Choosing A Graphic Designer

585 396 Derek Kimball

choosing a graphic designer

Finding the right graphic designer for your project may not be easy, as there are a lot of things to consider. Knowing what to look for and what to inquire will make all the difference in the world. Here are some questions you can be asking yourself if you are in search for a graphic designer:

Do I like the designer’s past work?

Of all of the factors to consider when searching for a designer, this should be at the top of the list in terms of importance. It’s amazing how many people have contacted me without first looking at my design portfolio. Before you contact a designer, peruse their past work and make sure it’s on par with the style and quality you expect.

Does the designer appear knowledgeable and professional?

Before forking over your hard earned money, I highly recommend spending a few minutes researching your prospective designer. Read through a couple of their blog articles, peruse their social media accounts, ask to chat on the phone for a few minutes. This extra effort will give you a better idea of who you’d be working with, and make you feel more confident with your hiring decision.

What is their level of experience?

Is the graphic designer experienced enough to handle your project? Find out how long the designer has been offering the services you’re inquiring about. A well seasoned designer will be more skilled in their abilities, better with time management, and probably more likely to offer a more smooth experience overall. You might have to pay more for this experience but it will be worth it.

Are there any testimonials available?

Some designers have no problem telling you how great they are. Don’t just take their word for it, check to see if they have any testimonials you can read. A true testimonial should have the client’s name, business affiliation and location.

Does the price match the quality of work?

Pricing is obviously an important factor, but choosing a designer based on price alone is probably not a wise choice. Many designers that are just starting out will offer low rates just to get clients. The down side is they will be lacking in the knowledge and experience of someone more seasoned. You don’t want to sacrifice quality just to save a few dollars.

At the same time, you can’t assume a designer will be better just because their pricing is the highest. Rather than letting cost be your determining factor, take all factors into consideration.

Does the designer communicate well?

When you email the designer, how long does it take them to respond? Anything over 24 hours is probably too long, unless of course they are on vacation (wait, what’s a vacation?). Does the designer take time to answer your questions in a thorough and concise manner? When you email or call, do they answer all of your questions? Do they rush through their responses? Are they polite and professional?

There will be a lot of back and forth conversations between you and your designer during a project. The last thing you want is to be confused, left in the dark, or not on the same page in terms of design expectations. Communication is key.

Does the designer have a presentable website?

In today’s world, a graphic designer without a website is like a story with no ending. It just doesn’t make sense. You don’t want to hand over your hard earned money to some anonymous person who can’t provide you with a solid portfolio or information about themselves and their services. A website also shows that the designer is dedicated and not fly by night.

Will my project be juggled around?

Some design firms, and even freelance designers outsource their projects to others for a commission. So when you think you are hiring a particular designer for his or her skills, you may just end up with the newbie working on your project, or even someone overseas. This practice is fine as long as the client is aware, but sometimes there is no mention of this. Don’t be afraid to ask who is going to be handling your project, so you know what you are paying for and who you will be communicating with.

I’m always open to discussion. Please leave your comments below.


Derek Kimball

Derek is the founder of DesignBuddy and a full time graphic designer. He specializes in logo creation and visual branding. Over the past 13 years Derek has helped hundreds of clients grow their business and establish a stronger brand identity. View his portfolio, or get in touch. If you'd like to receive an occasional free newsletter with useful design related content, please subscribe here.

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