Good design gets attention and moves product. You can have the most brilliant idea ever, but if you don’t have a way to communicate it effectively, it’s not going anywhere.
We’re a highly visual culture these days, and people expect quality products to be packaged and presented with compelling, high-quality graphic design.
In short, if you’re launching a new venture, you need a great graphic designer to make it look good.
Despite the fact that everybody knows how important graphic design is, lots of people try to save money by going the DIY route or treat graphic design as something the “artsy” members of your team can take on as a side project. Even if you have the vision, executing it properly takes skill and experience, as anyone who’s tried to save money by designing their company logo in Microsoft Paint can tell you.
As with any job that requires artistic talents and aesthetic sensibilities, it can be hard to find the right people. If you’re wondering how to hire a graphic designer who can deliver the goods, we’ve got some tips for you.
Freelance vs In-House
The first thing to do is decide whether it makes more sense to hire a graphic designer as a permanent staff member, or to look for freelancers to work by the project. If you expect to have frequent, ongoing graphic design needs, it makes sense to keep one on staff: they’ll get to know your company and products really well, and they’re always available. However, you’ll have to pay them even when the workload is light.
If you just need a graphic designer for occasional projects, it can make more sense to hire a freelancer. You might have to take a little extra time to get them up-to-speed with each new project, but this is usually the more cost-effective option.
What Do Graphic Designers Do, Anyway?
When considering how to hire a graphic designer, it’s important to be clear about what you want them to produce for you. Designers have different areas of specialization—somebody who creates lush background art for computer games might not be the best person to design a crisp, contemporary-looking corporate logo.
Great graphic design can make all the difference when it comes to capturing attention in a memorable way.
You also have to keep in mind that some graphic designers will have the skill and willingness to provide creative direction and help shape your brand, whereas others are just looking to bring somebody else’s vision to life. Which type of designer you ultimately hire depends a lot on your own needs and expectations.
Either way, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve with your design project, and who your audience is. Different markets and demographics will respond differently to various styles and aesthetic choices, and it’s up to you to choose the right designer for your project.
Where to Hire Graphic Designers
You can always post a traditional job listing on your website or popular job-hunting sites if you’re looking to bring a graphic designer onto your regular staff. But sometimes, it takes a little extra work to track down the top talent, and, if you’re looking for freelancers, there are more efficient ways to find them.
Freelancing sites – like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com – can be great places to find affordable graphic designers for short-term projects.
On the one hand, these can be a little overwhelming to sort through, due to the large number of freelancers looking for work. But you’ll always have lots of options! Some sites that specialize in freelance designers, like 99designs, will let you run a “contest” for which prospective designers will compete for your business.
There are also portfolio sites like Behance and Coroflot that host samples of designers’ work, but they don’t offer the same kind of payment services and other features that freelancing sites do.
You can also look for local designers by using social media or classified ad sites, like Craigslist. This puts more work on you to seek out, screen, and vet prospective candidates, but sometimes, it’s beneficial to work with a designer you can meet with in person.
When choosing where to hire graphic designers, whichever route you go with, you’ll want to look for samples and experience that are directly relevant to the project you’re hiring for. It’s risky to assume that a designer can learn a new style or deliver high-quality work in a medium they’re not used to, no matter how talented they are.
A dedicated graphic designer merits budget consideration, but it’s an investment that can really pay off in the long run.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Graphic Designer?
Once you’ve found a designer who seems to share your sense of style and has a portfolio that clearly shows they can deliver the results you want, the next step is negotiating payment – just how much does it cost to hire a graphic designer? There’s a wide range of “typical” compensation rates for graphic design.
Hourly rates can be problematic for both parties involved, so it’s generally safer to set a budget for an entire project’s design costs and go from there. Most experienced designers will be able to estimate how long a project will take them and provide a quote accordingly.
You can find online graphic designers willing to work for anywhere from $10-$100 per hour, and $45 could be considered an “average” rate. The greater the level of skill and experience you’re looking for, the more you need to be willing to pay.
It’s also important to have a written agreement that covers your expectations, including:
- how many revisions the designer is willing to do
- how long the project will take
- what additional charges you’ll cover if the project expands beyond its original scope
Hiring creatives can always be tricky, but a truly iconic, distinctive design – one that defines your brand and sees years of use – is a bargain at any price. Taking the time to find a designer who’s a perfect fit for your business is worth the effort.