6th Apr 2017

Calgary Graphic Design Firms: What They Look for in a Designer

Calgary Graphic Design Firms: What They Look for In a Designer

Calgary Graphic Design Firms create more than just striking imagery for marketing. Designers create usable interfaces and tools that help people and organizations; for example, an app that helps parents and teachers educate kids. Or design marketing materials for charities that deliver their message in a clear, well-designed way that makes a solid case to foundations and donors. Calgary graphic designers can take a noble idea and make it into something tangible that showcases the credibility and vision of the client.

By the academic standard, you are a graphic designer, the next step is starting your career. You might have no idea what graphic design skills Calgary Graphic Design Firms are looking for. Believe me, you are not alone. In fact, searches for examples of graphic design jobs and resumes are in the tens of thousands a month. And there is an equally overwhelming number of jobs posted each month.

It may seem impossible to keep up with what new graphic design trends or the constantly changing industry standard for graphic designers. Well, we have some good news, it’s not impossible.

When hiring a designer there are a few fundamental skills that all Calgary graphic design firms look for. Here is what our brand looks for when finding the right fit for our company.


All agencies will be looking for something different depending on their clientele and the brand. Only one thing that doesn’t change is they are looking for creativity. Designers need to showcase their best, most creative work. All designers have done basic design work that isn’t necessarily their taste. It is best to leave those out of your portfolio


Experience is valuable to all Calgary graphic design firms. Brands today operate in a marketing landscape that is split between the digital and traditional. This implies that, when they’re in the marketplace for a graphic designer, Calgary Graphic Design Firms need an individual with a diverse breadth of experience that will allow them to support traditional and digital marketing campaigns.

The most requested minimum experience is three (3) years, with most companies requesting for at least one (1) year experience. Nearly half of the Calgary graphic design firms want between 2 to 3 years of experience, and for the highest paying jobs, you must have this experience under your belt.

Complete portfolio: 

Portfolios are essential to any person marketing themselves in a creative field. Having a portfolio that showcases different talents and skills is high on the priority list when Calgary graphic design firms are hiring a designer. Make sure you represent different projects in different areas of work. When creating a portfolio there are a few things that you want to include: the project, who it was for and what your role was. If you are fresh to the business feel free to work on concepts. Create a brand with the feeling you are trying to convey. Then develop the concept into a complete branding package that showcases your style and talents.

Reliability and communication:

Everyone, no matter the industry values a reliable worker with effective communication skills. There is nothing worse than trying to complete a project and being stonewalled because the other party refuses to respond to phone calls and emails. Graphic design requires a lot of communication between designer and client, therefore it is a huge asset to have fantastic communication skills. These skills also come in handy when putting across ideas and understanding your client’s needs.

Mastery of typography:

Display advertisements and selling messages have become so ubiquitous to consumers today, that a mastery of typography is needed to create “thumb stopping” content or content that catches the target audience’s attention in the typeface. This will help it stand out in the racket made by similar ads. Without a firm control of typography to take hold of the target audience’s attention, it may not matter how beautiful, well-crafted or entertaining the content itself is.

Attention to detail: 

Calgary Graphic Design Firms are looking for graphic designers who have outstanding skills and a professional attitude. Everyone makes mistakes, but the finished product you deliver to clients should be totally fault-free. Double-checking accuracy and keeping to the decided language and imagery are important, to achieve this. Always have a trusted colleague review your final work before you submit it for approval. After all, it always helps to have extra eyes on each and every project.