What to look for when hiring a Graphic Designer

Posted on: Jan 12, 2018

At the risk of sounding all ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’, I do believe that good design should be accessible for all businesses, whatever stage they’re at.

One of the great things about being a freelance designer is the variety of clients I work with, from start ups to the big boys, all with very different needs.

The one thing they have in common is they realise the impact that good graphic design can have on their business success.

However, I do realise that if you haven’t done it before, finding and hiring a graphic designer can be intimidating.

There are millions of us online, all with different styles and price points. How do you know which one will be able to bring your project to life?

It’s always a good idea to put yourself in your client’s shoes, so I’ve done just that to come up with these top tips for hiring a graphic designer:

 

Is their work similar to what you want?

This may sound obvious, but sometimes I get enquires from people that obviously haven’t even looked at the work on my website.

Some designers specialise in logo design, others only design for print. I work in a very linear way, so it’s no good asking me to do a watercolour of a majestic deer!

 

Can they provide testimonials?

You’re looking for proof of their professionalism – are they reliable? Will they deliver the project on time? Do they interpret briefs well?

You don’t want to be dealing with a diva!

 

Do they have availability?

Once you’ve found a professional designer you like, the next thing to check is whether they’re available.

Project timescales vary massively and they may be tied into a big piece of work that’s going to take them weeks, or they could be working on multiple client projects and can fit yours in around them.

 

Can they meet your deadlines?

When discussing deadlines with your designer, always be crystal clear on your expectations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked when a project is needed and got the answer ‘whenever you can’ or ‘as soon as possible’.

It could mean they want it tomorrow or a week from now!

 

Asking for a quote

When asking for a quote, give your designer as much information as possible. If I’m quoting for a logo design, I find it really useful when the client shows me logos that they like, for instance by sharing a Pinterest board with me.

This helps me understand the kind of style they’re after and how long it will take me. Even a doodle on the back of a napkin is helpful!

 

Expect to pay a deposit

I charge a ‘commencement fee’ of 50% before starting a project, and invoice the rest on completion.

It's a great way of ensuring commitment on both sides, and most designers take a deposit or even the full amount upfront.

 

Finally, give good feedback!

As with most relationships, good communication is the key. Sending off the first draft is always nerve-wracking for designers as we want to be sure we’ve understood your brief.

But I always tell my new clients that this is the time to be as honest as possible with their feedback, so I know I’m on the right track.

 

Keep these tips in mind and you'll find a graphic designer you can develop a great working relationship with, who will be an asset to your business for years to come.

 

Have I missed anything out? If you’ve got any questions about hiring a graphic designer, let me know!

 

 


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