Choosing a graphic design agency or service might seem intimidating if you are unaware of the field of graphic design. The design industry is fraught with numerous probable candidates that seem up to the mark. While hunting for a suitable designer, you might get loads of applications that seem genuinely suitable.
However, choosing the right graphic designer is quite easy if you are focused on your goals and clear about what you are looking for in the required person. No matter what business you are into, there always comes a time when your business requires you to hire a graphic designer. Instead of putting this seemingly daunting task off and ignoring the need for the right graphic designer in your company, it is important to note the following tips on hiring the right graphic designer.
Let us begin our guide by briefly overviewing the basics of a graphic design service.
Understanding Graphic Design Services
Graphic design services, simply put, are an integral part of the brand identity of any business. It is the creative output of the graphic designers translating the business or company’s needs in the form of catchy graphics – entailing an impressive combination of excellent typography, fonts, shapes, and/or colors.
The best graphic design services include understanding the goals and scope of the client and incorporating them into a creative work of art. Reliable design services are prompt in communication and welcoming to taking feedback regarding the designs. Once the design is mutually approved, the graphic design service is paid according to the contractual agreement.
Choosing Between a Freelance Graphic Designer and an In-House Graphic Designer
Once you understand what graphic design services do and realize the importance of such services for your business, you need to move further and decide which type of graphic designer you need.
Typically, you must choose whether you need a freelance graphic designer or an in-house one. To make an informed decision, you need to review the pros and cons of each type of graphic design service.
In-House Graphic Designer
- Exclusively works for your business only
- Is available round the clock
- Gets to know your brand in-depth while working exclusively for you
- Has to be paid even if there is no work for the graphic designer (graphic design rates are about $25.66/hour in the US)
- An in-house graphic designer might get too overwhelmed with the workload
- You only need to pay them on the basis of ongoing projects
- You have the liberty of hiring graphic designers according to their design specialty
- You can save costs when you do not have any design projects in the pipeline
- Since they might work remotely and are not a constant part of your organization, these designers might take time to become familiar with your brand
- Meetings or discussions have to be done virtually
- Freelance graphic designers are hard to evaluate properly as they work independently
It is important to note that you can hire a combination of both types of graphic designers depending on the intensity and quantity of the graphic design projects. Even if you have in-house designers, some projects necessitate hiring freelance graphic designers for additional support on deadlines.
Key Points for Finding the Right Graphic Design Service
1- Research is the key
Firstly, searching for the best local graphic design companies is fundamental if you decide to go for an in-house designer. Choosing from local companies solves many issues related to the daily commute, fuel charges, differences in time zones, etc. Hence, for instance, if you are located in Houston, you should search best graphic design in Houston.
2- Be clear in your expectations
Most managers responsible for hiring graphic designers find the task challenging as they are unclear on what to expect from a graphic designer. It is only possible to look for the best when you know the qualities of the best graphic designer.
Remember that a graphic designer is responsible for taking your ideas about your business and brand identity and converting them into graphic support for your business. Their designs are then uniformly applied to all your business communication and marketing items, including digital business cards and letterheads.
However, a graphic designer is not a web developer. It is a classic rookie mistake that some brand managers commit. They expect a graphic designer to complete their website – which, sadly, is not the case. The graphic designers do design the website and finalize the layout of your website, but they cannot and will not code it for you.
Moreover, graphic designing is a creative art that brings your brand identity to life. Therefore, while graphic design services help bring your brand identity into a creative art form, they cannot be a strategist for furthering your brand identity. You need a creative director or brand-building strategist to shape and lead your creative strategy.
3- Know what you have to design
Before going deep into the pits of searching for the best graphic design services, you should be clear about what you need the designs for. For instance, some businesses require logo designing, flyer layouts, or creative ideas for posters, while others might need to have their business cards revamped only.
Also, having a vision in your head regarding your required designs is crucial. Creating an inspiration board reflecting your brand and its core values is best. It helps in focusing the design discussions and narrowing down ideas.
4- Know the skills you need in the graphic designer
Another important tip to choosing the right graphic designer is knowing what designing skills you need for your project. For instance, you should know whether you need the designers for stock images campaign or for taking photographs to complete the project.
Also, depending on your project, you should know if you require a designer apt in Adobe illustrator or Visual Studio. These types of realistic realizations about the requirement of the designer skills help in narrowing down your search.
5- Test the candidates candidly
Although portfolios of prospective designers provide a great deal of information about their design skills, inclination, previous projects, and transfer of ideas into creative art, it is still crucial to test the prospective candidates. You can candidly ask them about explaining one of their previous designs, shedding light on how they came up with the ideas and inspirations.
You can also test them by asking them to critique a competitor’s design and take their input on how they would have done it differently. This way, you will know more about their thinking process and how they expertly explain their creativity in words. Candidates with sound answers are the ones who reflect an excellent thinking process and communication abilities.
6- Relevant industry experience
You can heave a sigh of relief if your shortlisted candidate has worked in a similar industry. Working in a similar industry helps avoid the huge learning curve necessary to get a new addition to the organization up to date.
Also, having experience in a similar industry checks one big point in favor of the graphic design service you are considering. It helps decrease the probable candidate’s time to become familiar with the work environment.
7-Prefer Creativity Combined with Skill
Lastly, you must remember that hiring the right graphic design service requires more than just considering their skill set. While skills are essential to this job, combining creativity with various learned skill sets is a killer combo you should never overlook.