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Travel, construction, retail, food, accounting, health care—pretty much every industry needs graphic designers to create logos, brochures, business cards, and many other projects for their branding and marketing.
So how do you find the perfect graphic designer? We’ve got you covered—follow these important and easy steps in order to find the right graphic designer to give your business the look that you want!
The first step for finding a graphic designer is simple, but it can also be overwhelming: knowing where to search for a graphic designer.
If you want to hire a local graphic designer, you can use ZipBook Pros to help you find specific types of designers near you. Simply type in what kind of company you are looking for and your zip code, and results will appear with designers close by.
The results will also show the designers’ business locations, their contact information, and real customer reviews. For finding local graphic designers—and yes, we’re a bit biased—ZipBooks Pros is a great place to start!
For a more general search that could provide applicants from anywhere, then there are several solid online options:
Upwork: Upwork is currently one of the leading online marketplaces for hiring freelancers. Through Upwork, clients can connect and chat with freelancers and interview them. Upwork has a free membership option and paid membership platforms that come with extra features.
Crew: Crew, founded in 2012, is a fairly new online marketplace for freelancers and clients. Memberships are free, but there is a $100 deposit for approved projects. Crew is primarily geared toward finding freelance graphic designers and programmers.
Dribbble: Dribbble is a popular social network for graphic designers to share their work, view others’ work, and get hired. Like other social media platforms, on Dribbble you can follow other people and like and comment on posts. If you are a designer, to join you have to be invited.
Freelancer: Freelancer.com is an online marketplace for employers to find freelancers. The company is based in Sydney, Australia but functions globally, with the United States providing a large amount of its users. The platform functions by freelancers bidding on potential clients’ projects. Freelancer has free and paid memberships for clients and freelancers.
Along with checking out these different platforms, always make sure to list the graphic design job position on your LinkedIn page and company website so that the position directly links to your business.
Okay, so you have some ideas of where to find graphic designers, but what specifically do you want them to do? There are so many different aspects of graphic design, but some graphic designers might be more skilled in certain areas than others.
So when you create a job posting, be sure to specify what kind of work you want the graphic designer to do. That way you only get applicants who are qualified for the specific work.
Overall, a graphic designer’s role is to display information in a distinct, memorable, and clear way. While this is the general goal of a graphic designer, there are different approaches for reaching this initiative. You could need designs for a logo, website, printout, or other possibilities. Here are some of the different types of designers you might need:
Out of these types of graphic designers, identify which kind you need for your project and then start searching. If you are a start-up business and need a lot of different types of designs developed for your company, then it may be helpful to hire multiple designers or one very versatile graphic designer to help launch your business.
Now that you have listed the specific graphic design position, how do you select the best applicant for your project? First of all, it is important to require applicants to provide a portfolio so that you can actually see their work and not only read about their experience on a résumé or cover letter. When you view applicants’ portfolios, there are a few important design principles that you can keep in mind for recognizing a good graphic designer, even if you aren’t an expert on design.
A popular acronym (created by designer Robin Williams) that is used in the design world is CRAP, which stands for Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity.
Contrast: Contrast is using designs that differentiate in color, font, size, or placement. Using contrast helps the viewer to identify what information is most important. For example, say a graphic designer is creating a magazine cover where the background color is black and it has a black and white photo on it. The title of the magazine is one of the most important parts of the cover, so the designer could put the title in a large font and in contrasting color, such as red, to make the title stand out.
Repetition: Repetition involves keeping consistency throughout the design with images, colors, formatting, shapes, fonts, and other design elements. When you have a consistent design, then the viewer can more easily process the presented information and better remember your brand. For instance, if a designer is creating an ad for a retail store’s swimsuit sale, then having the repetition of a sun motif will help the viewer remember that the sale is for summer swimsuits.
Alignment: Alignment is the careful placement of the words and images in a design. Proper alignment helps to organize the design’s information. Say a computer company needs to present the features of one of their new products on their website. Listing the features in a left-aligned bulleted list can help the viewer to see the information in a quick and clear manner.
Proximity: Proximity is the concept that associated aspects in a design should be placed close to each other in order to show that they are related. If contact information on a business card spreads from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of the card, then the reader will have a hard time combining all the contact information together.
So when you are viewing a designer’s designs, make sure that they first contain good examples of these basic principles. If designers use CRAP, then their work won’t be crap!
Unique Design Styles
Along with using CRAP, a desirable graphic designer has unique design styles. There are plenty of graphic designers out there, but many of them can follow the same design trends. It is good if a designer is versatile and has examples of a variety of design styles in their portfolio. You want your brand to stand out in a good way, so pick a designer whose work also pops out from other applicants’.
A Designer with Integrity
Lastly, a good graphic designer has integrity. With design, there are lots of copyright rules to follow when using others’ images, fonts, or designs. Some of these elements are used for stock and are in public domain. However, others require special permission and need to give proper attribution to the original source. If designers don’t follow specific rules, then they could get themselves and your business into legal trouble.
One tactic for ensuring a designer’s integrity is to ask the designer for a list of professional graphic design organizations that he or she belongs to. Many of these organizations, such as ico-D (International Council of Design), strongly advocate following best practices for design. Thus if a designer belongs to one of these organizations, then he or she is more likely to be aware and follow graphic design legal procedures.
The rates that you find graphic designers charging on the internet can greatly vary—anywhere from $5 an hour to $300 an hour. But some people might be out there to scam you, or they might be inexperienced and are willing to take any work that they can get. For these reasons it is important to use trustworthy sites as mentioned previously in this article. Even then, you still have to be careful. The rates that designers list can be a good determiner of the quality of their work.
To get a general idea of what typical, not outrageous, rates are, on Upwork rates range between $20 and $150 an hour, and the average is about $45 an hour. There are many different factors that can determine a designers’ rate. One factor is the local market in which the designer is located. If a designer lives in a state that has high living costs, such as California or New York, then the designer might charge more than someone who lives in a less expensive area.
Levels of expertise is also a key factor for considering graphic design rates. Typically, the more experienced graphic designers are, the higher their rates will be. So if you are wanting quality work to be done, it might be beneficial to hire someone who charges the average rate or higher, while still being reasonable and remaining within your company’s budget.
Hourly vs. Project-Based
Additionally, graphic designers can charge for their services either with hourly or project-based rates. But which is the best method? Depending on what type or types of projects you are wanting the designer to do, one payment method might be better than the other.
If you have multiple projects that you want the graphic designer to accomplish, it is probably best to choose a designer who charges by the hour. That way the two of you don’t have to determine multiple prices for the tasks that need to be done, and you can instead pay the designer a consistent price for the total time that it takes him or her to complete the tasks.
When you are looking for a graphic designer, be specific of all the tasks that you need the designer to accomplish. Then have the designer give you an estimate of about how long it will take him or her to complete the tasks. Then you can get a general idea of how much you will be paying.
Once the designer tells you about how long the projects will take to complete, determine if that amount of time works for your company’s deadline. If it doesn’t seem like the designer will work fast enough for your needs, then it might be a good idea to find a different designer. But if the designer seems like a good fit, then make sure to set up a timeline with the designer and frequently follow up to see if he or she is on track.
You might also want to choose a designer with an hourly rate if the project is small and not very time consuming. That way you can quickly determine how much the project will cost instead of the designer having to take the time to create a quote.
Although hourly rates are good for certain circumstances, in most cases you will likely want a graphic designer who charges per project. With this method you can see upfront how much you will have to pay the designer, and you won’t have to pay more if the designer takes longer on the project than you expected.
Project-based rates are especially a good choice for when the projects are detailed and lengthy. Based on what the project includes, the designer can determine the cost by the intensity of the work that needs to be done for the project. With this method, you are being fair to the designer and the designer is being fair to you by giving you a flat price ahead of time.
Some of the different steps in a design project may include a consultation, the designer’s brainstorm process, the creation of the design, rounds of revision, and the final product. When communicating with the designer, be sure to identify all of the project’s steps—such as how many rounds of revisions you want the designer to complete—so that the designer can give an accurate quote that is fit for the project.
Once you have chosen which type of payment method works best for you and you have selected a graphic designer, communicate with the designer regarding the start date and schedule. Then the designer can begin creating, and you will soon have outstanding designs for your business!
Before you go about finding a graphic designer for your project, make sure to follow these steps:
If you follow these steps, then you will be confident in having a graphic designer who can create excellent work and will help give your company brand the right look!
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