When it comes time to hire a graphic designer, however, finding the right fit makes a world of difference! Every designer has their own unique style, process, and area of expertise—which is why we recommend approaching your potential new hire with these five questions.
1. Can you provide a portfolio of your work?
A graphic designer’s style and experience should be one of the first things you review before choosing to work together! Just like hiring a photographer for your company branding or even your wedding, it is important to review a graphic designer’s longevity in their field as well as the elements that give them their personal touch.
Most graphic designers will have a portfolio available on their website that you can review before you even get in touch with them. Some designers, however, may have done work that they love but can’t publicly promote. This is where asking for a portfolio comes in handy. By viewing what they consider to be their favorite work, you can get a better understanding of their experience and their versatility.
2. Can you tell me something about yourself?
When you first meet or chat with a graphic designer, take a few minutes to get to know them. By asking them to share a little something about themselves, you can get a window into their personality, goals, and even get a feel for how well you will work together.
Graphic designers have a unique job in that they must know how to capture the goals, ideas, and vision of their clients and turn them into a tangible product. This level of partnership and collaboration works best when both the client and the graphic designer feel at ease. It also helps to know how the other person communicates, and even how they got started in graphic design!
3. What is your design process like?
Every graphic designer has a different process, depending on their workflow, how they choose to create, and their schedule. In order to keep expectations clear when working with a graphic designer, it helps to ask them to outline their process.
How long is the initial consultation call? Do they offer revisions once you’ve reviewed their work? Do they give you ample time to explain your business goals, company identity, and branding? Will you receive the source files of the work they complete for you?
It is important to understand the design process as well as your role in it. Before you sign a contract or get started working with a graphic designer, make sure you know what to expect throughout the design journey so that you can get the most out of your project.
4. What is your turnaround time on projects?
Once you have a clear understanding of the design process, it’s time to discuss the timeline. Be sure to ask your graphic designer what their expected turnaround time is on your project. If you are working with a freelance graphic designer, project timelines tend to ebb and flow with the amount of work they have at that time. Design agencies tend to follow a more consistent timeline regardless of the season.
Whether you are working with an independent contractor or an agency, it is necessary to establish a timeline in order for you to better prepare your marketing or branding strategy. If you have a hard deadline for a particular project, communicate that up front in order to give the graphic designer an opportunity to determine if your project will fit in their schedule. This will save you and them a lot of stress in the long run.
5. Are you happy with our budget?
Last but not least, make sure to establish a budget with your graphic designer that makes sense for both parties. If you have a specific marketing budget for your project that is set in stone, communicate this from the start and check that this budget will work for the designer.
In fact, while we put this question last on the list, it is often helpful to communicate your budget constraints or needs right off the bat. If your organization’s design budget doesn’t match the graphic designer’s typical project pricing, then you can save yourself time by moving on to the next designer on your list!