Finding a Designer is Hard

I announced yesterday that I am planning on selling Technosailor. That in itself is hard, but figuring out the next step in my non-b5media life has proved slightly treachorous. I have Emmense going on over there that I plan to build as I can, and turn it into a WordPress resource/consulting site. It also has a design that, while okay for now, is not what I want long term. (Incidentally, people keep asking me if I’m leaving b5media. No! I’m not! Stop asking!) :)

So, I’ve spent a lot of time looking around for designers knowing full well what I’ll have to pay (thousands!). I’m okay with that, providing Technosailor sells for what I want.

My first and most obvious choices are Chris Pearson or Ben Bleikamp, based on my opinion of their work as well as my personal experiences with them both. Unfortunately, both of them are tied up. Ben, notably, is all garbled up by b5media (damn them!).

I’ve also taken a look through this list and saw some promising prospects (should they respond to my emails), but largely, I realize I’m pretty picky about what I am looking for and none of these folks have it. Can I hire someone I don’t trust to understand my needs?

So what are my needs?

The site is to be a professional resource and consulting blog, right? So I’m looking for Information Architecture first and foremost. Pearson and Ben are fabulous which is why I’d trust them with the design work. I could care less about flashy pictures or substantive headers. It’s content. Organized content. Make sense content. It’s smooth and elegant, yet crisp and clean. It makes WordPress dance (it’s a WordPress consulting site, right?) yet eases the reader into its depths. It has code archives and plugin archives and baits the reader around the site.

I need a designer, but I need an Information Architect. Anyone out there?