What You Need to Know BEFORE Hiring a Graphic Designer


6 Things You Should Know BEFORE Hiring a Graphic Designer

As soon as you start your business, the first thing that comes to mind is, "I need some business cards....oh and maybe a logo." *Heads to Facebook* "Looking for a reasonably priced graphic designer." Sound familiar?

The truth of the matter is, there are a few things you oughta know before you fork over any coins to a graphic designer. You'll find blog posts on what questions you should ask a designer before you hire them but here we're gonna talk about what you should ask yourself before you hire a designer.


1. Who am I marketing to?

A lot of times business owners confuse their personal design aesthetic with designs that would attract their ideal client. While red damask may be your favorite pattern, if your ideal client is a single female millennial professional living in a metropolitan city, seeing your floral embellished business card at a coffee shop could grab her attention for all the wrong reasons. Know who you want want to attract and what they like and make sure you're able to convey that to your designer at the beginning of the project.


2. What's my brand style?

Your brand style includes all of the "pretty" associated with the brand (the foundation) of your business. Knowing the colors (using hex codes), typography and imagery of your brand keeps things consistent regardless of the designer. Even if you don't have an official brand style guide (although extremely helpful) having some inspirational images that coincide with your brand style makes for a much easier process with your designer.

3. What do I need?

"Well, duh. Of course I know what I need Jen." But do you really? Before you hire a design professional, it behooves you to know what you need the designer for. Think about the purpose of the design and what you hope to gain from the final product. Do you need a digital design or something that requires printing or both? If printing, how many copies do you need? Do you have your own print source or do you need the designer's help in that area? These are questions any designer will ask before providing a quote or even agreeing to being able to take on the project.

4. Who do I need?

A graphic designer is a graphic designer, right? WRONG. Many graphic designers have specialities. A graphic designer can also be an illustrator (someone who specializes in hand or computer drawn work). Then there are graphic designers who specialize in branding, print, packaging, digital or web. And low and behold, there are specialties within the specialty! If you're unsure about what kind of designer you need, knowing the basis of your project will help a designer point you in the right direction.

5. How soon do I need my final design/product?

Most designers have set turnaround times based on the scope of the project. If your prospective designer happens to ask when you need your design/project, provide them with a date 3-5 days sooner than the actual date you need it. This is allow time for revisions to your proof and possibly print time also. Give your designer ample notice to avoid being charged rush fees.

6. What's my budget?

Now I know you didn't think we were gonna get out of here without talking dollars and cents. While you don't have to have an exact budget, having an average budget will determine if you're in the market for a custom design, a pre-designed done-for-you template or a template you can do yourself. It'll save both you and your designer a whole lot of frustration.

Next up, we'll discuss what you should ASK before hiring a graphic designer. As we see here, all designers aren't built the same.