Branding a SharePoint 2010 site means, for me, taking the out-of-the-box Publishing site and changing it visually, as per the Graphic Designer's composite vision. There is a mix of developer and designer skills that are required to make this happen, which certainly makes it difficult to find an overall good SharePoint Branding person. I would highly recommend that, in practice, we should team up two people to accomplish the branding of a SharePoint site. The first one is the web developer, the second one is someone highly skilled with HTML and CSS.
The following skills will be involved in this exercise: