So you’ve decided that you need to hire a graphic designer, for all your designing needs. Whether that’s a new logo, new biz cards, a fresh new site or anything in between, selecting a talented designer that will deliver exactly what you want is important. Don’t walk into the pitfall that so many business owners fall into: the trap of going with the graphic designer that bids the cheapest, simply because they are the cheapest. Conversely, you don’t want hire the most expensive designer simply because they’re the most expensive, think you’ll get the best work .
Finding your perfect graphic designer will take a little homework but it’s worth it! Design can make or break a brand so be sure you’re invested in the designer who is the best fit for you. Here’s how to start your recon mission:
Determine Your Budget
Before going out on your search for a graphic designer, it can be helpful to start thinking about the budget for your project or projects. Do some research and see how much graphic designers are charging for similar projects. With that info in mind, start working on a budget to determine the price range you’re looking in.
Different Criteria to Consider
Don’t be shy when trying to find the right graphic designer. Ask questions. Any graphic designer that isn’t able to answer these questions to your satisfaction or evades giving an answer should probably be put in the probably-not pile. Some criteria that you should be asking about are portfolio, testimonials, experience, expectations, and communication style.
Check Their Portfolio
Duh. Checking out their previous work will help you understand their style and how much they are able to vary within it. Do they have a wide variety of projects or is it pretty slim when it comes to content? You can inquire what portions were their brainchild and what inputs they may like to improve, but the client had insisted on. Figure out if they fit your taste, aesthetic, and style. You should be impressed with their work.
Read what other people have to say about the service that they received. Often testimonials are going to be complimentary, so you may want to go a step further and look for any additional online reviews from other clients. If you’re not finding any negative reviews, that’s a very good sign. If you do find any, talk with the graphic designer about them openly. They may have a perfectly good explanation for why a particular client was unhappy (though if they start trash-talking any clients, run for the hills!). As most people in any type of customer service job knows, it’s pretty much impossible to please everyone 100 percent all of the time.
Taking a chance on someone without experience is completely up to you as everyone has to start somewhere, but think about what your project means for your company. You may want to save giving someone a start with a small project or make sure that they have a student portfolio or other factors that make you a hundred percent certain that they’re going to knock your project out of the park. You may find that you really prefer banking on someone that’s got solid experience behind them when it comes to your upcoming project. Evaluate how relevant their experience is to your project needs.
Both Parties Expectations
When creating a partnership with a graphic designer, you need to consider the expectations that exist for both parties involved. You are going to want to get the best service from your graphic designer, and be put first. They may have other clients, so it can be helpful to be open about expectations and timelines. Are your goals and their goals going to mesh? Ask about how quickly they will respond to your queries, what type of deadlines they offer their clients and anything that helps to clarify the expectations on both sides.
This may be one of the most important aspects to consider because communication is key, especially when you’re working with a graphic designer that isn’t local to your business. Ask about their preferred method of communication, and see if that meshes with your preferences. Ask questions about how they keep you informed during the process. You can even ask them about their previous projects and how they feel they were able to communicate with other clients. Did they feel that they had breakdowns in communication, or were they able to keep the lines of communication open with clients?
In the end, it all boils down to picking the graphic designer that you think offers the most to your project when it comes to the overall package that they offer. You should weigh budget, portfolio, experience, expectations, and communication style in your final decision.
Still wondering the best way to go about getting a graphic designer? We’re here to help at N2Q. Ask us about our graphic designers, and our graphic design process. We’re happy to offer our reasonable priced services for your business.
Branding & Design No To The Quo