Below Are 14 Things To Consider When Hiring A Graphic Designer

As a designer, I have a passion for both design and helping people. The goal of this article is to hopefully provide some insight into what you can expect when hiring a graphic designer, as well as what you should be looking for in your next design professional.

12 Things Every Graphic Designer Needs To Know to Succeed
1. Define your project goals clearly.
2. Assess the designer’s portfolio for relevant experience.
3. Consider their communication skills and responsiveness.
4. Discuss the design process and timeline upfront.
5. Evaluate their understanding of your brand identity.
6. Inquire about their approach to revisions and feedback.
7. Check for a collaborative and professional attitude.
8. Verify their technical skills and software proficiency.
9. Ask for references and client testimonials.
10. Determine the scope of work and project deliverables.

1. Determine Your Design Needs

It’s important to start with a clear idea of what you want. The more details you can provide, the better. A designer who receives a detailed brief will be able to provide you with a more accurate quote and make sure that your project achieves its objectives.

If you’re not sure where to start, take some time out from worrying about design and focus on the following:

  • What are my goals for this project?
  • What do I hope to accomplish?

Once these questions have been answered, write down every detail that comes into your head no matter how small or insignificant it may seem at first glance (you never know!). 

You’ll find that once these details are listed out in black-and-white, they’ll help shape and define where your priorities lie regarding this particular project.

Building a successful design project from scratch can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to the process. Our guide on hiring a freelance designer when you have zero clue provides valuable insights to help you navigate the world of graphic design.

2. Ask For Referrals

One of the best ways to get a feel for a designer’s work is by asking for references. References are critical because they give you an idea of what you can expect in terms of overall quality, timeliness, professionalism, and cost.

From the designer’s website or social media pages: If your potential hire has a website or active presence on social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), ask them if there is any way to view their portfolio online. If so, it’s probably worth taking a look at it before making any decisions about hiring them.

By word of mouth: If you don’t have access to the internet but know someone who does and whom you trust implicitly like your sister or brother-in-law have him/her ask around about graphic designers in his/her network and see if anyone knows someone who might match what you’re looking for; then call those people up yourself!

3. Set A Budget

Determine an appropriate budget. Set a realistic budget.

Consider your budget to be a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. The graphic designer’s expertise is invaluable, so it’s important to have enough money in place to get the job done well without overspending on unnecessary fees or services (e.g., wireframing). 

Ask your graphic designer for suggestions about cost-cutting methods if necessary. They can help find ways for you to save money without sacrificing quality or effectiveness in their work product if anything, cutting costs might make their designs even better!

When it comes to hiring a freelance designer, it’s crucial to consider various factors that can impact the outcome of your project. Learn about the most important factors to consider when hiring a freelance designer to ensure a successful collaboration.

4. Look At Their Portfolio

Take a look at their portfolio. Is the work shown similar to what you need? Are there consistent design styles? Look for attention to detail, and make sure that elements are well-thought-out. Does the designer seem like someone who can communicate effectively with you?

Ask for a link to an online portfolio if possible; this way, you can see more recent projects in action without having to meet with them in person (and if it’s not possible, ask if they can send photos or PDFs). 

If they have physical copies of their work available, ask if those are okay too you may want something tangible when making such an important decision!

5. Ask To See A Contract

After you’ve chosen your designer, ask to see a contract. You should have one in writing before you hire them because their lack of one is one major factor that results in legal disputes between designers and clients. 

Make sure you understand the terms of the contract and are comfortable with them: for example, if an agreement is only valid for 6 months but you want it to be more permanent, then make that clear upfront. 

Also, make sure any requirements for payment or cancellation are clearly spelled out on paper before committing yourself to anything this way you can’t be accused of breaking any rules later on down the road (and hopefully avoid paying fees).

6. Review Insurance And Licensing

While you’re reviewing their portfolio, it’s also a good idea to verify that the graphic designer has liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. The last thing you want is for your business to be responsible for any injuries sustained by the designer while working on your project.

The graphic designer should also have proper licensing with their state and local licensing agencies. If they do not, avoid using them at all costs! It will be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to hire an unlicensed contractor if something goes wrong before or during the process of producing your graphics.

Finding the perfect freelance graphic designer for your project requires careful consideration and research. Check out our 10 tips for finding the perfect freelance graphic designer to make an informed decision and achieve outstanding results.

7. Ask Them About Their Process

Ask about the process. When you’re working with a graphic designer, you want to make sure that they have the experience and skills necessary to do their job well. But in addition to asking what kind of work they’ve done before, it’s also important to ask them about how they will work with you. For example:

  • How do they typically work with clients?
  • What are the steps in their design process?

What is their team structure like (if applicable)? This will help you make sure that there is someone available who has an eye for good design and can communicate clearly if there are any problems or miscommunications during the design process.

How will this particular graphic designer work with me? At some point during your conversation with potential designers, ask for examples of previous projects just so that you can get some idea about what kind of client interaction style works best for them, and then use that knowledge when deciding which designer(s) might be best suited for your project!

8. Check Out An Estimate Or Quote

When hiring a graphic designer, it is important to know how much the project will cost. A company that provides an estimate or quote should never surprise you with the final price of your project. 

If they do, it can be a red flag that something is wrong with their business practices and you should consider looking elsewhere for help.

When discussing pricing with your graphic designer, make sure that you have a written quote in hand before work begins on your project. 

The quote should clearly state what is included in the price and what isn’t included so there are no surprises later on down the line. Some common items not included in quotes include:

9. Confirm Their Availability

Confirm their availability. There’s no point in hiring a designer if they will only be able to work part-time or they’ll take more than two months to create your project. See if you can confirm their availability before moving forward with them (and make sure it’s realistic).

Ask about their schedule. Does the designer have other clients? If so, how many? And when? Ask what days and hours they’re available to take on projects like yours and whether there are any long-term assignments that would take precedence over yours.

The relationship between a client and a graphic designer can significantly impact the success of a project. Discover how to create a positive dynamic by following our advice on how to treat a graphic designer when hiring, ensuring a smooth and productive collaboration.

10. Read Reviews And Testimonials

Read reviews and testimonials before hiring a graphic designer. Reviews are a good way to get a sense of the graphic designer’s character, work ethic, and overall experience with clients. It’s also helpful to look at their portfolio and any awards or other recognition they may have received from industry organizations (like AIGA). 

Testimonials should be specific and honest; if you have an opportunity to talk with someone who has worked with your potential hire before, take it! Finally, make sure you have an open channel of communication between yourself as the client and your graphic designer this will help ensure that you’re both on the same page throughout the process.

11. Talk About Communication Methods And Procedures

In today’s world, many graphic designers work remotely. As a result, face-to-face meetings might not be possible. It’s still important to speak regularly so that you can discuss your project and make sure that the designer is on track with it.

You should also discuss how and when you will communicate with each other; this includes answering questions or providing feedback on drafts of designs. You may prefer to use email or text messaging, while your designer might prefer Skype or online chat programs like Slack.

12. Check Out The Other Work In The Office, If There Is One

You should be able to see their portfolio and the previous work they have done. If you are interested in what they do, make sure to check if you like the work that they have done for other clients. Remember, it’s your money and your project so it is up to you how much of a risk you want to take with your decision.

You should use your own judgment on whether or not the designer’s previous work was good or not, but here are some things that may help:

If there’s no example of previous work available then don’t hire them! You need something concrete for comparison purposes

Look for similar styles or designs as those which interest you most about hiring this person – this will give an indication as to whether their personality would fit into yours!

13. Discuss Turnaround Time And Revisions

When you’re working with a designer, it’s important to discuss things like turnaround time and revisions. No one expects the design process to go without any bumps in the road, but it’s important that everyone is on the same page about what those bumps look like.

For example: if your project includes three rounds of design revisions plus two rounds of back-and-forth with copywriters about their work before sending it for print or production, then you should expect this amount of work when you begin talking numbers with a designer (as opposed to being surprised by what feels like an endless amount of extra work).

14. How Long Have They Been In Business?  Are They Graphic Designers Or A Graphic Design Firm? 

In the graphic design field, the cost of services generally ranges from $20 to $50 per hour or more. Many factors go into determining this number: your needs and budget, the designer’s experience and reputation, and how many people will be working on your project (and their hourly rate) if you need customized software applications developed for your business.  

If these questions are important to you when choosing a designer which they should be! ask for an estimate based on those factors rather than simply saying “how much?”

A freelance artist typically charges less than a design firm because they don’t have overhead costs like paying rent for office space. 

Designers who work in-house at an agency often charge higher rates because they’re doing all kinds of different things aside from pure design: brand development; market research; project management; accounting; etc., which adds up fast!  

Experienced freelancers tend to charge more than someone just starting out as well because they bring with them skills in both problem solving and conceptualizing which take time and practice to develop over years of experience working with clients across industries across geographic regions around the world where languages spoken may not even be English (or other native languages).

If you’re interested in becoming a graphic designer and landing freelance gigs, it’s essential to understand the steps and strategies involved. Our guide on how to become a graphic designer and land freelance jobs provides valuable insights to help you get started on your creative journey.


In a nutshell, it is important to keep in mind that there are many different factors to consider when hiring a designer. Your graphic designer should be able to take your design brief and turn it into something that conveys information clearly and creatively. 

They should be able to work with you on developing initial ideas into final designs, and they should be able to provide feedback on the development of their own work towards achieving those goals.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about hiring graphic designers, here are some additional resources for you to explore:

Inkbot Design – Hiring a Graphic Designer: Explore a comprehensive guide on hiring a graphic designer, covering various aspects to consider and tips for a successful collaboration.

LinkedIn – Ten Things to Consider When Hiring a Graphic Designer: Gain insights from industry professionals on the ten essential factors to keep in mind when hiring a graphic designer for your projects.

Becky’s Graphic Design – 8 Things to Consider When Hiring a Graphic Designer: Discover eight key considerations for making informed decisions when hiring a graphic designer to ensure your design needs are met effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

I Want To Hire A Graphic Designer, But I Don’t Know What To Look For.

This is the most common question I get asked by small business owners who are looking at their website or marketing materials. You want someone who has experience working with businesses like yours and can work with you as an equal partner in making sure your design meets your goals. 

A good designer knows how to listen carefully, asks questions (good and bad), and will guide you through the process of creating something that works for you, not just yourself.

A lot of people think designers are all about making stuff pretty and they do! They also know about typography, color theory, and positioning on a page; but those things matter because ultimately they will make the difference between getting more sales or losing them entirely due to poor design choices that distract from important content.

How many projects are you working on at a time?

It’s important to know whether or not a designer is able to dedicate their focus and energy exclusively to your project. If they have too many other projects going on, they may not be able to do your work justice.

What Are The Hours Of Operation?

The hours of operation should be clearly outlined in their contract so that there are no surprises come due date time.

What Is The Difference Between A Graphic Designer And A Web Designer?

A graphic designer is responsible for creating the overall look of your website or app, including color schemes, logos, typography, and layout. Web designers are responsible for developing the structure of your site: deciding how to display data and create navigation paths. 

These roles can overlap quite a bit though a great web designer knows how to use colors effectively in their designs!

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Graphic Designer?

Graphic designers charge by the hour or project depending on their experience level. Prices range from $75 per hour up to $250+ an hour (or more). 

But don’t let this scare you away! Most freelancers will be happy to provide you with an estimate before starting work so there won’t be any surprises down the line.

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