Did you know that 59% of people will choose to do business with a company based on good design?
That’s right — there’s a direct correlation between great design and business growth.
If you want to increase your sales, hiring a designer is a smart move. However, with so many options out there, it can be hard to figure out how to find the best graphic designer for your project.
Luckily, we’re here to help.
Follow the simple steps below to find the perfect designer for your business, whatever your design goals.
Have Clear Goals and Expectations
Before you start approaching designers, you should be crystal clear on what you want designed and what you want the process to look like.
The process of finding a designer to create a single logo will be different from hiring a designer to work on all of your ad designs for the next three years.
Some designers will be happy to work on one-off projects, while others will be looking to build a long-term relationship.
Having clear expectations ensures that you don’t hire the wrong person and find out later down the line. It also makes it easier to write a solid contract to protect you both.
You should also think about your expectations around cost, communication, and working process to find someone who slots easily into your current structure.
Know Exactly What You Want Designed
When you hire a designer you should know exactly which assets you want designed, as most designers specialize in one or two specific areas.
For example, one designer might have loads of experience with web design, while another might only be comfortable designing for printed materials. Learn more about the different kinds of graphic design service by clicking the link.
Even if you’re starting with a small project, it’s a good idea to write a list of what you might want designed in the future. You can discuss this with potential matches to make sure that they have the right experience.
Don’t approach a designer without knowing exactly what you want them to create.
Choose a Designer That Understands Your Industry
Design best practices and styles can vary hugely from industry to industry, so it’s smart to look for a designer that has experience working with companies similar to yours.
For example, if you’re running a meditation app, you might hire a designer that’s worked with yoga studios or eco-friendly businesses. You probably won’t hire a designer who only works with automotive companies.
If you’re operating in a very niche area, it might be hard to find designers who specialize. In this case, you should take extra time to look at examples of their previous work to make sure their style will work for you.
Above, all your designer should have a good understanding of your target audience, as this will influence all of their design choices.
Ask to See Examples of Relevant Past Work
You should never hire a designer without looking at their portfolio first.
However, don’t think that you should be judging them solely from the way their samples look.
Instead, make a point of talking to them about each project. Ask them what the design process looked like, why they made the choices they did, and how they worked with the client to create the best outcome.
Their answers to these questions will give you an excellent insight into what it will be like to work together.
If a designer has a large portfolio, focus on the samples that are most similar to what you’re looking to create.
Get Recommendations or Ask for References
If you’ve seen some design work that you really like, don’t be afraid to ask for the details of the designer. Personal recommendations also come with valuable inside info about what the designer was like to work with.
If you can’t get a recommendation, it’s still a good idea to ask your chosen designer for a few references.
If they say no, this is a massive red flag — they might have a great portfolio but could be hiding other issues with things, like time management and communication.
Good designers will be more than happy to provide you with references. When you get in touch, be prepared with a list of questions.
Test the Waters with a Trial Project
No matter how much research to do, it’s impossible to really know if a designer is a right fit before you start working together.
It’s advisable to plan a small test project before you commit to a long-term contract with any designer. This helps you both to make sure that the relationship will run smoothly.
Make the trial project something you genuinely want designed, but not something too important, just in case it doesn’t go to plan.
For example, you could ask for a simple flyer, a banner ad, or a social media graphic. If all goes well with that, you should be safe to move onto larger projects together.
Make sure the test project is relevant to your long-term design plans. You wouldn’t ask for a test project in web design if you were searching for a packaging designer, for example.
You should always pay your designer for the time they spend on the test project. It’s a big red flag if someone offers to work for free, as genuine professionals will always expect to be paid.
Where to Find the Best Graphic Designer
The internet has made it easy to search thousands of graphic designers at the push of a button.
If you’re looking for speed and convenience, searching online for a designer is ideal. If you’re worried about legitimacy, be sure to have a few video calls together, rather than just communicating via email.
If you prefer face-to-face communication, search for designers in your local area or ask other local businesses for their recommendations.
Follow the steps above and you shouldn’t have any problem finding the best graphic designer for your brand.
Want to learn more about graphic design before you hire? Keep browsing the rest of our blog today.