What To Expect When You Hire An Independent Designer

You’re reading this article because you have a product or service that needs designing, and you want to know what to expect when hiring an independent designer.

The good news is that hiring an independent designer is an easy process. The bad news is that many people get it wrong and end up in a situation they did not intend and often one they cannot control.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about hiring an independent designer and what to expect when working with them.

When do you hire an INTERIOR DESIGNER? – YouTube
Understand the designer’s process and timeline
Clearly define project scope and deliverables
Communicate openly and provide feedback throughout
Establish a contract outlining terms and expectations
Consider the designer’s portfolio and previous work
Be prepared for revisions and iterations
Discuss pricing and payment terms
Collaborate on a clear project brief
Respect the designer’s creative expertise
Foster a positive and professional working relationship

Expect To Receive A Contract

One of the most important things to remember when you hire an independent designer is that even though they work differently, they are still professionals and will probably ask for a contract. You may be thinking: “A what?!” or, “I thought this was going to be easy.” Well, it’s not easy, but it can be fun if you’re ready for it.

Contracts are legally binding documents that cover the terms of your collaboration with your designer. They lay out how much you will pay them (and how often), what work they will do, who owns the rights to any designs created during the project, and so on. A good contract protects both parties from misunderstandings and legal disputes later down the road when things don’t go as planned.

Hiring a freelance designer might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the process. Learn how to navigate this journey in our detailed guide on hiring a freelance designer when you have zero clue.

Expect Payment Terms Up Front

You should discuss payment terms before you start any work on the project. This is important because it’s not just about what’s fair for your client, but also how you want to receive payments and when.

If you accept a project on a flat fee basis, then by all means expect that payment in full once the work is complete. If you’re working on an hourly basis with upfront retainer fees, then discuss whether or not they will pay those retainer fees before you begin working (if they don’t need to be paid until after). 

If they do need to be paid upfront, ask them if there are other ways they can provide those funds so that it isn’t coming out of their pocket right away.

And when we say “payment terms,” we mean more than just the date of payment it involves the amount as well! Both parties must agree on what constitutes “payment” before starting any project so that one doesn’t get stuck waiting months for someone else’s check to clear while being unable to pay their bills at home in the meantime.

Expect To Know When The Project Will Be Completed

If you’re hiring an independent designer, it’s important to know when the project will be completed. If you don’t have a deadline in mind or only have a vague idea of how long the process might take, it can be awkward if your designer doesn’t even know what he needs to do and when.

To avoid this issue, establish a deadline before beginning any work on your website or logo design project. This way, both parties are working towards the same goal and there are no surprises at the end of the process which is especially important if you need something by a certain date (like if it’s for an event).

It helps to also establish how much time will be spent working on each stage of development so that everyone knows what they should expect from each other as well as how much money they’ll end up spending during each phase of production.

Deciding to become a freelance designer is a significant step. Gain insights into the journey of making this decision and embarking on a freelance design career in our article about how I decided to become a freelance designer.

Expect Great Communication

A great designer will be able to communicate clearly and effectively. They’ll tell you what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how it can help you achieve your goals.

A great designer will also be able to communicate promptly. Communication is key in any relationship and especially when working with someone remotely or on a project basis such as hiring an independent designer (with no hourly rate). You want someone willing to answer questions quickly so the ball can keep rolling!

Great designers can communicate professionally too – even though we’re not talking about HR here, this is still important because it shows that this person has empathy for clients like us too! That means no swearing or inappropriate jokes during our phone calls/talks through text messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.”

Expect A Designer Who Has Time For You

Here’s another reason why we’ve been able to be so honest about what you can expect from an independent designer: we know that when you hire a freelancer, you’re going to get someone who has time for you. What does that mean?

To begin with, the designer you hire will have the availability needed to help and work with you throughout your project. They’ll be there for questions, explanations, and ideas whenever they are needed.

Second, because they’re not tied down by office hours or meetings with other clients (and because their job is based on output rather than hours worked), they can spend more time working with each client than would be possible if they were working as part of a large company where employees have divided into teams of five or six people per team member.

Creative blocks are a common challenge for designers. If you’re struggling to overcome them, check out our strategies for bursting through creative blocks and getting ideas again like a pro to reignite your creativity.

Expect To Be Asked Questions And Give Answers

Expect to be asked questions. Remember, design is as much about communication as it is about aesthetics. Your designer will want to make sure you understand what the process entails and that you’re comfortable with their approach.

Give information about the project. Designers need to know what kind of work your business does, how many employees it has, and the size of your budget so they can make recommendations on how best to use those resources (or not). If you don’t have any information ready for them, they may be forced into an uncomfortable guessing game to get started which isn’t ideal for anyone involved!

Expect Your Designer Can Handle More Than One Project At A Time

Designers are professionals. They have a lot of skill and experience to draw on, so they’re capable of tackling more than one project at a time. If you think your designer is only capable of working on one thing at a time, it’s probably because you haven’t explained what the goal is for each project enough for them to know how far along in the process each should be.

Designers are not just artists or programmers or writers or photographers or marketers they can be all those things at once and more!

Expect That Creativity Is Part Of The Job And Not An Extra Fee On The Invoice

When a designer knows they have creative freedom, they feel more comfortable in their work and can be more creative. If you’re hiring a designer and asking them to follow your instructions exactly, you’re limiting their creativity as well as what they can offer to you. 

Designers should be given room for their ideas, just like any other professional service provider who works with clients (think hairstylists or chefs). Be open to suggestions from designers; after all, they are experts in their field!

Starting a design career can be daunting, but top designers have valuable advice to offer. Explore our article featuring the secrets to starting a design career: tips from top designers to glean insights from seasoned professionals.

Expect Each Project To Be Treated As If It Were His/Her Only Project

If a designer is only working on one project at a time, it means that the work they do for you will be given the attention and care it deserves. They won’t be juggling multiple projects at once and trying to meet deadlines in between. This can lead to delays or an overall lack of professionalism.

When hiring an independent designer, expect each project to be treated as if it were her only project and that she’ll be able to meet deadlines accordingly.

Expect Deadlines And Deliverables According To Your Contract Requirements

The contract is the foundation of any project. You guarantee that you and your designer are on the same page, and it will make sure that both of you understand what’s expected before the process begins.

When hiring an independent designer for a project, expect to be asked questions about your expectations and needs. In turn, you should give honest answers about what it is you want from them and how their work can help meet those goals.

Expect a professional relationship with someone who understands their role in assisting with your business goals; this person is not only knowledgeable but also has a passion for design.

Once hired, expect deadlines and deliverables according to your contract requirements; while some projects may require more time than others based on complexity or scope, it’s important not to rush through things just because they can be done quickly take pride in working together toward creating something that both parties are happy with until completion!

Working On New Innovations

A good Independent Designer is always working on innovations. This applies to both their design process, as well as their approach to the work itself.

They’re constantly learning new skills and developing their existing skills. New technologies are constantly being developed which can be applied in different ways to your business, but you need a designer who understands how best to make use of them and don’t just think about what you want from this point forward, but also consider how the technology could change over time, too!

They’re always looking for new ways in which they can improve their work or approach it differently. You should hire someone who has an eye for detail (and if they don’t have one yet then maybe that’s something else they need some help with!).

You Get A Free Consultation

If you’re serious about working with a designer, it’s essential to get a feel for who they are as people and how they work. When you hire an independent designer, they will give you a consultation so that you can feel confident in their abilities, personality, and business. 

The consultation is also an opportunity for the two of you to get on the same page regarding what exactly it is that you want out of your website or another design project. It’s important to remember that not all designers offer free consultations! If a designer does not do free consultations, it may be because:

  • They are too busy (and therefore don’t have time)
  • Their rate isn’t competitive enough (and therefore needs more people coming through their door to justify providing free consultations)

Continuous improvement is essential for freelance designers. Discover 15 ways to become a better freelance designer and enhance your skills, techniques, and overall effectiveness in the dynamic world of design.

It’s Not All Sunshine And Rainbows, Though

With all that being said, working with an independent designer isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. You will need to be able to communicate well and be flexible. For example, if your designer is booked up for the next few months, it might be difficult for them to meet your schedule or commit to a specific date for the completion of the project. 

They might suggest a different approach that doesn’t align with what you wanted in the first place (or at all). And since they’re independent designers, they don’t have brand managers or account managers overseeing their work; so if you have questions about the scope of work or budget limitations, there likely won’t be anyone else around who can answer those questions notably not someone whose job it is

These are things that I would recommend going into this process prepared for the more aware you are ahead of time, the better off everyone will be down the line.

Final Thoughts

We’ve covered a lot of ground and you’ve learned quite a bit about the process of hiring an independent designer. I hope you feel more confident in your ability to hire someone, whether it be for your projects or for business

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when working with a designer. You’ll have to get to know them and figure out what works best for you both. If something doesn’t work out as planned, don’t be afraid to cut ties with them and move on until you find someone who fits your needs better!

Further Reading


How do I ensure a successful partnership with a freelance graphic designer?

Creating a successful partnership with a freelance graphic designer involves clear communication, setting expectations, and providing constructive feedback throughout the project.

What factors should I consider when looking for a designer?

When searching for a designer, factors such as their portfolio, experience, style alignment, and communication skills are crucial in making the right choice.

What questions should I ask when hiring interior designers?

When hiring interior designers, inquire about their experience, previous projects, design process, fees, and how they approach client collaboration to ensure a harmonious working relationship.

How do I effectively communicate my design needs to a freelancer?

Clearly communicate your design needs by providing detailed project briefs, examples of styles you prefer, and open channels of communication for ongoing discussions and clarifications.

What are some common red flags when hiring a designer?

Red flags can include a lack of professionalism, inconsistent communication, a poorly presented portfolio, unreasonable pricing, and a disregard for your project’s requirements.

What Is A Designer?

Designers create things. They may create websites and apps, but they also design clothing and furniture. Some designers are “creative directors” and oversee a team of people who do the actual creating. 

Others have no formal job title, but still have to manage their own time to get all of their projects finished on time, which can be challenging when you’re working for yourself with no one else available to help you.

What Is A Freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who works on multiple projects at once for different clients or employers often using their equipment or resources instead of renting from an employer like most employees do (although there are some exceptions). 

Freelancers usually don’t get as much health insurance coverage as full-time employees do; instead, they generally rely on individual market plans from different healthcare exchanges like HealthcareTPA (which has been very helpful for my wife).

What Is The Difference Between An Independent Designer And A Freelancer?

An independent designer is someone who owns their own business, has their brand, and runs it full time. If you’re looking for a one-off project or quick fix, this isn’t your guy you might consider hiring a freelancer instead.

What Is The Difference Between An Independent Designer And A Consultant?

Consultants are experts in their field (such as marketing) who can advise on how to fix problems within your organization that come up regularly. They may not be able to do all of the work themselves but can help guide you in selecting another team member or agency that would fit best with what you need to be done. 

An independent designer would handle everything himself or herself, so if your company needs more than just advice then there’s no point in hiring them!

What If The Designer Is A Scammer?

There are many legitimate designers in the world, so this should not be something that bothers you at all. You should always do your research and talk with your friends about their experiences with hiring designers before hiring one yourself.

Do I Need To Pay Any Money Upfront?

No! When we work with clients, we usually get paid after the project is completed and accepted by the client (unless something unexpected happens). That way we don’t have to worry about money while doing our best to create something amazing for you!

How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Independent Designer?

The hourly rate of independent designers can vary depending on their experience and the number of years they’ve been in business. The best way to figure out what you need to pay is by looking at your budget and comparing it with how long it will take for the work to be completed. 

You should also factor in any additional expenses that may arise during the process, such as printing costs for mockups or prototypes (which we’ll talk about later). As a general rule of thumb, plan on spending anywhere from $50-$200 per hour based on what type of service you need and how quickly your project moves along.

How Long Does It Take To Hire An Independent Designer?

The amount of time required depends entirely upon what kind of project you’re working on and whether or not there are any other companies involved like developers or manufacturers who might have additional expectations set forth by their contracts with each other but since most projects start by brainstorming ideas together before moving onto actual execution steps (such as creating mockups)

This usually won’t take longer than three months unless something goes wrong along the way (in which case we’d recommend getting legal advice).

Leave a Comment