It may be easy to find programmers or coders online but hiring a graphic designer is ten times more difficult. So what questions do you ask potential graphic designers in order to find the perfect person for your new project?
But wait! Before you reach for your phone, look at the designer’s website to see if (s)he has done similar work to what you want doing first. That done, here are some questions to ask:
1. Have you done this type of work before?
Even though you know this designer’s work, it’s a good idea to ask them this question anyway. A designer may have created the type of website you’re looking to build, but have they worked in your particular niche before? That would be a useful talking point.
Ask for samples of work that may be particularly pertinent to your project. Most designers will have work that isn’t in their portfolio but may be much more relevant to you.
2. What processes will you use?
What steps and stages are involved in the design? How many revisions? You should be able to get firm answers to this sort of question. Avoid anyone who is completely vague about this.
3. How long will it take?
Although the answer to this question will generally depend on you, the client, the designer should be able to give you a rough estimate of the amount of time to complete all the stages that were elicited in the previous question.
You should not only want to know how long the project will take but also if the designer has the time to do it.
4. How much is it going to cost?
There are many different ways to charge for design work. Smaller jobs maybe charged by the hour. Whereas designers may prefer to give an estimated fee for larger projects.
If given a fixed fee also ask for the hourly rate and see how they compare.
5. Are we going to have a contract?
Most designers will prefer to draw up a contract for new clients. The contract should benefit both parties as it will specify the various stages and deliverables of the project as well as the payment deadlines.
There may be clauses in the contract to stipulate what happens if the project is stopped before completion as well as information on who retains copyright or ownership of the designs. Which brings me on to my next question…
6. Who will own the copyright?
Typically, the designer will retain the copyright to any work unless it is signed over to the client in the contract. Most designers will be happy to do this.
Legal tussles can ensue as a result of lack of contract and copyright agreement but they are extremely rare. The most important thing is communication, and this brings me on to my next question…
7. Do you understand the purpose of this project?
Many clients will say what they want without explaining why they want it. It is essential that a web designer, for example, understands the purpose of the website. Otherwise they’re just making it look pretty – and that’s not design.
8. Can you meet in person?
It is always better to talk face-to-face rather than on the phone but the designer’s time is precious. Make an effort to meet the designer near or at their place and buy them a coffee.
Try to find out their core values as a designer and see if they resonate with what you’re trying to build.
9. What’s your gut instinct?
At the end of the day we are human beings and we make decisions emotionally. Sometimes rightly; sometimes wrongly. But, usually, it’s better to go with your heart than with your head when hiring designers.
What can you do?
Remember to do your homework when hiring designers:
- Research their websites and previous work to see if they may be a good fit for you
- Think through the project to decide what you need and why you need it
- Communicate the above to the designer in an email before the conversation
And, designers, make sure you have good answers for the above.