When it comes to hiring the right people, choice can be wonderful – but if you choose unwisely, it can be costly. And the right graphic designer is a very important choice – they’ll need to not only understand your vision but also, help you shape it, and translate it. They’ll also need to be a creative force in their own right, and (in the long term) be able to work with you to keep your business creatively fresh. In short, you’ll want the best.
So where should you look when you’re hiring? A creative agency, a designer friend or perhaps a crowd sourcing company like us, (www.conceptcupboard.com) who provide access to a pool of young designers? Whatever your creative requirement, make the right choice by following these tips:
1. Decide what you need before searching Scale of talent varies from designer to designer, company to company. You may wish to duplicate some previous work, develop a new brief containing your strong creative direction or need more conceptual creative work done. So decide first, and then start looking for those particular qualities.
2. Ask for recommendations Tap into your friends and networking contacts to ask for recommendations and referrals. It may be that your contact has had a great experience and can pass on details - just make sure your contact’s opinion is credible and trustworthy!
3. Check for reference There are some fantastic designers out there, but there are also some rogues who will happily be a little imaginative with their client experience – they are creative, after all! Ask to see references, review in detail and do some further research online to scope things out.
4. Ask to see a portfolio Review the designer’s portfolio taking a look at past and recent client work. Look to match their skills against your creative requirements and take into account potential conflicts of interest if they work with any competitors.
5. Agree on pricing Discuss, negotiate and agree to costs up front. Does the designer charge extra for thinking time, production or delivery? Most designers account for one or two rounds of amends in their costs, but it’s always useful to have some contingency funds just in case you go beyond this.
6. Consider timelines Like all businesses, designers can go through extremely busy as well as quieter periods. Check that the designer can meet your deadlines and ensure they can commit to them prior to them undertaking any work, taking into account any holiday periods. It would be a great shame to have a great creative idea but miss the window of opportunity that exists to generate new business.
7. Working together Are you happy to work with a remote designer over email and the telephone or in-person? If you prefer face to face contact then you may be best suited to a local supplier. If you’re happy with e-contact, you could potentially save on time and costs.
Adam Ball, Head of Hacking at www.conceptcupboard.com