Hiring a Graphic Designer? Read This First!
“What should I consider when I’m needing a graphic designer? How do I tell them exactly what I’m looking for? And what, exactly, am I looking for?”
Those are some of the things that might be running through your head as you think about hiring a graphic designer. And those questions point to the central dilemma: “How do I express my rough, sketchy vision to a designer? I’m not a terribly creative person, so it’s hard for me to put this stuff into words.”
You may not think of yourself as a creative type, but you do know what you like. The first step is to spend time with a designer’s work. How does it hit you? Does their style sync with the message you plan to convey and with the audience you’re trying to reach? Do you gravitate toward certain design sensibilities? It can be helpful to show the designer examples of things you like, to see if you’re a good fit.
A good graphic designer should be a good listener. Working with a wide variety of clients, we’ve learned that design is a collaborative process. Come prepared with questions and ask away. A relaxed, open-and-creative back and forth between client and designer is the best way to hit that elusive mark and arrive at a design solution that communicates your essence and provides maximum impact.
Carefully vet the designer or design firm you’re considering. Consider the size of the company. Are they too big to offer the level of attention and service you require? Are they too small to handle your project?
Reputation and experience also count for a lot. Look for referrals and reviews to help you with your decision. Responsiveness is also key. Do you have access to the creative team? Are they quick to get back to you and respond to your ideas and suggestions? Responsive partners also tend to be good at managing expectations, lowering the anxiety level for everyone involved.
Since it’s how I make my living, I hesitate to say that graphic designers are a dime a dozen, but there’s no denying that there are more than ever to choose from. While that fact doesn’t make things any easier, following the above advice could make your choice a lot smarter.