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What You Need to Know Before You Hire a Designer

Creative Market April 1, 2024 · 4 min read

Thinking about hiring a designer? That’s great, but it might be more complicated than you think. Too often, clients come to designers without really thinking through what it is they need, and are then frustrated by the time and money spent arriving at a lackluster end result. To help ensure success in absolutely any design project, take the following steps into mind before you set out to hire a designer.

Before Hiring a Designer

Designers aren’t mind readers. They can’t effectively do their job if they don’t know what message their design should be sending. It’s up to company owners and staff to inform the designer of the company’s story and goals. So, before even searching for a designer, it’s important that you do a little homework. The more a designer knows about your company the better. The best way to communicate with the designer is to put together a design packet. This packet should include:

  • A brief story about the history of your company
  • A summary of the products or services your company offers
  • Your company’s target market
  • Your company’s future goals
  • Examples of logos, designs and advertisement styles that you like

The above information will give a designer a good feel for your company so that he or she can create a design that matches your vision.

Project Specifics

Now that you have your design packet put together, you need to figure out job specifics. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my design budget?
  • When do I need the designs completed?
  • What types of media do I need the designs for (web, print, other media)?
  • Do I need custom images or will stock photography be acceptable?

By answering the above questions, you will know what you need to look for in a designer.

Finding the Design Professional

Now that you have your design packet and project specifics in hand, it’s time to find a designer. Talk to different professionals about your project, and ask to see their portfolios. The right designer will:

  • Work within your budget
  • Work within your time frame
  • Have experience working with the type of media you need designs for
  • Have experience designing in the style you want

In addition to the above, the right designer will be an excellent communicator. He or she should be genuinely interested in your company, ask questions to learn more about your company and be able to offer you good ideas. If the designer isn’t willing to spend the time to get to know your company, look for someone else. Communication is essential for creating a face for your brand.

Things to Remember

Here are a few tips to consider when hiring a designer:

  • Money: We all want to save money, but the saying, “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to design. Custom design work takes a lot of time. Any good designer will expect reasonable compensation for the hours they put in.
  • Market: A designer that has experience working with companies in your industry is usually the best choice because they will already understand your market.
  • Ownership: Ask upfront about ownership of any graphics used in the design and the final design itself. Many designers use stock photography, for example, which only allows for limited use. If you want unlimited use of an image, communicate this with the designer so they know to acquire exclusive rights for graphics. In addition, draft a contract in writing that states you own the rights to the final design.

Take The Time To Get it Right

There are many good graphic designers, but not all of them are necessarily the best matches for your company. Spending the time to discover your company’s goals and communicate effectively with designers allows you to choose the one who can best convey your company’s message.


Header image created using Hipsteria and Designer.


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