June 07, 2015
Study their portfolio carefully. Ask for additional examples of their work.
By Maureen McCabe
In part one of this series, we explained the value of checking out work samples, references, accessibility, industry experience, and the designer’s design process when you’re looking to hire a graphic designer to do creative work for your business. Now, in this long-awaited part 2, we’ll look at five more questions to ask when thinking about how to hire a graphic designer:
Question 6: Samples and revisions
How do you handle criticism?
A graphic designer should understand that criticism is part of the job, but this isn’t always the case. Graphic design is a creative industry. As such, your designer will be putting a lot of his or her creative energy into the creation of your logo or other visual pieces. In some cases, this can cause a designer to lose sight that they are creating something for your business (therefore, only your opinion really matters!) and become sensitive about his or her creation. That is why it is important for you to discover how well they take direction – whether you make minor tweaks or request a complete overhaul of a product that doesn’t meet your requirements – up front.
Question 7. File formats
What kinds of design software are you familiar with?
There are dozens of commonly used file formats for audio, video, and text documents. In order to view and make changes to them, you need to have the right type of software. If your graphic designer is not familiar with the design software or file formats that your team prefers to interact with, this can make your ability to progress much more difficult – every time you would share a document, you’d have to figure out how to convert it and hope that nothing gets distorted in the process.
Question 8. Social media
Are you familiar with graphic design for social media?
Your social networking profiles are about as important as your website for engaging consumers online. Like your website, how your social media page looks will define how people feel about your company. Making a social media page with a consistent look and feel with your business will require the help of a professional. Hiring a graphic designer who has knowledge of how to design a social media page for maximum impact is invaluable for this.
Question 9. Style guidelines
How well do you stay in line with style guidelines?
As we discussed in question six, graphic designers are creative types who can sometimes put their artistic involvement first. In addition to making it difficult to take criticism, this can also lead a graphic designer to stray too far from your style or brand guidelines. As such, you should ask them how well they adhere to style guidelines. When thinking about how to hire a graphic designer, you should be wary of a graphic designer who prizes creative freedom above all else – this could mean they will work outside of your style guidelines, and you’ll end up with something far different than you had pictured.
Question 10. Cost
How much do you charge? Is it fixed or hourly?
All organizations have budgets, so the cost of your graphic designer’s services should fit comfortably into your marketing budget. If not, then it won’t matter how perfect their services are for your company – you simply won’t be able to work with them. If their price is out of your budget, however, do not just walk away with your head down. You should be honest with the designer, letting him or her know about your budget constraints. You never know – the designer may be willing to be flexible just for you!
If you have any additional questions or comments about how to hire a graphic designer, feel free to contact me.
Check out my other blogs about branding strategies:
What type of website is the best option for your business?
What is “marketing branding” for your small business?
Avoid logo design problems. Five of the 10 questions to ask a graphic designer before you hire them. – Part 1
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