How to hire graphic designers
Whether you need a new logo, an infographic, or images for your social media and blog content, a graphic designer can help you connect with your target market through stunning visuals.
So how do you hire graphic designers? What follows are some tips on how you can find top graphic design freelancers on Upwork.
How to shortlist graphic design professionals
As proposals are submitted, you’ll need to vet the most promising graphic designers to create a short list of people you want to interview. Here are some points to look for:
- Professionalism. Who’s tailored their submission to speak to your business and your project? Check out their Upwork profile: How do they present themselves in general?
- Talent. Because graphic designers create visual content, it should be clear from their proposal, profile, and portfolio that they have the skills needed to do the work.
- Experience. Has the freelancer done work with others in your industry? Commonly used software, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, may also be referenced. Familiarizing yourself with common design terms can help you understand their previous work.
- Feedback. What do previous clients have to say about their work? Reviewing feedback can give you insight into their ability to communicate, solve problems, and produce a great product.
- Portfolio. Design is a subjective art, but can you understand what they were trying to communicate? Do they know whether they were successful? Each sample should provide a description, which may explain the problem they needed to solve and other project requirements. Look for portfolio examples that are in a similar aesthetic to what you want, or that are otherwise within with the style you prefer. Have they created similar visuals in the past?
How to write an effective graphic design job post
With a clear picture of your ideal graphic designer in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Although you don’t need a full job description as you would when hiring an employee, aim to provide enough detail for a contractor to know if they’re the right fit for the project.
An effective graphic design job post should include:
- Scope of work: From images for banner ads to print media for physical flyers, list all the deliverables you’ll need. Mention if user testing is on the agenda.
- Creative brief: Attach a creative brief, technical considerations,and brand guidelines if you have them.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.
- Background: If you prefer experience working with certain industries, software, or media, mention this here.
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
Ready to give your business a graphical boost? Log in and post your graphic design job on Upwork today.
GRAPHIC DESIGN FAQs
What is graphic design?
Graphic design is about communicating through a visual medium. Graphic designers use photography, color, typography, texture, shape, and even empty space to tell stories, evoke emotions, and build a brand identity.
沙巴体育足球开户Here’s a quick overview of the skills you should look for in graphic design consultants:
- Graphic design tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc.)
- Ad design (PPC, Facebook Ads, Google Ads)
- Web/mobile design (logos, layouts, images, banners, color schemes)
- UI/UX design
- Print media (newspapers, magazines, business cards, brochures, flyers)
- Strong teamwork and communication skills
沙巴体育足球开户A graphic designer helps businesses stand out from the crowd by visually communicating with their target market.
How much does it cost to hire a graphic designer?
沙巴体育足球开户Rates charged by graphic designers on Upwork vary from $20 to $150 an hour, with an average rate around $45 per hour. However, designers don’t always bill hourly; it’s also common for a designer to set a fixed price for the work, based on their understanding of your project requirements. Here’s a look at some of the more significant considerations.
Cost Factor #1: Expertise and experience
沙巴体育足球开户When it comes to setting individual rates, a seasoned designer can typically work faster while delivering more value to their clients with deeper insights into their work; their pricing often scales up to match. Location and local market conditions can also influence a graphic designer’s rates. Another factor is a designer’s reputation. Someone who’s still building their portfolio may price more competitively than a professional booking one or two months out. Finding the right freelancer means matching your goal with the type of designer and industry experience needed to get the results you want.
Cost Factor #2: Scope of work
Quotes for your project will all reflect one critical point: The scope of work, or how much you actually need a designer to do. Whether you want an illustration to go with your next blog post or packaging for your newest product, the production process may include:
- Research into your industry, marketplace, and audience
- Brainstorming ideas
- Creating concepts
- Identifying the right typeface, color palette, and other materials
- Generating various concepts
- Review and approval process
- Producing the final deliverable
Cost Factor #3: Timeline
沙巴体育足球开户If your project has a tight timeline, you may pay a premium (i.e. a rush fee) so be sure to start work as early possible. There are three simple ways to cut down on the time involved in your project:
- Be specific about what you want in the creative brief, then give the designer freedom to create. Being too vague about what you have in mind can add time through multiple revisions.
- Prepare any related materials ahead of time. If you want to include copy, have it written and edited to a length that’s appropriate for the product you want—and make sure it’s finalized before work begins, or the time involved can balloon as the design shifts to accommodate changing copy. If you’re including photos or other images, check to ensure they have a high enough resolution.
- Keep the review and approval process as simple as possible. Having more people involved typically means a longer timeline if not also additional round of revisions, and a designer may factor that into their pricing.
沙巴体育足球开户Here are some general time estimates for popular projects, including variables that may have an impact on how long it will take—and ultimately, how much you pay for the work.
|PROJECT||TIME ESTIMATE||VARIABLES INCLUDE|
|Flyer||One hour to 10+ hours|
|Logo||Five hours to 20+ hours, possibly over several weeks|
|Infographic||Four hours to 20+ hours|
10 common graphic design mistakes to avoid
Mistake #1: confusing what a graphic designer does
When it comes to design projects, there are different tiers of creative professionals who can provide different levels of expertise. It all depends on the scope of your project and how much strategy you need versus execution.
Do you need a thinker or a doer? If you need a doer, a graphic designer is the pro for you.
Mistake #2: being unclear about your goals
沙巴体育足球开户Certain design deliverables can be pretty cut and dry, but that doesn’t mean they should be treated as disparate elements of your brand’s overarching strategy.
沙巴体育足球开户Keeping goals clear and consistent by communicating effectively with anyone working on design assets for your brand can be as simple as sharing a detailed, boilerplate brief with each project.
Mistake #3: leaving important technical details out of the brief
沙巴体育足球开户Talent aside, your creative brief is the most important thing you can do as a client to ensure the success of your design project.
沙巴体育足球开户However, while the broad strokes of a design project are important, in an era where design is almost always digital, technical specs are crucial. Where will the final design go, printed or online? What devices will it be viewed on, and how large should the file be? Does it need to be responsive (vector)?
Technical specs can include:
- File types (JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, etc.)
- Responsive design and vector graphics
- Aspect ratios for certain social platforms
- Front-end programming for interactive elements
- SEO and accessibility elements
- Mobile design considerations
Mistake #4: not adequately conveying your brand’s style
Designers may have a language of their own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t paint an excellent picture of what you’re looking for in a way that really resonates with their creative brains. The more context you can give them, the better they’ll be able to bring your vision to life.
沙巴体育足球开户For example, you might want to share:
- Examples of designs you like
- Examples of designs you don’t like
- A brand mission statement, glimpses of your audience and their preferences, and a taste of what the competition is doing.
Mistake #5: overcomplicating a design when less is (usually) more
沙巴体育足球开户Making a design more complex than it needs to be is a common mistake in designing logos in particular, but it can happen in nearly any design project. The consequence can be a poor user experience (UX), mixed messages, or a distracting design that doesn’t get the conversions or engagement you’d hoped for.
Mistake #6: designing for yourself, not your audience
Graphic design trends are exciting and tempting—but asking a designer to create a trendy graphic based on what you like, not what your audience wants, can ultimately cause your project to miss the mark.
Above all else, designs should resonate with their target audience, which may mean setting aside your own personal preferences and what you think is best.
Mistake #7: not budgeting for original photography and illustrations
沙巴体育足球开户Stock photography can be a very high-quality and affordable way to add real-life people, places, and ambiance to your layouts—but, if you don’t purchase exclusive rights, there’s no guarantee someone else isn’t using the same photo.
In some cases, you might want to show your own location, people, or product. Original photography or illustrations that your brand owns can go a long way for your brand.
Mistake #8: ignoring supporting copy—or missing typos!
沙巴体育足球开户Taglines, headlines, image captions, and calls-to-action all complete a design and bring it home, so don’t give them short shrift.
沙巴体育足球开户Forgetting to proof graphic design for typos is another common mistake; you can be so focused on design aspects that you forget to double-check for typos. A second set of eyes or a quick pass from a copyeditor can help ensure your designs don’t get dragged down by a spelling mistake.
Mistake #9: fonts that miss the mark
We covered how copy can miss the mark, but what about how it looks? When designs are digital—to be viewed on different browsers, operating systems, and devices—the font you choose might not look the same across the board. In this case, you’ll want to be sure to use a font that’s more universal to maintain more control over your design.
Mistake #10: crowding a layout without enough white space
While you probably have a lot to say to your customers, trying to fit it all into a compact layout isn’t your best bet. Try to avoid giving your designer two pages of text and asking them to shoehorn it into a tiny bit of space. There’s a reason white space is such a hotly debated topic in a design—in some cases, it can be as important as the words on the page.
Balance empty space and visual components. Overall, you’ll want to focus on drawing the consumer’s eye to the key elements on the page.