In this age of over- consumption of visual and text content, the role of a graphic designer becomes all the more crucial. When you hire graphic designer, you would obviously be exploring ways and means to stand out from the crowd and create your own digital persona in the virtual marketplace. This is where graphic designers can work wonders to shape a unique and memorable personality of your brand in the eyes of your target customers.
Why hiring a graphic designer makes sense?
The blend of creativity and vision needed to accomplish graphic design for your various marketing and communication needs something more than just basic knowledge of Photoshop. A good graphic designer can analyze your corporate core value and integrate these into fresh and captivating designs on print and online so that your brand can connect better with your customers. This is why graphic design should never be treated as a DIY project but instead, you should hire a graphic designer to do the job for you. This way, you are freed up from the laborious efforts needed in graphic design delivery, and focus on growing your business.
If you too are interested in exploring third- party design firms for designing your marketing and communication collaterals, then these questions would come in handy in assessing how well a graphic designer aligns to your expectations –
- Can you align to my expected business relationship – You need to first determine if you need a graphic designer on an on-going basis, for a one-time work, on a freelance basis, on a contractual model, or just to oversee an in-house team’s effort. The kind of relationship you want to establish with your graphic designer will determine the engagement model, pricing and availability of the agency when you hire a graphic designer.
- Do you know us adequately – It is extremely crucial that the graphic designer gets to your company, your line of business and your intended audience clearly. This is the only way he/ she can deliver outcomes that are expected by you from the graphic design agency. Being a good fit designer will involve an intense round of discussion getting him/ her to get to know your company and the need to hire a graphic designer.
- Can you align with our budget – Once the initial handshake is over, this is a key question to set the tone for your project expectations. Remember that a designer’s fees will vary wildly – from $20-25 per hour for a college based freelancer, to 10x the value for a full scale experienced design agency. Hence it will help both if the budget expectations are set and accepted at the beginning of the relationship.
- What tools are you proficient in – Illustrator, In-Design or Photoshop – these are the common software used by a graphic designer to carry out their artistic work. You need to see what tools is the designer familiar and comfortable with. If the tool he/ she is comfortable with aligns to the software you already have, it provides multiple benefits. It not only speeds up the delivery time but also provides you the scope to edit it easily afterward.
- What is the design process you follow – Here, you will determine how well aligned is the graphic designer to industry endorsed processes and standards in delivering a graphic design project. You can also check how the designer incorporates client feedback and scope updates, and what is its impact on the overall timelines and budgets.
- How do you manage deadlines – A graphic designer should be able to highlight the step taken on a past project that had tight timelines. This way you can determine if all the necessary steps were taken by him/ her to complete the process, or if corners were cut to deliver on time. It will also tell a lot about his/ her ability to work under pressure.
- How do you stay relevant – A graphic designer needs to elaborate on what steps are taken to stay ahead in the learning curve and be able to deliver future-proof design solutions that are useful today and ready for tomorrow. Communicating on messaging boards, reading up trending blogs, or subscribing to design magazines to hear from industry authorities are some of the ways designers can keep themselves up-to-date with the latest trends and practices.
- Who will own source files after delivery – For any marketing collateral that has a time bound shelf life (or example a brochure for a one-time event) then you would mind the designer keeping the source file, but for on-going marketing campaigns (like websites or mailers) it makes sense that you have the source file that you can edit yourself. Hence this question becomes important when you hire a graphic designer.
- Can I look at your past work – You absolutely have to look at the past work done by a designer. This will help you judge the designer’s caliber and level of proficiency. But make sure that you have a look at the portfolio smartly. Usually, the designer will put the best work at the very beginning and some not-so-good designs at the very end. Make sure you start from the bottom and work upwards to get a fair and unbiased idea about the designer’s capabilities. You can also ask follow-up questions after having a look at the design portfolio you are handed by him/ her.
- What was your most exciting project – Look out for the tone of voice of the designer when he/ she explains this point to you. If it is high on energy, passionate, and fully charged up, then you surely have made a good choice. If the voice of the designer remains flat or monotone when explaining the experience on the most exciting/ interesting project that he/ she has handled, then there might be a concern. It will also elaborate on how he/ she carried out the design process.
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