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Hiring Freelance Designers (Guide)

How to Hire the Right Graphic Designer
How to hire a freelance graphic designer

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

Most business owners or marketers sooner or later will need to hire a freelance graphic designer.

Ok, but how to hire the best freelance graphic designers?

And what to look for when hiring one?

Where to find the best freelance designers?

I know you’re busy and you don’t have time to waste.

That’s why I created this five step guide to help you find and hire the right freelance graphic designer.

I’m talking about designers that can deliver on time and under budget.

One that knows what he/she is doing, and won’t waste your time.

Hiring a cheap designer will cost you more

How much is your time worth?

Ultimately, finding a graphic designer from India for $5/h isn’t hard.

But the chances are, that you will not get the quality you expect.

Think about the risk associated with picking the wrong service provider.

You might get frustrated with the subpar work.

If you hire an amateur, you’re not only getting poor quality, but most importantly you’re wasting your time managing people.

They won’t deliver and you don’t know how to articulate to them and they won’t know why it’s not right.

And then, what’s that you’re not doing? – you’re not running your business.

Perhaps, you will have to repeat the process again.

How much is your time worth?

Hiring an expert will save you time and money

On the other hand, hiring a professional graphic designer may cost you more upfront, but will actually save you time and money down the road.

Whether your hiring a graphic designer for logo, website or to create marketing materials, there are different types of designers.

Graphic Design is a very broad term so hiring process may pose a challenge.

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

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

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

Choosing The Right Designer
How to choose a graphic designer.

What to look for when hiring a graphic designer

When it comes to finding the right graphic designer, focus on finding an expert in the niche.

So first, you must specify what kind of expertise you need.

If you need a logo and identity system – you would look for a brand identity expert.

If you’re looking for mobile app designs then search for UX/UI designer, and so on.

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
Hiring the right designer, step-by-step guide

How find the right graphic designer in five easy steps

Before you start searching, It’s important to remember that you are not simply hiring someone to design a graphic, a decoration or an 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 a consistent look and feel of your brand.

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

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

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.

Know Types of Designers
Know Types of Designers

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:

  • Logo Designers
  • Identity Designers
  • Web Designers
  • UX Designers
  • Packaging Designers
  • Motion Designers

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

Graphic Design field is q 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.

Outline the scope of project
Outline the scope of project

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

While looking for the right designer you should ask yourself specific questions, which will later on allow you to rate each of the candidates.

Photograph: Jean-Jacques Alcalay/ Barcroft Images

Hiring a graphic designer – questions:

  • 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 of the questions to ask potential candidates, but again, every project is different.

Therefore you should prepare your own list of questions relevant to the specific type of graphic design you’re hiring for.

Best ways to find expert designers:

  • Through their blog (by googling)
  • Browsing showcase websites e.g. Behance, Dribbble
  • Using brokerages like Upwork, Fiverr

Just try to imagine your perfect candidate.

How does he/she talk to you?

How do they work? (what’s their design process).

Do you want to work with local graphic designers?

Or you don’t really mind working with someone overseas?

How fast does he/she work?

Review the designer's portfolio
Review the designer’s portfolio

4. Review past work

Reviewing a freelance graphic designer’s portfolio, is usually the best way to find the right fit.

Check their past work and find style and design aesthetics that you share.

Many designers are being hired for a particular design style.

If a web designer’s own website is not good – Why would you hire him/her to design yours?

They don’t have enough experience to provide you with the quality work.

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

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

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 many times managers saying that some interviewee showed not of their work.

Since this is creative profession and there is no price tag, you must trust that designer’s ability to perform.

Why?

Because, designers will usually ask for %50 deposit.

Know the person you’re dealing with and remember to keep the list of potential candidates a little bit longer, not all of them will be available.

Get a quote
Get a quote

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.

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

The experienced designers will usually interview you, once you initiate show interest.

Next they will follow-up with a quote that estimate how long it’s going to take, what are the deliverables and how much it all cost.

Once you’ve contacted some designers, got a couple quotes, you have a sense of who you want to work with.

Finally, you must trust your guts, but also make a well-informed decision.

Also check this video:

What’s your experience in working with graphic designers?

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