Does your expanding company require a graphic designer? Using a creative graphic designer to generate new solutions that support client and corporate vision boosts brand identification and actively engages target audiences. Your organization can produce innovative print and digital media that captivates and inspires its target audience if you have a savvy graphic designer on your team.
Bringing on a dedicated graphic designer who can translate concepts into finished products can be quite beneficial to your business. Finding a graphic designer who can work successfully with clients and colleagues while managing multiple projects at once is quite crucial.
Contributions of a great graphic designer:
- Create visually appealing print and digital material that fulfills its intended purpose
- Support marketing initiatives based on strategic vision
- Immediately jump in to tackle new projects
- Design and edit images, such as logos, photographs and graphics
- Create layouts for print projects while maintaining consistency and understanding brand guidelines
- Consistently adhere to project timelines and deadlines
Step 1: Identify Graphic Design Needs
The first thing you have to decide is how often you need graphic design services. If you need graphic designs for every project—and those projects are frequent or come under short notice—you may need to hire a full-time graphic designer. They are typically cheaper over a longer period than freelancers. Also, they will most likely have a better grasp on the company’s vision and can make changes or shift projects faster than a freelancer.
If your business has projects that are consistently due around the same time each quarter or year or you just need occasional graphic design help, you may decide to hire a freelance graphic artist under an ongoing contract. For one-time or part-time projects, freelancer services are typically less expensive.
When deciding how to hire a graphic designer, consider the different job titles that exist. Some common graphic designer job titles include
- Graphic artist
- Production artist
- UX designer
- Multimedia designer
- Graphic arts designer
- Web designer
- Creative designer
Step 2: Establish the Budget
To understand how much to budget for, you first need to understand the typical costs. Then, you have to determine how much money you can allocate for graphic design resources and how vital those services are to your company’s success. That may help you decide whether to hire an experienced designer or a designer who is just beginning to build their portfolio.
Read Also: What Inspires You as a Graphic Designer?
According to Indeed, the average graphic designer makes around $21/hour—going as low as $12.57 and as high as $35.22 for the more experienced graphic designers. That’s around $56,851 yearly for full-time designers. For a freelancer, Upwork’s median range for graphic designers is at $15 to $35/hour, with rates that can go as high as $150/hour.
Step 3: Determine Timeline
Before hiring a graphic designer, particularly a freelancer, you need to identify the timeline of your project. It should allow enough time for them to:
- Speak with you about your company, the goals of the project, and specific items that must be included in the project
- Research your industry, competitors, and similar projects in scope and scale
- Have brainstorming sessions and check-in meetings to ensure that you and the designer are on the same page
- Work on the project
- Handle last-minute revisions, reviews, and edits before submitting the final project to your client or co-worker
With these items in place, you should be able to avoid any unexpected problems or issues that can derail the project.
There are a couple of additional items to consider when building out your project timeline:
- More experienced and well-known designers might have existing projects on their schedule, meaning your project may start weeks after you engage them on a project. You should discuss with the designer the date they can start to devote time to your project to avoid any surprises.
- You should always discuss with designers how long it will take to complete the project and if they have done similar work in the past. Experienced designers may charge more for their services, but they also may take less time to complete the project. New designers, on the other hand, may provide a similar quality project for less but may need more time to complete the project.
- You may pay a premium fee if the project is considered to be rushed or last minute. You should discuss with your graphic designer the typical turnaround times for any projects to see if your project schedule can be changed to potentially save money on the project.
Step 4: Research Potential Graphic Designers
To ensure that you hire a qualified graphic designer, you should follow some, if not all, of the following tips:
- Converse with people in your network. You should have conversations with people in your network who have worked with graphic artists in the past. If there is a design, logo, or marketing material you like, you may want to reach out to the company and see who the designer is. You should also ask them whether they had a negative or positive experience working with the designer.
- Web search for graphic designers. Another way to search for a graphic designer is by running an online search or sifting through job boards. One of the most popular websites to find gig workers is Upwork—it is one of our recommended free job posting websites.
- View online portfolios. Once you have an idea of potential designers to reach out to for an interview, you should look to see if they have a website with examples of their work.
Step 5: Create a Job Description & Ad
Once you have an idea of potential designers to reach out to, you should determine if you want to open the application process up to other applicants. To do so, you will need to craft a job description that covers the company culture, job requirements, and a compensation range. You’ll use these to advertise your job.
- Skills & Qualifications Required
When creating your job description and ad, list all the skills and qualifications that are required for the graphic designer job. These include:
- Communication and management skills
- Degree in graphic design or visual arts
- Expertise with graphic editors and software
- Number of years of experience with graphic design
- Portfolio of relevant work experience
- Understanding of basic marketing concepts
Step 6: Interview Candidates
Once you compile your list, you can begin scheduling interviews. While interviewing applicants, you should ask questions that give you insights into the designer’s personality, work style, experience, and reliability.
No matter how great the designer is, you will not have a good experience if you cannot work with them. Differences in personality between the designer and the employer may actually help create better designs and projects—but only to the extent that parties can co-exist. You need to ensure that the designer is a good listener, respects your vision of the project, and is not afraid to speak up if they see potential issues with the project (whether that is the expectation, design, or timeline).
Common questions to ask when hiring graphic designers include:
- What are the questions you ask at the beginning of each project and why?
- How do you handle negative feedback from a client?
- How do you work with collaborators (i.e., project managers, developers, and copywriters)?
- Work style
You also need to figure out how your designer likes to work and how it matches your company and the specific project. Do they like more freedom in their projects to express their creativity? Or, do they like specific parameters where they can make sure that they meet the client’s deliverables? Knowing the answers to these questions right out of the gate will help with communication between you and the designer in the long run.
Common questions to gauge work style include:
- What do you do when you hit a creative wall?
- What’s your creative process?
- Tell me about a time when a project changed dramatically. How did you adapt to the change and how did the project turn out?
You would also like to know a bit about their education, which clients and projects they have worked with, and what products they are comfortable working with. This helps you compare the skills of the applicants and set your budget.
Common questions to ask when inquiring about their experience include:
- What software programs are you proficient in?
- How did you design your portfolio?
- Tell me about the projects you have worked on. What is one of your proudest projects and why?
Finally, you need to find out whether the designer has an understanding of working under deadlines. They should be able to discuss realistic timeframes with their clients at the beginning of a project and display a level of professionalism that involves showing up on time and being prepared for check-in meetings and consultations.
Common questions to ask include:
- How do you deal with tight deadlines?
- Describe a time where you had to juggle two projects at the same time?
- Describe a challenging project. What made it challenging and what was the result?
Step 7: Make a Decision & an Offer
Once you complete your interview process, keep in mind that you need:
- Uniform criteria for the final evaluation. With the four categories in the interview section, create universal criteria so that you can judge all applicants fairly. There are multiple rating scales; some popular options include “yes or no,” a numerical range (e.g., 1 to 5), or a “word” scale (poor to great). You should use these for both individual questions and the final assessment. Once you receive the interview forms from the interviewers, you can start compiling the overall score for each interviewee. You may also provide more weight to certain interviewers than others.
- A final decision maker. There should be multiple people in the interview process, so in the case of not having a unanimous decision, you need someone to have the last say. Founders, executives, human resource managers, and direct supervisors are all known to have the final say on which applicant is selected. For hiring a graphic artist, you may want to give the final decision to the individual who is working the most with the designer and/or has the most technical knowledge of the project. In many cases, that would be the direct supervisor.
- An offer letter. Once you make the decision on who you want to hire, you can provide them with an offer letter that details the benefits of accepting the position. If you need help creating one or what items to include in it, please see our guide to offer letters and use the free template. If your top applicant accepts your offer, it is a good policy to let your other candidates know that you have decided to go in another direction.
In the graphic design departments of large companies, there’s a clearly defined hierarchy of employees. Some of the roles in this chain include:
- Art director: The art director is in charge of the department. Though they likely have extensive experience in the field, they often spend more of their time on administrative duties, such as scheduling and quality assurance.
- Art production manager: Art production managers are responsible for overseeing the artists creating the graphics. They also work to improve the efficiency of the employees below them.
- Brand identity developer: A brand identity developer works to create a recognizable identity for their company. They often have control over logos, signage and paper advertisements.
- Marketing designer: Marketing designers are responsible for creating images used in presentations that promote their company’s products and services.
- Layout artist: A layout artist changes the layout of images and text on a page to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Aim to find a graphic designer who can work both independently and collaboratively to develop a wide range of media while incorporating various design techniques. Strong candidates for graphic designer positions will be confident when answering a variety of questions related to graphic design responsibilities.
Topics for graphic designer interview questions:
- Individual creative thought processes
- Current design trends and techniques
- Prioritizing projects and tasks in high-pressure environments
- Making adjustments to projects based on client feedback
- Using metrics to track design success
Engaging the services of a graphic designer has many advantages. A rebranding initiative to help your business raise staff pride and productivity, increasing customer interaction on your website, and engaging clients with fresh images are a few examples. You may lessen the likelihood of any potential problems by making sure you take the time to thoroughly understand your project and designer.