How To Hire Best Freelance Designers

Hiring Freelance Designers
How to hire freelance graphic designers

How to hire freelance graphic designers?

And where to find the best ones?

Graphic Design is a very broad term and hiring the right graphic designer may pose a challenge.

Especially when don’t know which type of a designer you really need.

When someone says “I’m a graphic designer”, it is not immediately clear what they actually do.

There are a number of different responsibilities encompassed by the umbrella term graphic designer.

So the first step is to understand your needs.

What type of graphics do you need?

For digital or print? Or both?

Hiring Quality Designers

When it comes to finding the right designer, focus on hiring an expert in particular field.

And in order to hire an expert, you must specify what kind of expertise you’re looking for.

Do you need a custom logo and identity design?

Or perhaps you need a website design?

And maybe you’re looking for a mobile app designer?

Realize the fact, that graphic design is a very broad term and only hiring an expert in the particular design discipline will bring the best results.

Finding the right graphic designer to implement your vision is critical. Click To Tweet

This is why I prepared this step-by-step guide on how to find the right online candidate for you next design project.

Step By Step Guide

Before you start searching, It’s important to remember that you are not simply hiring someone to design a graphic, a decoration, and adornment.

Graphic design needs to solve a specific problem.

It might be that you need e.g. a new logo & identity because your goal is to present consistent look & feel of your company.

Whatever your reasons to invest in graphic design are, you must define them first, then look for specialists.

What’s the bottom line?

Other designers can make beautiful things, but true graphic design is about what works. Click To Tweet

Here’s the deal:

The wrong type of designer can result in low-quality, inappropriate designs and ultimately fewer customers, fewer conversions, and actually a loss in revenue.

They also won’t be as efficient and able to provide you with the expertise you need.

How To Hire Freelance Designers – 5-step guide:

  1. Know types of designers
  2. Outline project scope
  3. Search for an expert
  4. Review past work
  5. Get a quote

The ultimate goal of this guide is to help you make better hiring decision.

So that you get the best money/quality and avoid costly mistakes.

First, it is important to distinguish among the types of designers we have.

1. Know types of designers

Graphic designer in general is a creative services provider in the field of Visual Arts that has experience in designing for both print and digital.

But a designer never equals a designer.

Graphic designers assemble together images, typography, motion graphics to create a piece of design. Click To Tweet

The main responsibility of the graphics designer’s job is to present information in a way that is both accessible and memorable.

But there are plenty of applications, so there are plenty of creative positions as well.

When looking for the right graphic designer you should discern between these types of designers:

The list of specialties can go on and on, but in general these are the most popular.

Graphic Design field is very broad and the tools and technology changes very rapidly.

Ultimately you don’t want to suffer the consequences of a missed deadline because a packaging designer got stuck in the process of website creation and can’t embrace the complexity of the task.

So, let’s have a closer look at those major creative positions:

Logo Designer

Logo designers are graphic designers who specialize in creating a distinctive look & feel of a company, product or service.

Logo designers create trademarks (brand marks), logotypes (word marks), or a combination of both. Click To Tweet

Logo design is being considered as the quintessence of a graphic designer’s art.

It’s the distillation of something big and complex into something small and unique like logo design.

Identity designer

Logo design and brand identity is kind of inseparable.

So that if logo designers create trademarks and/or logotypes, then brand identity designers take it a step further.

Designers who specialize in brand identity design do much more than just creating a logo. Click To Tweet

They are responsible for designing a comprehensive brand identity system.

That comes with a set of visual rules on how to present your brand image to the world (identity guidelines).

Web Designer

They’re focused on the visual aspect of a website and it’s functionality.

A web designer is a specific type of graphic designer that specializes in the visual design and… Click To Tweet

The web designer has the ability to understand what is needed to make a website functional and easy to use, but at the same time make it aesthetically appealing to the user.

However, a web designer does not necessarily code the website.

Therefore if you need a complete website built you should hire both web designer and web developer or a specialist who does both.

UX/UI Designer

A user experience designer (UX) is primarily concerned with how the product feels.

UX Design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.

They explore many different approaches to solving a specific user problem.

User Experience Designers simply identify verbal and nonverbal stumbling blocks, they refine and iterate to create the “best” user experience.

Packaging Designer

Packaging designers create packaging that attracts the eyes of consumers and preserves products.

The right packaging can draw a consumer’s attention and highlight the quality of the product if done correctly.

The packaging job is to differentiate a product from its competitors and navigate consumers. Click To Tweet

Think about the brands you love and buy on a daily basis – they have distinctive packaging that you can recognize from overwhelming variety of products.

Motion Designer

Motion graphic designers use graphic design principles in a filmmaking or video production context through the use of animation or film techniques.

This could include movie clips, trailers, commercials, Facebook video ads, title sequences, etc.

They’re able to tell a story in a way that a static image never could.

Motion graphics designers are becoming desirable team members because they can step in and create an explanatory video for your product or service.

2. Outline project scope

Now, since we discussed different types of designers, it’s time to specify your needs in order to find the right fit.

If you need a logo alone – hire a Logo Designer, but if you feel that you need more than just a logo you will probably need an expert who will design a complete identity system.

If you need a new website, then you will not only need to hire web designer but also a web developer or a creative who does both.

Want to design a mobile app?

Don’t hire a general graphics designer, but look for a specialist – UX/UI Designer.

This will ensure that you’re going to get the best quality service.

What’s the deal?

Instead of hiring a general graphic designer, you should look for a person who specializes in particular graphic design field.

And in order to do so, you will have to prepare a list of graphic design services that your company needs.

3. Search for an expert

Once you specify what your needs are you have a different options:

  • Finding experts through their blog (Googling)
  • Browsing showcase websites like Behance
  • Using brokerages like Upwork

While looking for the right designer you should ask yourself specific questions which will further allow you to rate each candidate:

Do they have the ability to provide you with the work needed?

Do you like what you see in their portfolio (style, quality)?

Do you prefer to hire a local or a remote designer?

These are some questions to consider, but again, every project is different therefore you should prepare your own list of questions.

Just imagine your perfect candidate.

How does he/she talk to you?

How do they work? (the process).

You can also ask around for referrals.

4. Review past work

Reviewing a designer’s portfolio, is usually the best way to find the right fit for your project.

Check their past work and find style that you like.

If a web designer doesn’t have his/her own website well-done – how he/she will be able to meet your expectations?

It doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t know how to do it.

It rather means that they’re not fluent enough or don’t have enough experience to provide you with the quality work.

Besides a good portfolio, a graphic designer should also demonstrate his/her ability to describe the… Click To Tweet

After you find the aesthetics you like, find out about the designer and his process.

How do they work?

Check their blog and social media profiles to see if they’re really the person behind the work.

During my career, I’ve heard managers complaining that someone displayed work not of their own.

So don’t let anybody scam you.

Since this is creative profession, you won’t find a price tag.

Designers will usually ask you for %50 upfront payment, so it’s important to check the person you’re going to work with.

Remember to keep the list of potential candidates a little bit longer, because some designers might not be available.

Or perhaps their quotes exceed your budget.

5. Get a quote

Once you have a few applicants,

it’s a good idea to talk with them and see if they make a good fit.

At this point, you’ve already checked their portfolio, read their blog and seen their social media profiles.

You know that they’re up to the job and you like their past work.

The last step is to contact them and ask for a quote.

This usually involves passing some basic project details, so the designer can estimate how long will it take and how much will it cost.

Some of the designers will facilitate the interview process by having a questionnaire on their websites.

Once you’ve contacted selected designers, rate them accordingly.

What’s your experience in working with freelance designers?

Let me know in the comments below.

Brands I’ve worked with