How to Hire the Right Graphic Designer

Are you looking to hire a graphic designer either internally or freelance? If so, here are five things you want to keep in mind.

  1. Know your marketing and business goals.

As we discussed in our October post, designers are more than just creative thinkers. They are increasingly marketing strategists, too. To develop campaigns that get results, they need to know your business and marketing goals. Where are you looking to put additional focus? Conversion rates? Incorporating digital marketing?

If you haven’t defined your goals, it will be very difficult to make the right design hire. Two designers might have equal creative flair, but one might have more experience in lead generation, for example, while another might have more experience in personalization and targeting. Defining your marketing goals upfront will help you identify the skills you are looking for.

  1. Evaluate their experience and portfolio.

Look for designers that not only have great creative talent, but that also have experience in your vertical market. If you’re in the restaurant industry and a designer’s experience is largely in retail and consumer goods, he or she might not be the best fit.

  1. What’s their channel expertise?

Designers often need to integrate multiple channels, and their knowledge of these channels will affect their ability to use them effectively. If you’re looking to move into mobile marketing, for example, you want to be looking at designers who have experience applying their design skills in a mobile marketing environment. If you want to build your online presence, you might want to look for someone who also has skills in social media marketing or SEO.

  1. How well do they know print?

A designer’s understanding of digital and offset production matters. It impacts their creativity because print-savvy designers know the full range of what print can do (and what it can’t). This knowledge also impacts their efficiency, both in cost and time. A designer with detailed knowledge of print production will know the ins and outs of the process, so they are less likely to have to back up and redesign at the last minute because they’ve created something that won’t print well or that is about to break the budget.

  1. Testimonials and references.

There are many tales of hires that looked great on the surface, but after a little digging, it was discovered that the fit wasn’t as great as was hoped. Things like the ability to meet deadlines, respond well to constructive criticism, and meet campaign objectives isn’t something that is revealed in a resume or portfolio. You’ll find out these things by talking to other people with experience working with this designer.

These simple tips will go a long way toward making sure that the fit between you and the designer is a good one — and benefits everyone involved.

Do you have any experience with hiring a graphic designer? Please share your thoughts.

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