If you are a business owner, you probably understand the importance of graphic design in creating posters, banners and logos to advertise your firm. Maybe you are at the point where it’s critical to take brand advertisement seriously so as to move your business to the next level of profitability. You understand that a good company brand is vital in presenting a positive image to prospective clients. You, therefore, are on the lookout for some good graphic designers to hire for your firm. You may even have heard about freelance designers and how they are a good lot to work with as compared to those that work from a fixed location. But how do you find such creative people? Where do you look if you want to hire an expert graphic designer to provide the services that you need? And what factors do you consider when going about the process of hiring them? This article answers these and any other questions you may have about hiring an expert in freelance graphic design. In the process, you will be able to lay to rest any fears you may have had about landing on the wrong person and end up wasting your time and money.
1. Understanding what you need
The very first step in hiring a competent graphic designer is understanding your need. This will involve you analyzing and determining the kind of result you expect from an ideal candidate. If you don’t understand what it is that you want, chances are that you will end up disappointed because of settling on the wrong designer.
Knowing your need will require you to first understand your brand personality. This means that you should be aware of who exactly you want to reach with the message and the manner in which the message is to be presented. This will help you quickly browse through the various designs offered by various candidates and decide whether to work with them or not.
Another important decision to make here is to choose between a print or web designer. Ideally, a designer should be comfortable working on both web and print designs. But this is not normally the case in the real world. Because both are fields that require a high level of specialization, it is important to determine where your project lies more and choose appropriately.
2. Where do you start your search?
Before you run online to find a graphic designer, try the offline search first. Your friends and acquaintances are usually in a good position to recommend such an expert if they’ve worked with them before. And the best thing about this is that you get a trustworthy opinion from a friend on whether the candidate is suitable or not. This will make it easier for you to make a decision whether to hire them or not because you will have reliable information for making the selection.
If offline sources are not working for you, then you can use the internet to find the person you are looking for. The internet is a great source of information concerning whatever you may have in mind. A simple entry in the search engines will yield quick results of the available options from which to choose the one that most appeals to you. However, it is important to conduct due diligence so as to avoid being conned into hiring someone who may not serve you well. This includes paying close attention to all the details provided by the candidate to ensure that they are legit and skilled enough to accomplish the tasks as expected.
The benefit of using finding a designer online is that you get the opportunity to try them first in a low commitment scenario before handing over the entire project to them. This may involve handing them a simple trial task to complete first then giving out the rest of the project once they have proved capable of doing what you need to be done.
3. What factors do you consider?
The fact that you had earlier defined your project goals and objectives will help you determine which kind of designer to engage once they show you their samples. The factors considered when selecting a graphic designer vary from one client to another, depending on their objectives. The most common factors, in this case, include the following.
Level of skill and experience.
You will have to look at the designer’s skill and experience in dealing with various projects. You can determine this from their portfolio. The portfolio normally lists the projects that the designer has worked on before, thereby allowing you to see if truly they are as experienced as they say. Different designers adopt various visual styles in their work. Some may be quite at home working on designs with the polished corporate look, some will go for the fresh and cheerful look, while still others adopt the hipster style. The style you choose will depend on the what you want to communicate and how you want to go about it.
Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing a freelance graphic design. Even though freelance graphic designers may be relatively cheaper than their counterparts who work form offices, you still have to incur a substantial cost to cover their fees. Before you go ahead and look for someone to hire, you should have already set aside enough funds to cater for all the project’s expenses. Doing this will help you avoid a scenario where you do the work halfway because of lack of funds.
Interview the potential candidate and find out what they are charging for the entire project, as well as the breakdown of what they require within stipulated timelines. A clearly defined payment schedule and description of each item on the budget is usually an indicator of a skilled designer who has a considerable experience in the field. Selection of such a candidate is therefore sure to guarantee positive results.
Timelines are important for any project. You as the client need to state what you expect in terms of how long the project is going to take. Each candidate you interview should be able to give a reasonable breakdown of how long they expect each activity in the project to take. It will then be upon you to decide which one you will go for, considering this and several other factors.
4. The hiring process
Once you have successfully identified a freelance graphic designer to work with, you will then hire them so that they start working on your project as soon as possible. The project will begin after you reach some form of agreement regarding the details of the project. The various details to be worked on in the agreement discussed below.
Your expectations regarding the final product
You will provide the designers with the details of what you want the final product to look like. Ensuring that they understand what they need to do will help eliminate uncertainties and avoid disappointment on your part. Specify the timelines when you expect the first and final drafts so that you can give feedback on any possible corrections required.
Payment for the work done
It is usually common for graphic designers to request a down payment before they start a new project, especially if you haven’t worked with them before. The down payment acts as a security for both you and the designer. If you have a history with the designer, the down payment is sometimes not necessary. If you have a constant flow of work for the designer, you may opt for a retainer. A retainer is a fixed amount of money paid after an agreed upon period of time so as to keep the cash flow regular.
Ownership of the final work
It is vital that you agree with the designer on who will ultimately own the final work. It is not unusual to find cases where designers are paid for work done and later claim the finished product as their own. The serious cases have even ended up in court with both sides having to pay in terms of cash and reputations spoiled. To avoid this scenario, clearly set out in writing who the final design belongs to and agree to abide by this provision.
Picking the appropriate a skilled freelance graphic design expert usually requires patience and effort so as to accomplish what you intend in the long run. As much as it is not a very difficult and complicated process, it can easily yield wrong results if you are not careful to do the right thing. You have to ensure that you observe due diligence if you wish to get the best person to perform the tasks you have in mind.
If done right, hiring a freelance graphic designer can bring numerous benefits, including finding the most skilled freelancers to work for you, something that may never have been possible if you hired a designer who works offline. This information can serve as a guideline in helping you locate and hire someone that will serve your needs.