Things to Know When Hiring a Graphic Designer

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Most people haven’t worked with a designer before – and that’s totally okay. You may know you need some design work, do a quick google search, and find a few graphic designers in your area that seem like they know what they’re doing. What next?

Here are few tips on how and when to work with freelance graphic designers:

1. Know your own company/goal.

I do a ton of research before I even start designing, but any insight I can get directly from the client is so incredibly helpful. What does your company do? If you’re not a company, what’s the goal of this design project? Who is your target market? Who’s your biggest competitor? What makes you different from that competitor? These are all things that most designers can figure out through research, but in the end, you know your own company better than we do. Knowledge is power.

2. Know the details of your project.

I guide my clients through the details often, but it definitely helps to have a general idea beforehand. There are two key things you should have in mind about your project: budget and timeline. Sometimes you have no idea what something costs, and it’s totally okay to ask for a quote without discussing what kind of budget you have set aside. Clients that are open and honest are our favorites – we just want to talk like humans, no need to be all weird when talking money.

Past budget and timeline, it’s really just having an idea about what it is you need. Need a website? How many pages? What’s the purpose? What kind of functionality does it need to have? Need a logo? Great! Will you need business cards and letterhead to go along with it?

Have an idea about what you need, when you need it, and how much money you have set aside to get it. We can help you with everything else.

3. Know your style. Know a designer’s style.

Everybody has a style, and it’s important to make sure your designer’s aligns with your own. Like super grungy hand-drawn type? Really into clean, minimalistic designs with fun pops of color? See if your designer has some of this in their portfolio, and point out that you dig it. Find a designer that has work you like, even if it’s for a totally different kind of client. There’s always the possibility that a designer hasn’t had a chance to work in a particular style and would love the opportunity, but even then it’s a good idea to make sure you like their previous work.

4. Be prepared to let go. Trust your designer.

Sometimes clients are really attached to their projects. We get it – this is your baby. But if you’ve followed the other steps on this post, you liked our previous work and you’ve filled us in on all the important points. Take a deep breath, and trust the designer. We’ve got this. Remember that you hired a graphic designer because they have a specific set of skills that you don’t, and try to be open to our guidance. Easy, peasy.

5. Give valuable feedback.

During the revision process, be sure to point out things you like and things you don’t. Don’t like the color orange? No problem. What colors do you think you might like? The worst thing you can tell a designer is “I don’t like it,” and nothing else. Without additional feedback, we have no idea what to work on to get on the same page. Something like, “The type feels too corporate and I want something more fun,” is way more helpful.

In the end, communication is key to ending up with a great design. What advice do you have for working with freelance designers?

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