You’re starting a new project and you know you need the expert eye of a graphic designer to get it done. Great! Do you use your cousin’s friend who has the sketchy portfolio and is just getting started? Or do you go with one of the 173,660 graphic designers that are registered in the United States?
No offense to your cousin’s friend, but you definitely get what you pay for and it might be better to trust in someone with professional testimonials and a proven track record. (To Cousin’s Friend: that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be hired. Build your image with passion projects, testimonials, references, and a strong website to prove your worth in the future.) Anyway, now that you’ve decided on finding a professional designer, that’s still hundreds in your immediate area. How do you find them? How do you decide which one is best?
For you, as the interviewer, here are some questions to ask graphic designers to narrow down your search:
Can you describe your design aesthetic?
This is how you can get a feel for what your project’s aesthetic will ultimately look like. While designers can be flexible in their creation process, they often have a specialty and a general vibe of their designs. THis will help you decide what your project may turn out looking like.
What is your design process like?
Is there a set schedule or timeframe the designer can pinpoint for you? Is it within your expected timeframe to get the project done? How many rounds of changes does the designer allow? How will you be communicating? This “process” question is loaded for sure, but this is the opportunity for the designer to walk you through the experience, so there are no surprises.
What is your workload like?
This is a good way to judge how quickly the designer will be able respond to you with questions or concerns or when they will be able to focus on your project. If they’re busy, then you may have to be more patient as they balance multiple clients’ concerns.
How would your other clients describe working with you?
Testimonials are a great way to judge character. Ideally, you should be doing this research prior to interviewing the designer, so they don’t have an opportunity to select all the rosy reviews. This is a great way to let the designer critique themselves as well. Push them to list pros and cons of working with a designer like them!
What resources do you need from me? What if I don’t have everything needed?
This is definitely a question you need to be asking your designer! What can you do to help them be their best creative self? Do you have colors in mind, examples of other projects that you want to imitate, stuff you want to avoid? Tell your designer! Ask what they need from you and schedule a follow-up conversation to find or brainstorm for the things they need that you don’t have. When working on a project with a designer, remember: you are also part of the team. You are their best resource in this partnership.
What will the final delivery look like?
Again, this is a great question so that you know EXACTLY what you’re getting in the end. The less surprises in the process, the better. Will you be getting digital files only? Will those files be ready for print purposes if needed? Will the designer be printing the final project? If so, how and when will they be sending you the final project. Will the price be included in that final production? These are the things that you and your designer should be considering during the process.
Hopefully, after asking these questions in your next interview or consultation call, you both will be better prepared to take on this next project. It’s also okay if you and the designer don’t vibe with each other. Designing is a partnership and finding one that works best with you is crucial for your ideal result. What questions do you ask in interviews? How did you find your ideal designer to work with? Let me know in the comments!