When Hiring a Graphic Designer, Here's What to Look For (2023)

A graphic designer is someone who puts together a visual and textual message in order to convey an idea or emotion. Some graphic designers work for companies or organizations, and others are freelancers, but either way, they're serving a similar purpose to copywriters: in the world of advertising, marketing, public relations, and other commercial fields, copywriters are responsible for writing printed materials that sell. Copywriters do this by structuring their writing to appeal to the reader's emotions. Graphic designers do this by creating visual images that appeal to the reader's emotions.

Hiring a professional graphic designer for your business can be a big step. Maybe you've already done some design work on your own and are ready to take it to the next level. Or maybe you're looking for someone to come in and create your logo, redesign your website, or create some brochures for a big event your company is planning. Whatever the case, hiring a graphic designer is an investment—you're making an investment not just in the design but also in their expertise.

When designing for print, there are many factors to consider, like color and size of text, alignment, and style of image, all of these things have to be taken into account when thinking about how your project will look in its final form. And that's before you even get into the process of actually creating the design!

What kind of expertise do graphic designers have?

Graphic designers have a variety of different skills and can do many different things, so it's hard to say exactly what you'll get when you hire one. Some graphic designers are especially good at designing logos, while others specialize in page layouts. A good graphic designer can be a great help to a small business, pushing them forward and helping them look professional.

A great graphic designer can also help with more abstract tasks, such as finding the right color scheme for a website or how best to utilize the space on a billboard. It all depends on the work you give your designer and what kind of experience he or she has.

There's no one best way to use a graphic designer—it can be helpful to get several different perspectives on different ideas, or it may be that you already know what you want and just need someone to put it on paper (or monitor). It's up to you, but regardless of how you go about it, don't underestimate the value of hiring a professional who has expertise in the field of graphic design.

7 steps to Hire a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers have a certain mystique about them, especially for those of us who aren't professionals in the design field. But here's the thing: you're designing a website, brochure, or any other promotional material, and it needs to look professional. Hiring a graphic designer is worth the money. Here are the steps to take when hiring one:

1) Identify graphic design needs

The first issue is that graphic designers need a lot of information in order to do their jobs well—information that the owner may not even realize is important or even exists. For example, a dentist needs to know which specific styles patients are responding best to and how long patients typically wait in the office during certain procedures.

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A graphic designer also needs access to all of the company's marketing collateral and social media presence so that they can maintain consistency across all of these platforms. You can't just give them a Word document with your logo on it and call it good—they need access to your brand guidelines and other documents that help them adhere to your brand identity and make sure everything looks consistent across all channels. Without this key information, the final products will likely look unprofessional and won't achieve their full potential.

2) Think about the Budget

Think about the budget. A lot of people think that to get a logo, they just have to send out a contest on a freelancer site like oDesk or Freelancer, and they'll get back a bunch of logos for as low as $5. But then, when they look at the designs, they're unimpressed because it's obvious that the designer didn't put much time or effort into the project for such a small fee.

Would you hire someone to build your house for $5? Probably not. Why hire someone to design your logo for $5? It doesn't make sense. Try to plan out how much you're willing to spend on a graphic designer before looking around for one.

The other thing is that there are different kinds of designers. Some are extremely talented and can produce great work in almost no time, but others might not be able to do that at all and might need more time than you anticipated. You need to know which kind of designer you're looking at before committing yourself to them, so ask them what their process is (and if they don't understand what you mean by this question –run away! Run away!).

3) Determine Timeline

The first step in hiring a graphic designer is to determine your timeline. The most important thing to remember is that the earlier you start, the earlier you'll have something to put on your website and use in other materials. If you are thinking about launching a campaign in the near future and want to have a logo ready, I would recommend starting around 4-5 months before your launch date.

This will give your designer enough time to create multiple concepts and revisions, as well as enough time for you to decide on one that you like. If you have more time, it will give your designer more flexibility when creating concepts. The sooner you can get started with this process, the better!

4) Research Potential Graphic Designers

If you're looking for a graphic designer, start by doing research. You can check out their portfolio to get an idea of their style and how much the services will cost. Once you've found someone you like, don't be afraid to reach out to them—you want to make sure they're available for your project. If you like them, ask for their rates, and if they're within your budget, hire them!

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Leading up to the holidays is a great time to get your design work done. Graphic designers are usually more available during the holidays since they have less work at this time of year. They might even have some discounts or special promotions going on, so you can save money if you book your design work now!

5) Create a job description and Ad

The best way to hire a graphic designer for your business is to create a job description and advertisement for the position. Conducting an interview with the potential employee can be helpful, but the most important part of the hiring process is creating a job description. The job description will provide you with information about position requirements and responsibilities.

The job description should include things like what specific skills the designer needs to possess, what type of personality and attitude makes for a great graphic designer on your team, and other details about the position that are important to you and your business.

A good rule of thumb for creating a job description is that it should be no longer than one page. Make sure that it outlines everything that's included in the position and anything else that you might need to know about the candidate.

If you don't have experience in graphic design, write down some details about what you think makes a good graphic designer, then compare those to the candidate's resume or portfolio.

6) Interview Candidates

When you're interviewing candidates for a job, there are a few specific things you should be looking for. But to make sure you find those things, you need to know what questions to ask. Do your homework first. What credentials does the candidate have? Get a sense of their experience; it's fine if they don't have every single one of the qualifications you're looking for, but it doesn't bode well if they're lacking in any experience or training that would be required for the job. Do they have references? If not, ask why and how they've been able to accomplish similar projects in the past. Would they be willing to provide references upon request? How do they react when asked about their previous work experience and what it taught them? Is this someone who stays calm under pressure or someone who panics when things aren't going well?

7) Make a decision and an offer

When you hire an independent contractor, a professional designer, or anyone who's not an employee, you're making an offer to them. You're asking this person to provide a service for a certain amount of money. This is not the time to be wishy-washy.

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Make a decision about what you want and make your offer clear and firm. Waiting for a deal will only waste time; if the first designer doesn't accept your offer, chances are that the next one won't either. If you're not sure about how much work is involved in the job and/or what a fair price would be, get some quotes from other designers first so that your offer will be fair (more on that below) and realistic.

Benefits of hiring a graphic designer

The benefits of hiring a graphic designer include:

-Graphic designers are used to working with a wide variety of clients and projects, so you can be sure your work is in good hands.

-You get lots of variety for your money. Designers can give you logo options, print materials, web design, and social media design.

-Designers often have access to the best technology, like 3D rendering software and graphic video editing programs.

-A designer can develop a complete brand identity for your business, including business cards, letterhead, email signatures, and other print materials.

-A good graphic designer will help you develop a cohesive marketing campaign instead of just designing individual pieces.

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-You don't have to learn how to use all the expensive software required for professional quality design work; a graphic designer can do it for you!

Drawbacks of hiring a graphic designer

Hiring a graphic designer is expensive, and it can make you look unprofessional.

If you want your business to be taken seriously, it's more important than ever to have a professional website and logo that represents your brand well.

Plenty of people just starting out in their careers get talked into hiring one of those "quick" online graphic design services, but they end up with an amateurish logo or website that doesn't reflect well on the business.

For the cost of one logo, you could get several inexpensive prints or other items designed for your business that give off a more professional vibe (e.g., if you own a bakery, elaborate sugar cookies, or cupcake wrappers).

If you're already working with the same graphic designer who helped create your logo, then no harm done—but if you're going to go this route, be sure to get something specific designed for your business before turning to an online marketplace.

It's not worth it to wind up with generic artwork that won't help your brand stand out—and will probably cost less if you design it yourself using templates and stock images.

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Having a graphic designer is the best way to have an attractive, well-designed logo. I have been in this situation before, and it was such a hassle to get something that looked even close to decent. There are plenty of places you can find someone who can design a logo for your business, but if you don't know where to look, then just do a quick Google search of "graphic designer" or "logo designer". It will be hard to find one that gives you a professional-looking logo at a cheap price—but if you are willing to pay for this service, then I'm sure you'll find someone who is worth it.

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What are the 7 elements that a graphic designer uses? ›

The elements of design are the fundamental aspects of any visual design which include shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture.

What questions to ask when hiring a graphic designer? ›

6 Freelance Designer Interview Questions
  • 1) What motivated you to apply for this project? ...
  • 2) What is your workload like? ...
  • 3) Can you describe your design aesthetic? ...
  • 4) What is your design process like? ...
  • 5) How would your other clients describe working with you? ...
  • 6) Do you have a blog?
Apr 13, 2017

What are the 7 principles of graphic design? ›

The fundamental principles of design are: Emphasis, Balance and Alignment, Contrast, Repetition, Proportion, Movement and White Space.

What are the 3 C's of graphic design? ›

To summarize, the 3 elements of design are: Consistency (Systems–based Design) Clarity (Clear instead of Clever Design) Content (Design is Communication not Chrome)

What are 4 things graphic designers have to know? ›

Soft Skills for Graphic Designers
  • Creativity. Graphic Designers are constantly tasked with developing new and unique ideas. ...
  • Communication. Graphic design is visual communication, so communication skills are at the heart of a Graphic Designer's work. ...
  • Strategy. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Time management.

What are key performance indicators for graphic designers? ›

Some main KPIs you can use to monitor your performance as a graphic designer include revenue, client satisfaction, new clients, profit, turnaround time, quality and productivity. You can also measure your performance through error, efficiency, feedback and revision rate. Each of them is equally important.

What are three important qualities that designers need? ›

5 Qualities of a Successful Designer
  • Communication.
  • Team player.
  • Openness.
  • Creativity.
  • Logical Thinking.
Feb 26, 2021

What are the 5 fundamentals of graphic design? ›

That's why understanding graphic design principles is essential. In this article, we've looked at five principles: visual hierarchy and contrast, balance and space, repetition, color, and variety.

What are the 10 basic principles of graphic design? ›

There are 10 principles of design in total! They're also known as the elements of visual design, and are: movement, balance, contrast, proportion, repetition, rhythm, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity.

What are the 2 main components of graphic design? ›

The seven basic elements of graphic design are line, shape, color, texture, type, space and image.

What are the weaknesses of a graphic designer? ›

So, here are 6 graphic designer weaknesses with tips on how to overcome them.
  • Prone to the imposter syndrome and anxiety. ...
  • Lack of communication skills. ...
  • Overworking a piece. ...
  • Fear of criticism. ...
  • Difficulties having a routine. ...
  • Never finding a niche.

What is one thing most designers do wrong in their creatives? ›

Not understanding the brief

Without a clear idea of what the client wants you can end up making matters complicated for yourself. A lot of time can be wasted procrastinating, or working up design ideas that may not be relevant to the client's needs.

What are the 3 basic questions you d ask a graphic designer candidate? ›

10 common graphic design interview questions
  • What made you decide to be a designer?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Walk us through your design process.
  • Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team?
  • What do you think the next big design trend will be?
  • What do you do to improve your design skills?

What are good questions to ask a designer? ›

11 Interview Questions To Ask While Hiring A Designer
  • Describe your creative process.
  • How do you get unstuck creatively?
  • To what degree in the past, have you been involved in the conceptual or strategy phase?
  • What are the goals of this project and your thought process behind the solution?
May 27, 2016

What to Know Before Hiring a designer? ›

What To Know Before You Hire An Interior Designer
  • Know Your Budget Before Hiring A Designer.
  • Set A Timeline For Your Project.
  • Unsure if hiring an interior designer fits your budget and needs? ...
  • Research Local and Online Interior Design Companies.
  • Figure Out Your Interior Design Style.
Oct 13, 2021

What is the golden rule in graphic design? ›

How does this relate to design? You can find the Golden Ratio when you divide a line into two parts and the longer part (a) divided by the smaller part (b) is equal to the sum of (a) + (b) divided by (a), which both equal 1.618. This formula can help you when creating shapes, logos, layouts, and more.

What are the 15 visual design principles? ›

What are the elements of visual design? The elements, or principles, of visual design include Contrast, Balance, Emphasis, Movement, White Space, Proportion, Hierarchy, Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern, Unity, and Variety.

What type of graphic design is most popular? ›

Visual identity design is one of the most common types of design. Visual identity graphic designers must possess a general knowledge of all types of graphic design in order to create design elements that are suitable across all visual media.

What should a graphic designer include? ›

These graphic design elements include:
  • Color.
  • Form.
  • Line.
  • Shape.
  • Size.
  • Space.
  • Texture.
Mar 9, 2020

What are 5 skills that graphic designers possess? ›

8 Great Graphic Design Skills
  • Creativity. You probably don't need us to spell it out for you, but let's drill this home: Creativity is one of if not the most important graphic design skills. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Typography. ...
  • Adobe's Creative Apps. ...
  • Interactive Media. ...
  • Coding. ...
  • Branding. ...
  • Delivering Presentations.


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