If you do not have that much knowledge of the design industry, the search for a graphic designer can be quite an intimidating task. Over the Internet, it is possible for you to find a great number of talented folks who charge in proportion to their talent—each amazing piece they produce can run in the hundreds or thousands. Because of this, deciding who to hire can be a very confusing process.
But it does not have to be very confusing.
Follow these ten tips highlighted below, and you can choose the right professional to hire for your visual design needs.
Know your goals and expectations
For your graphic design project to be a success, the first thing you need to do is provide background on the kind of professional you want to attract. Make sure that your creative brief includes a detailed background on your company, the reason for this project, and the qualifications that you seek. Share your deadlines and all possible obstacles to the project upfront in a job description to ensure that those candidates actually understand the project and be able to discern whether they can meet expectations before sending you a proposal.
Know the different skills you should look for.
It helps to have some understanding of design as well as the kinds of skills needed before reviewing any proposals received. For example, will the campaign involve the use of stock images, or will pictures be used for the project be taken? Will the software be used for creating a certain number of artwork? Will the output be used on physical marketing item, like a promotional paper cup? Answers to these questions ensure a smoother interview between you and the candidate.
Find out if a candidate can think quickly.
Asking the candidate something unexpected during the interview process is a great way you can narrow candidates down. For example, you can ask for a critique on a competitor’s piece as well as an explanation of what they would do instead. Answers provided to this question should provide some insight on the abilities of a candidate, and how they answer should help you truly understand how they think and work. But overall, the point of the question is to know if an applicant can handle the unfamiliar and can come up with a solution on the spot.
Avoid the over-reliance on portfolios.
It is generally a bad idea to choose a graphic designer based on past work. Instead, ask them about the work in their portfolio and what factors made them decide on such designs. Doing so allows you to better understand how the graphic designer works. This should also help you find out if you think alike or not.
Consider giving your candidates trial projects.
Specifically, give the candidates a sample project that can be completed in just a few hours. Top choices include designing a logo or touching up on one that had been done earlier so it looks better on a physical marketing asset, like a banner pen. Make sure that it is just challenging enough that it will showcase the talent of each applicant, and that you will pay all of them for the effort exerted afterward.
Interview candidates via video chat applications.
It is difficult to gain perspective on someone when you do not know their facial expressions and body language. So instead of conducting a phone interview, conduct the interview via a video chat application.
Ask what is needed from you.
Achieving the best results also requires that you ask candidates what they need from you. This can be a physical item, like a board of concepts and documents, or a series of discussions for clarification of the concept.
Clearly explain your target audience and brand.
While you know your brand (or at least the image you wish to convey to your target market) like the back of your hand, there is a tendency to forget that applicants are not yet that knowledgeable about your brand. This is something you want to avoid since a designer cannot design anything without solid knowledge of your business, brand, and target market. For this reason, it’s important for your final candidates to be able to firmly understand the company’s brand and the value they offer to their customers.
Look for graphic designers with significant industry experience.
Even experience as a customer is more than enough industry experience. Having such valuable knowledge can help to eliminate the time needed to know the nature of the business and make the project successful. This also assures you that the professional hired knows how your business needs to connect with your ideal clients.
Talk about the professional’s inspirations.
Lastly, make sure that you ask what motivates the designer. By knowing the artists, brands, books, and websites these candidates gain inspiration from, you will have a better idea of how they work. The discussion can also lead to a discovery of more design elements you might like for your project.
Hiring a professional graphic designer is more than just the search for someone with a certain number of skills. It also involves hiring someone who is pleasant to work with, can easily find solutions to design issues, and is as committed to the success of your project as you are.
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