So you’re ready to hire a graphic designer. Recognizing the need and appreciating the value is a monumental first step, but how do you weed though everyone and everything to find the best fit. What matters? What doesn’t matter? Here are a several factors that should go into your decision:
Ideas and Vision. There are a ton of talented artists and illustrators that can make some beautiful things. What you want to find is someone who is a thinker. Someone who can find something great out of something ordinary, or help find and create a message that had been overlooked. A great graphic designer is as much a problem solver and communicator as they are an artist. Take a good look at their portfolio. You’ll know when you see it.
Enthusiasm. Do they love their job? Does the designer sound or act generally excited about your project or just ready to send an invoice? For a true designer, design is in their blood. It’s not what they do, it’s what they are. A passionate designer has the energy to continue to challenge themselves, take risks, educate themselves so they can continue to get better and better. This means your results are better.
Great taste. Some things can’t be taught and taste is one of them. You can see it in their work. Designers with great taste know their client and audience and know what’s going to work and what’s not. It’s intuition. It matters.
Experience. How long have they been designing? The more experience a designer has, the less chance your project will catch them off guard. Make sure your designer is comfortable working both in print and for the web. These days, you need both and you need a designer that knows the advantages and limitations of both. Plus, it will help greatly in the overall consistency of your brand.
Professionalism and Communication. What good is a great creative mind if they can’t act professionally. What if they flake out and leave you high and dry? Or maybe they are just slow and irresponsible. You don’t want a designer that you have to manage. A good designer respects you and your business as well as their own. This means they meet timelines, budgets, communicate with you and are reliable.
Now you are equipped. Take some time, interview your prospects, review their portfolio, ask to speak to past clients and make your decision. Also, don’t forget to have fun working with your designer.