Hiring a Graphic Designer for your next project can be a daunting experience. It is important to keep in mind that in the Graphic Design industry, you often get what you pay for. Your brand is not something to take lightly; it deserves the attention of a professional that understands the importance of branding, not just making designs that “look cool” in the moment. The following is a short guide on what to look for when hiring a Graphic Designer.
A solid portfolio is a huge part of choosing a Graphic Designer for your project. You should be able to find examples of work that you like within their portfolio so you can reference them and how they may apply to your own project. Their portfolio should have at least a few examples of the type of work you are looking to have done, or at the very least something similar in process. You should also look for case studies within their portfolio. Do they explain why a logo was designed a certain way? Do they explain the obstacles and goals of a given project? Effective design has both passion and purpose.
Process is an important aspect of any successful designer. With each type of project whether it be a postcard, logo or t-shirt graphic, comes a specific set of standards that should be met. Logo or identity projects require a high level of brand understanding and research to ensure your brand is properly viewed by your target market. Logos also need to be constructed in vector format to allow scalability for a wide range of applications. Printed media projects such as postcards and business cards should be done in CMYK at a resolution of no less than 300dpi in order for your prints to come out looking pristine and crystal clear. Printed materials often need to be formatted for local mail service as well which has its’ own standards all together. Web related graphics can come in a variety of file formats but should always be in RGB color mode and usually at a much lower dpi than that of printed material. These are just a mere glimpse of standards a designer needs to abide by when putting together a project. However the more you as the client understand what goes into each project, the better you can understand what you are paying for.
Client feedback is a good indicator of a Designer’s success and customer service habits. Nobody likes doing business with someone who is inflexible, hard to reach or flat out incompetent. Always look for a client list and/or testimonials on their website, similar to those seen here.
Age is just a number
You may be wondering why “experience” was not mentioned in the above list of things to look for in a Designer. The reason is that competency cannot always be measure by experience. I have come across numerous designers who claim to have been in the industry for 15+ years, yet their quality of work is lacking. In the end it doesn’t matter whether they have 5 years or 50 years of actual experience. Their portfolio, process and customer service simply needs to reflect that of a 50 year veteran. Again I cannot stress enough that just like any skill based service, there is much more going into your design project than you probably realize. It is your job as the hiring factor to ask questions and find out exactly what you are handing over your hard earned money in exchange for.
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