs that inspire, inform and fascinate consumers. Ad campaigns start out by defining the message or the business’ value proposition. This is the main selling point of the product or service. The job of the Graphic Designer is to translate the message into images that will entice the consumer to patronize your product or the service over your competitors.

6 Great Qualities You Should Look For In A Graphic Designer

  1. Aspires to be a constant learner;
  2. Embraces criticism as part of the creative process;
  3. Open to different sources of inspiration;
  4. Pushes the boundaries of creativity by exploring outside the comfort zone;
  5. A good listener and articulates ideas clearly for effective communication;
  6. Conducts work in a professional manner.

Why Graphic Design Is Important For Business

Visual content is a powerful vehicle for marketing because by nature, people are attracted to great-looking images. What would push you to eat a slice of decadent chocolate cake: a written description or a high- resolution image? A study by MDG Advertising showed that content with images are viewed 94% more than those without.

Businesses both big and small need great graphic designers. Take a look at those multi-million dollar Hollywood movies. They definitely look nice on your bedroom wall but the movie posters are an important part of the film company’s marketing campaign.

The posters are used to officially launch a movie because they help generate buzz and create more excitement. The marketing team will go through a number of designs before deciding on which concept to use.

Likewise, small business owners use graphic designers to come up with marketing collateral that will encourage more sales. If you were looking for a place to eat, you would probably choose the restaurant with the most appetizing and captivating food shots on the windows.

The Role Of Graphic Designers In Website Design

In website design, we use graphic designers to come up with concepts that best represent the branding strategy of the client. This is especially important for the Homepage where site visitors land after clicking the link.

A report by Pew Research showed that the Homepage was the most viewed page for 84% of the websites studied. For some of the websites in the study, the Homepage accounted for 60% to 79% of their traffic.

We would like to compare the Homepage to a storefront window. This is where site visitors get a glimpse of what the client has to offer. If it is true that humans have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, then we have fewer than eight seconds to pique the interest of the site visitor.

At Mountaintop, we work with great graphic designers who can get the client’s message across right away. It is not an easy task as we have to consider both functionality and aesthetics in the design process. We want our websites to feature amazing, breathtaking design without compromising usability.

The Responsibilities Of A Graphic Designer

A Graphic Designer is one-half artist and one-half scientist. They need great artistic sensibility and precision. A great Graphic Designer knows how to combine creative expression and technology.

There is more to Graphic Design work than just creating design concepts. Here is a summary of the responsibilities of a Graphic Designer:

  • Collaborates with the client, web designer and Artistic/ Creative Director in all stages of the design process particularly on the message or branding value proposition.
  • Provides client with input on the best tactics and strategies to reach the target audience.
  • Performs research on target audience; helps the client build a Buyer’s profile.
  • Learns and utilizes the best software programs to bring design concepts to life.
  • Conducts tests such as surveys to determine the effectiveness of design concepts.

Graphic design is not something you can learn from watching YouTube videos. The best ones in the business go through formal schooling. You need to have a good understanding of its fundamentals and experience applying its technical aspects to become a good Graphic Designer. Becoming a great Graphic Designer comes with experience. The more you work at it the better you get.

the journey to success is similar to climbing a mountain

6 Qualities Of A Great Graphic Designer

You can have a Graphic Designer who graduated from the best university, worked in the top firms and show the best recommendations. However, unless he/she has certain qualities or attributes, all the skills in the world may not result in your desired outcome.

Most businesses put more focus on a Graphic Designer’s hard skills. These are the technical skills learned in school and gained throughout their experience. While this is understandable, the value of soft skills or key personality attributes becomes overlooked.

Soft skills are the intangibles. These are the traits or qualities that drive the hard skills forward. What good is having top- level training if the Graphic Designer does not have the patience of working with a team? What is the value of being highly recommended if the Graphic Designer does not consider the client’s inputs?

There are many talented graphic designers. If you want to find the best one for your business, consider these qualities when hiring a Graphic Designer:

1. Constantly Learning

Early in their careers, graphic designers take to knowledge like a sponge. As they got deeper into their careers, some may become more focused just on getting paid for their profession.

The best graphic designers are those who believe they don’t know everything. Therefore, they seek to get better by constantly learning new skills and techniques. For them, every day is an opportunity to improve and excel in their craft.

This is the kind of Graphic Designer you want on your team. He/she will constantly look for ways to sharpen their skills and take your design team to a higher level.

2. Values Criticism

A Graphic Designer is tasked to manifest the message in highly visual format. Unfortunately despite all the work put in, other people may not see it that way.

Sometimes design can be subjective. What is beautiful for one person may not be the case for another. The same can be said when interpreting design because we all view images through individual filters.

It is normal to have disagreements or dissenting opinions when it comes to design. Most of the time, design revisions are just minor changes. That is why we usually go through 3 to 4 mock ups before finalizing the design.

A great Graphic Designer is one who can take the criticism and turn it into something productive. He/she is not onion-skinned and is always open to suggestions to make the design better.

3. Seeks Different Sources of Inspiration

“Creativity” is an attribute closely associated with great graphic designers. But where does creativity come from? For the best in the business, creativity is like a faucet that runs 24/7. It can strike anywhere so they have to be ready.

When assigned to develop a concept for a client, the best Graphic Designer does not get stumped. If the usual sources of inspiration are not delivering, they look for new sources.

It’s not just having a complete understanding of what the client wants and what the business is all about. Like a writer who encounters “writer’s block”, graphic designers may hit a wall on their creativity.

Look for a Graphic Designer who is resilient in finding inspiration. It’s part of the creativity process. You have to open yourself up to new stimuli because creativity itself should be allowed to flow freely.

4. Fearless! Ventures Outside the Comfort Zone

A university will give you the theoretical background and technical tools to have a deep level understanding of the fundamentals of graphic design. However, as we mentioned earlier the learning process should never stop.

Every client has different needs. The application of design fundamentals and techniques will vary from one project to the next. The great Graphic Designer will not be confined to what he/she knows. Instead, the Graphic Designer will not fear to venture outside the comfort zone to find the best design possible for the client.

All of this is tied up with the importance of being a constant learner. When you have more knowledge and tools at your disposal you have no fear of venturing into uncharted territory.

The best graphic designers know that sometimes you must take risks in order to reap greater rewards. In this case, the reward is a better and more effective design for the client.

5. Excellent Communicator

Successful marketing is all about effective delivery of the message. This is because communication is a two- way street. The message must resonate loud and clear; there must be no disconnect.

A great Graphic Designer is able to convey the message by expertly manipulating the image, text, colors, lines, angles, rhythm and lighting in his/her design. All the design elements must come together to deliver the same message.

And it’s not just in design that a great Graphic Designer shows his excellence in communication. You can see it in the way he/she interacts with the client and collaborates with the team. His/her points are well-articulated and everyone ends up always on the same page.

6. Professional

“Professionalism” is an attribute that is frequently used but often misunderstood. For graphic designers, being professional has a straightforward meaning: he/she must be focused and committed to completing the project according to timelines and guidelines.

What are the traits of a professional Graphic Designer?

  • Punctual at work and when attending meetings with the client and the design team.
  • Expert in time management; a great Graphic Designer knows how to allocate the hours in a day so he/she can consistently remain productive.
  • Regularly meets deadlines without compromising the quality of work.
  • Highly respectful and courteous to the client and everyone on the team.
  • The great Graphic Designer shares his/her opinions in a constructive manner.
  • He/she will not hesitate to seek clarification or ask questions in order to have a better idea of design requirements.

As you have read, being certified or licensed does not totally translate to becoming a professional Graphic Designer. The best one for your business is the Graphic Designer who is professional in his/her conduct of work.


Having a great Graphic Designer on your team will make everyone’s work so much easier. It is true that one has to undergo formal training in order to have a career as a Graphic Designer.

However, what separates the great ones from the good ones are not the technical skills and fundamental expertise but the qualities and attributes that contribute to effective graphic design. Before hiring a Graphic Designer, put time and effort in evaluating the person behind the profession.

Are you looking for a Graphic Designer to create inspiring and thought- provoking concepts for your business? Give us a call or drop us an email. We have an amazing team of graphic designers who have rendered outstanding work for several of our clients.

We would be more than happy to discuss the graphic design process with you!

desktop with coffee cup - learn more about website design