Graphic designers do more than create logos for businesses. They work hard to help businesses create a visual identity that's used through the business' blog, letterhead, business cards, website, trade show pieces and other print and web marketing efforts. Whether you're looking to hire a freelance or full-time graphic designer, ask questions that will help you decide whether the graphic designer's skills and style are a match for your business.
Experience, Skills and Expertise
All graphic designers aren't created equal. Some specialize in logo designs, while others specialize in designing print marketing pieces. Some are aligned to the niche markets they serve, such as the real estate, financial or health industries. Ask questions to determine the types of jobs and clients the graphic designer had in the past. Get each potential candidate to outline her skills and expertise so you can gain insight on the types of projects she can complete.
Get a feel for the types of clients your graphic designer candidates have worked for and the types of designs they create by looking at portfolio samples. Ask the purpose of each piece, how long it took to complete, the budget and the type of company the piece was created for. A graphic designer might do exemplary work but not be a fit for your target market or your corporate culture.
Find out how potential graphic designers work under pressure. Projects can come up with little to no lead time, causing a designer to turn a project into a rush job. Give examples of the types of design projects you may need completed to get an idea from the graphic designer how long a project similar to what you need done might take to go from conception to a finished project. Freelance graphic designers manage multiple clients, so asking about turnaround time lets you determine whether the designer can work within your typical time constraints.
Fee Schedule and Payment Terms
During your interview, discuss salary, fees and payment terms with potential graphic designers, Ask in-house graphic designer candidates to give you their salary ranges, based on yearly or per-hour rates. Freelance graphic designer work a little differently, as some are paid on a per-project basis, while others charge clients an hourly rate. By asking about salary and fees, you can determine whether the graphic designer expects a salary that falls within your budget. Ask freelance graphic designers whether they take payment by check, cash or credit card. Find out if they charge an upfront fee before services are rendered, if they take payment once a project is over, or if they work using a payment schedule.
Edits and Corrections
Questions about edits and corrections are especially important if you're hiring a freelance graphic designer, as some have limits built into their contracts and require that you pay additional money for extra edits. Whether you're working with a graphic designer to create a sales slick or a brochure, you want to ensure that the final product meets the needs of your business. Ask potential in-house graphic designers questions abour how they respond to multiple edits on projects they're working on for their employers. You might ask them if they prefer to receive edits from one person, rather than several people at once.
During a graphic design interview, ask candidates if they have experience with print buying. When it comes to getting brochures, business cards and other marketing collateral printed, it's necessary that your designer understand how to communicate with printers so that the printed pieces you distribute to your customers are high-quality and error-free. If you're hiring a freelance graphic designer, ask if the designer already has relationships with area printers, how handling print buying is incorporated into his pricing, how long he has worked with the printer and whether he'd be open to working with your preferred printing company.
Supplies and Equipment
Whether the graphic designer you hire will work from home or at your office, it's important to ask her to outline the types of tools and equipment she uses to complete her design projects. Factors such as the type of operating system and which software and the formats the graphic designer saves files in can impact how easily accessible and portable your design files are when transferred to printing and production companies. It's especially important to ask potential in-house graphic designers about the tools and equipment they use, so you can ensure that you have the necessary resources to help them develop design solutions for your business.
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