The realm of graphic design can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with the industry. Allowing someone control over such an important element of your business’ branding may have you feeling unsure. Especially when it comes to figuring out where to start or how to find a good graphic designer you can rely on.
At az.design, we ensure you’re provided with personable and inviting designs that reflect your company’s identity. This way, you always feel certain your design needs are met and well taken care of. Would you like to know how you can ensure you’re being supplied with the best service possible by a design expert? Read on to find our tips of practices you can put in place whilst searching for your perfect graphic designer.
Tips on how to find a good graphic designer
1. Clarify your goals and expectations when looking for a good graphic designer
Before you begin to investigate the logistics of how to find a good graphic designer, it’s important you’re clear on what you’re looking for. What outcome you are hoping for? This will help to steer the direction of your search.
Firstly, it’s important to bear in mind your target audience. This will massively impact your design choices from colour scheme to overall presentation. Do you have a base look you wish for a designer to expand upon? Or are you looking or a complete refresh? At az.design, these are things we would urge you to consider before considering graphic design help. This is so we can support you as best we can and aid you in finding your brand’s identity. We provide you with a brand questionnaire to help you work through your audience, competitors, usp, personality and story.
You should also consider the scale of the job you’re looking for help with before you hire a graphic designer.
Subsequently, this can affect the qualities you are looking for in a designer. Is it a large-scale job for which you require somebody with experience as an Art Director with project management skills? Do they understand your target market?
Are you looking for the skills of an Identity Designer to aid in a complete business rebranding, or do you just need a simple logo design refresh? The scale of the task at hand will direct your search so it is crucial to set out your goals before your search.
Something else to consider is the difference between hiring in-house or freelance graphic designers. An in-house designer will have a close relationship to your company, helping bring personality into your design strategies. However, the cost of taking on an in-house designer is significantly larger than employing a freelance designer for external on-going support.
A common misconception is that a freelance designer cannot understand a company’s personal branding strategies as an in-house designer could. At az.design, we will spend time getting to know your company’s personality and what makes your services so special. We ensure we’re informed on the best way to create branding that is personable, yet effective for your business strategy.
2. Decide what skills you’re looking for
Knowing the goals of your branding journey requires mapping out what changes you wish to make, and therefore the kind of designer you are looking for. If you need specific graphics for web designs or an app design, you may have a preference for software used. For example, Adobe Illustrator.
Similarly, if you were looking for image design for advertising campaigns, you may have a preference on retouching software such as Adobe Photoshop. These are things you may want to consider before you post a job advert. This way you can steer the direction of your search and specify your expectations from the start. You can then rest assured you’re hiring a design expert that will support you and your business effectively.
3. Ask for a referral or post online
Once you have established everything you need and expect for your upcoming design project, it’s time to find and hire a graphic designer. There are many sites that can be used to post job positions that allow you to post jobs, vet, and interview candidates yourself. Many of these are tailored to find freelance graphic designers.
You may wish to use your own social media to let people know you are looking for a visual design expert. You can also use paid advertising on social media platforms. Another method is utilising your own mailing list if you have one. Advertise through newsletters to clients and consumers with easy-to-follow links.
And perhaps the most effective way is to ask friends, co-workers, clients whether they can recommend anyone. Referral is our main source of new business here at az.design.
4. Begin with a trial design
Do you have selected several designers and are struggling to decide on a single candidate? You could consider offering a small trial project to help differentiate your candidates’ design skills. This small project could be anything from a logo design to a business card. It can help you discern whether a possible designer understands your personal preferences for your company’s overall visual design.
It may also aid you in building relationships to help you decide which designer you communicate with best. If you are on a strict budget, it is important to note that any trial work must still be paid. However, it should only be a short project worth a few hours of work, making sure it is enough to showcase a candidate’s talent. This will help you decide what applicant will enhance your business’ branding.
How you can trial az.design…
At az.design, we offer 1hr Clarity Consults for solo business owners and start ups. This session will help you find the answers to your key branding or website problems and provide you with a clearer direction for your business.
And, if you’re an established SME, we provide a Brand Audit service. This is the perfect place to begin if you haven’t refreshed your brand or marketing materials for a few years and feel they’re starting to let you down.
Both these services allow us to get to know one another and assess whether we’d be a good fit, without diving in head first to a larger project. They are also excellent, if you’re just looking for an external perspective on your brand or website and already have an in-house team or external suppliers.
5. Conduct a short meeting, in person or via video
Similar to a smaller trial project, a short meeting can help you get a feel for a candidate. During the meeting, you can decide whether they are appropriate to deliver a quality and overall design you expect. You can gauge if they add to this in a way that enhances your vision using their own creative flair and expertise.
During this meeting you can also vet applicants and ensure they meet your criteria. For example, whether that is you require them to use Adobe Photoshop or have experience as a project manager. This process would be a good way to easily discern whether a designer is a right fit to move your company’s visual branding forward.
To give you some inspiration and save time, I have listed some possible questions that are a little different to the mandatory ‘teamwork’ and ‘ability to meet deadlines’ questions. I have also listed the reason they are beneficial when vetting potential design job candidates to give you further insight.
1. What do you think makes a good designer?
This question ultimately is an opportunity for the candidate to inform you on their best attributes and how they benefit your company. As well as how they can tailor to your specific design needs. It also allows you to gauge their specific work-based values to decide if they match your own, giving you an insight into how effective any future communication may be.
2. What is the most recent design campaign you have seen and what were your thoughts on it?
Again, this question allows you to identify the candidate’s work-based values as they assess another’s work and its effectiveness. It also allows you to see into their creative brain as they break down other designer’s work and establish their effectiveness. By asking this question, you are establishing the quality of the candidate’s eye for visual design and whether you are likely to be hiring a design expert.
3. What’s your process?
This is an important question as it gives you an idea of what working with them will be like. Do you align with this process for the timings and flow of the project? Depending on their answer to this question, it will help you establish whether this will be a maintainable and successful relationship. Find out more about how we help start ups + solos and our process ›
6. Know what a graphic designer does and does not do
Before you go to find a graphic designer, it’s important to remember what a graphic designer can and cannot do for you. This is so you can ensure you are always playing to their strengths and therefore gaining the best service and outcome for your business.
A graphic designer is involved with all things DESIGN. While a designer can design your website, they cannot be responsible for coding it. This is also relevant to branding and design. A designer will listen to your specific requests and tailor their designs to your branding.
Your designer may offer tips and insight if you have a good level of communication and a good working relationship. However, they are also not responsible for your branding or advertising strategies.
A designer often has strengths you can play to, and this is important to remember when you hire a graphic designer. For example, if you need someone to strengthen the design side of your marketing with original imagery, it may be worth finding a designer that can supply originally designed imagery or photography rather than using stock images.
At az.design, we function based on a ‘virtual agency’ concept. This means we have a multi-talented team, offering a full service that can be tailored to your every design need.
Submitting a design query to az.design
I hope this blog post has given you guidance on how to find a good graphic designer. If you wish to get in contact with us for any graphic design support you may need, you can click the link here to access our contact page or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We offer a free 30-minute Intro consultation to provide you with an accurate quote. As your designer, I bring a fresh and creative approach to each new project, working with you and getting to know your business on a personal level. This ensures we capture the uniqueness of your brand through our expert visual design work.