Have you ever thought about hiring a graphic designer for your business? If so, you know that sometimes outsourcing your work can be a pretty daunting decision to make. There are so many options out there that your experience hiring a graphic designer can greatly vary. Because of this, doing some research is going to be your best bet when it comes to finding the right designer for your needs. Here are six tips for choosing the right graphic designer for your project.
Check Out Their Portfolio
Graphic design is obviously a very creative field. You could give 10 designers the same brief and receive 10 completely different outcomes. Viewing samples of their previous projects will give you a good idea of their design style and whether their aesthetic meshes with your own ideas or not.
You can also check for descriptions or case studies that explain the process behind the designer’s work. Design is about solving problems. There should be careful thought put into every design choice, so look for evidence of this.
Experience & Education
While formal training isn’t everything, people who have studied design tend to have a more solid understanding of design theories and concept development, which is important in the creative process.
The number of years that a designer has worked is also not necessarily a great way to assess their skill, but it can be a good indicator of how well-equipped they are at dealing with any hurdles that can come with real-life projects. Often it’s through experience that people learn how to deal with deadlines, industry standards for print and web design, clients, and other business management processes. You want to be able to trust that the graphic designer you hire will know what they’re doing, no matter what difficulties might be thrown at them.
Speak with Them Directly
Get in touch with the designer you’re considering and take the time to get to know more about them and their design process. This is important for both you, and the designer. You can both assess whether you’ll be a good fit for each other, and how well your values and expectations align.
You want to find someone you can see yourself working with on a long-term basis. Ideally, the graphic designer you choose will become a part of your team; someone you can go back to time and time again when you need design work completed. They can become more familiar with your business, your values, and your target audience. With an in-depth knowledge of your brand, they’ll be able to suggest better and better possibilities for your design needs.
Understand and Communicate Your Goals
This is one of the things to cover when you speak to the designer. Let them know what your project is about and what you expect in terms of an ideal outcome. Be clear about who the target audience is, what your brand is all about, what kind of time-frame you have to work with, and any other details that are important to getting the project done. You want to establish your expectations early on so you can give the designer the full picture and minimise the possibility of confusion or misinterpretation.
The clearer the picture the designer has, the easier it will be for them to confirm things like:
How much the project will cost
How quickly they can produce the work
What other details they might need from you in order to complete the project
Watch out for designers who leave things feeling vague. If you’ve provided clear goals and expectations about a project and the designer isn’t able to respond with specific details about how to move forward, it may be an indication that it won’t be a good fit.
If you’re finding the prospect of hiring a graphic designer particularly daunting, consider starting out with a smaller design project. Rather than starting out with, say, a full rebranding that will take weeks and cost a few thousand dollars, consider getting something like a newly designed flyer, or new business card designs. This will give you a chance to see how well you work together without making too much of an investment.
You can test out how easy it is to get in contact with the designer, how they respond to critique, and what their process looks like from start to finish.
Be Realistic About your Budget
Design isn’t a commodity. That is, not all designers are created equal, and the work you get from one designer isn’t going to be the same as what you get from another. You can’t just “shop around” based on price. So looking at your budget is going to be an important consideration when it comes to choosing the right graphic designer for you.
Although it might be an appealing idea to choose a designer who says they can work for you for next to nothing, but more often than not with design, you get what you pay for. Go through the above points and choose a graphic designer who works within your means, and will provide you the best possible service.
These are just a few tips that might help you when choosing the right graphic designer for your project. Bringing in someone new and giving them complete control over certain aspects of your business can certainly be intimidating. But, hiring professionals to take over things that you’re not an expert in is an important step for the growth of your business.