How to Hire a Designer

Here you are with this great idea for a new business venture or a marketing campaign. You recognize that although you’re creative, you need someone to help put all the pieces together visually. You start asking around if anyone knows a graphic designer and you probably have a list of recommendations sitting in front of you. You may have even hired one, but they’re not meeting your expectations, deadlines, or capture the coolness of your new idea.

Whether you’ve previously worked with graphic designers or are looking to hire for the first time, here are a few things to help you find a creative partner to bring your idea and business to the next level.

Friend-of-a-Friend and Family Woes

Everyone knows a graphic designer or their brother’s uncle’s cousin’s wife’s son is a graphic designer, er, uh, may be in school to be a graphic designer? They are not really sure. Although these family friendly connections are great and usually cost effective, these relationships most often do not yield the best results for your business. I am not discouraging you to not hire these individual’s. Talent can come from anywhere. I urge you to use caution and a professional outlook when exploring these options.  Remove yourself from any feeling of obligation and look at design as an investment for your company.

The Work

The work of a graphic designer should speak for itself. Every designer has a certain underlying style but a good designer is versatile enough to be able to communicate your individual company’s style and brand. Designers may have a specialty area and focus on certain aspects of design such as illustration, layout, corporate branding, or environmental graphics. If not specifically stated through the examples of their work, ask if it’s something that is important for you!

The Interview

As with any investment, you will need to interview your designer. Not only should a designer have samples of their work, they should be able to explain and communicate their process and philosophy behind their designs. Ask questions about how they worked with the client, what issues came-up during the creative process, and how did they solve them. The designer should also be able to understand their clients audience and explain why their design appealing to that demographic. This will help you to understand how this individual works and if you feel your personalities and professionalism match.

There are professionals for a reason

You think hiring a professional is expensive? Wait until you hire an amateur!

–Scott Wilson, Minimal

While I love going to the Home Depot and buying things that I may or may not need to fix my bathroom, it’s usually on the 10th trip and a couple of hundred dollars later that I wonder why I didn’t hire a plumber. I get it. We live in an age of do-it-yourself and although it sounds great at the time, it ultimately takes away from you doing what you do best – running your business. Although working at your business and working on growing your business go hand-in-hand, there are professionals for a reason and a creative partner is essential to making your life easier and leaves you more time to do what you do.

A professional designer will not only be able to talk through their design process, but will take the time to understand the complete scope of your project. Good designers will offer suggestion on how design can help in communicate with potential clients/customers and internal employees. They will take the time to walk through how the communication piece (logo, brochure, email, or website) is structured to appeal to your audience and how best to use and display the piece to get the most out of your investment. For example, I often get requests for a general marketing tri-fold. While tri-folds are widely used and considered a “standard” piece of informational collateral, they can be costly from drafting the content, selecting the images, laying out the design, revising and editing, and printing with little return for your investment. A good designer will not only design a look, which appeals to your audience, they will ask how best to communicate your message.

Breaking-up is Hard to Do

Ok, ok, so you’ve already hired a designer and that friend-of-a-friends-brother-in-law is not working out. It’s been weeks and you haven’t seen anything and no one is returning your emails or calls. Now what?

Well, hopefully you didn’t get over zealous and pay for the complete project up-front! If you did, there may be a chance you have to cut your losses. You are absolutely entitled to have the money returned to you, but in most cases there isn’t a contract or written agreement outlining terms for reimbursement.

Starting Over

Although the thought of starting over and going through this process again seems like a huge ordeal, finding the right creative partner can breathe new life into your idea in which you were once excited about.

Check out our work and services. Book a free consultation to see if we are a fit for your creative marketing needs!