Hiring a Graphic Designer? Keep these ideas handy
Think you can't afford a professional designer for your graphics? You're wrong. In fact, you can't afford not to. If you have a company, a new idea, a product, or service – just about anything you want to start marketing online, then you'll want a well-defined brand that complements your product in addition to great text to describe it. To do that, you'll need a high-quality graphic designer. If you try doing this yourself, it could look homemade. Homemade websites and standardized template product branding visuals used to be cute – years ago. Now, it just looks like you didn't have enough money or gumption to do it right the first time, before the first impression was set. People judge books by their covers, don't you? So, if what you're selling doesn't have good visual appeal, people aren't going to buy it.
So, what do you need to know before you hire a designer for your graphics? If you want to do the work of finding the right graphic designer yourself, you'll start with an Internet search. If you want a local person, that is, someone you can meet face-to-face, then narrow your search by region so you can find a local graphic designer.
First, you'll want to look for a person who's got a professional, visually appealing website to start. After all, if they're any good at graphic design, then their site ought to be terrific, don't you think? How else will they showcase their work?
Next, look at their graphic design samples – again, these should be quickly and easily available on their own highly professional website. If you can't find them, move on. There's no point in giving this individual a second chance. Now that you've found their samples, take a good, hard look at them. Is there a description of what the design was for, where it was used, etc.? If not, reconsider this person – even if their designs are pretty good. You have to be concerned if the designer clearly does not know how to advertise their work or make it clear to potential clients what each design was produced for and why. If you really like their designs, meaning you think each design reflects that product's image and message well, then keep this website handy. You've still got some digging to do before you contact the graphic designer.
Next, you want to take a look at their testimonials or references. If they don't have any, you'll want to ask them why not and where you can get in touch with a reference. You would never hire an employee without checking their references, so don't make that mistake here either.
Lastly, you'll want to review their prices. Again, if this isn't available on the website, then the reason for that should be explained. Perhaps this particular graphic designer prefers to bid each project individually after talking with their client – that's fair. You'll want to know that, however, and ask what one or two of the other website design displayed on their website cost to get a good idea whether their prices are reasonable.
Before you contact the professional you've chosen, try to have all the facts you need handy. They'll want to know things like this:
- How many designs do you need and for what media: print, web, or other?
- What messages are you interested in communicating with the designs?
- Do you have a particular color scheme in mind, as in should the design match the website?
You'll also want to consider your business' budget and think about how much you want to pay. Remember, that good designs will make or break your business' image, so it's important to choose wisely in order to get designs that distinguish your marketing message.