Finding the right graphic designer to handle your business’s branding and any other design projects is extremely important but also daunting unless you know the right questions to ask. Even if a designer comes highly recommended by a business associate or peer, always go through the interview process because your needs may be different from those who offered the recommendation. rite down a list of questions to ask in the interview but be sure to include these top three questions:
1. How much experience do you have?
The old saying, “You get what you pay for” is accurate and many times graphic designers will charge less or offer a discount when they are just starting out as a way to drum up some early business. Sure, they may know design basics but do they have the experience of actually putting those principles to work for clients? Do you want to pay a discounted rate for your company’s branding? Does their portfolio match up to their answer? (Hint: you should ask to see samples of their work before you get to the interview process). Also, consider quality. It’s less expensive to hire a professional designer who is more expensive than a new designer that you will end up spending more time with and may not get what you’ve asked for.
2. Do you have experience doing this type of project and will you be the one actually doing the work?
Just as not all photographers can successfully shoot weddings, not all graphic designers can handle company branding. If you find a designer who specializes in company branding, they may not design eBook covers or website graphics. Not because they can’t but because they choose not to. Or maybe they outsource those smaller projects to another designer. It’s always convenient to find a designer who can handle a wide variety of projects but be aware that the pricing will likely be higher. Likewise, if you’re paying a pretty penny for the work, you have a right to know who is actually designing the pieces you need.
2. What is your design process?
This is where your prospective designer will explain how they do things. How long it takes to send you the first draft; how many rounds of changes you are allowed; when you will start to incur additional charges to the project. If they can email you a timeline, that’s a great reference for you; just be aware that this timeline will often depend on how quickly you communicate when you give your feedback, and how timely you pay your bill.
Never be afraid to ask questions of any service provider you consider hiring. Going into an outsourcing situation blindly never ends well so do your due diligence. The more clearly you can explain your needs when it comes to what you’re looking for, the smoother the design process will be.
Tools to Build a Beautiful Brand
If you don’t have the budget to hire a graphic designer at this point. No worries! You can still create a company brand using some great online tools. Download the Canva program (phone and iPad app, too) and try it out. I highly recommend Canva Pro, as there are so many more features than the free version.