Graphic designers are like doctors (stay with me, here). While there are some generalists out there, you’re better off going to a specialist for a specific need. You’re not going to call your son’s pediatrician if you notice a suspicious spot on your arm; you’ll see a dermatologist. While not as life or death, you don’t want to hire a branding specialist if you need someone to create a PowerPoint for next week’s presentation.

Most designers specialize in a specific area, making them uniquely qualified for those types of projects. That’s not to say that they can’t take on other projects (an ophthalmologist knows how to perform CPR, for example), but they can take care of their specialization more effectively. Not only does choosing the right design specialist save you time and money, you’re more likely to get a better result.

So where do you start? How do you figure out what kind of designer you really need for your upcoming project? Let’s discuss!

Layout Designer

A layout designer works with text, images, and style to create an effect on the page. A layout designer may work on projects such as an online magazine, advertisements, or text-heavy documents like PowerPoint or ebooks. She understands how the human eye looks at a page and is able to draw the reader’s attention to certain elements based on how they’re placed in the document. Using balance, proportion, unity, and emphasis, she ensures that all elements work together to create a cohesive feel.

Branding and Logo Designer

If you’re aiming for a new look for your business or project, a branding and logo designer might be part of your “help wanted” ad. Someone in this niche gathers information about your business and brand to hone in on your brand identity. She dives deep into the message you want to express and finds the colors, images and style that speaks to your audience.


The work of an illustrator usually starts by putting pen to paper (or digital tablet). When you think of the word “illustrator,” you likely think of the drawings in the children’s book you read to your little one last night. And while you’re not totally off the mark, a lot more goes into the work of an illustrator for your business. She can help bring a part of the design to life, often working hand-in-hand with another specialized designer to create the final product.

UX/UI Designer

A user experience designer ensures that interacting with your brand digitally is an intuitive process. They make sure each step of the process is accounted for and that users have a clear path from brand awareness to sale to onboarding and beyond. User interface designers focus more on the look and feel of the process—what the user actually sees as she’s moving through the website, app or software.

Print Designer

Print designers are under their own big umbrella, working with projects like books, magazines, packaging design, greeting cards, business collateral, catalogs and even textiles and apparel. Each of these projects requires a specialized skillset including print industry knowledge and understanding of the surface that will be printed.

Not sure what type of designer you need? Let Lightboard help. Every Lightboard project comes with an account manager who knows our network of U.S. based designers and their specialties inside and out. We can match your project with the perfect designer; saving you time, money and frustration. Learn more here.