Whether you need a new logo, a stunning web page, or a flashy advertisement, hiring a freelance graphic designer is a great way to make your best impression. Sure, that local agency does some good work, but your local freelancer is sure to give you the personal attention you want and need.
When you work with a freelance graphic designer, you are in direct communication with the artist, so expectations are consistent and clear. Not only that, but freelancers tend to be more cost effective with flexible hours. Are you ready to hire a graphic designer? Here are six tips for finding the perfect freelance fit.
1. Their Portfolio Reflects the Right Experience
A serious and talented graphic designer will not be afraid to show off their work. If their portfolio of work available on Moonlighting is limited, don’t be afraid to ask for more samples. Look for graphic designers who present a broad variety of work for a wide range of industries. See if they’ve worked with businesses similar to yours and how their style aligns with yours.
2. They Have Good Reviews
Check the reviews — what do they say about this designer’s work, ability to meet deadlines, and working personality? Reviews and testimonials are great way to ensure the quality of work provided by a graphic designer. Consider contacting some of their clients and asking them about their experience working with the freelance designer. This could help you avoid any potential future issues.
3. The Price is Right
Take some time to research and evaluate the cost of your project. Look at the prices offered by local businesses and other freelancers. Give yourself a realistic budget, but also take into account the value of the work of the freelancer you are interested in hiring. Most people will accept spending $80/hour on a plumber, but balk at putting a similar price tag on the value of their company’s website.
While you might find that less-experienced graphic designers charge lower rates, some tend to work slower and might require more time hand-holding and giving direction, time you may not have. Experienced designers charge higher hourly rates, but typically work more efficiently, need less direction, and are more attuned to best practices.
Finding the cheapest designer might have some appeal. But, you could actually end up paying more through your time spent or in revisions. Their billing rate has to be weighed with these other factors. Avoid those who undervalue their services or offer deep discounts to get your business.
4. You’re Clear About Your Expectations
How much will you be involved? What is the deadline and it is flexible? When can they be reached? How often should there be check-in meetings? These are only a few of the questions you should ask yourself and your graphic designer. State your expectations at early on in the business relationship, and communicate any changes along the way. Be wary of a freelancer who sounds like they might be overpromising.
5. You Respect Their Professional Opinion
An experienced graphic designer is likely to know more about the creative process than you would, so always be flexible and willing to accept their advice. Look for a designer that is experienced enough to respectfully challenge your thoughts on the product — you just might like what they have to offer. Often, an experienced freelancer will have some insight into the design you thought you wanted only to come with something you like even more.
6. Look for Skills Beyond Design
When talking to your potential designer, treat the consultation like you would an interview. Are they passionate about their work, do they discuss responsibilities and results? Ask about specific clients they’ve worked with in the past. Do they offer any other skills that you might be able to bundle together? Some designers might also be able to develop the website they design, or write marketing copy to go with the ads they are designing. Who knows — you could create a long-standing partnership with a freelancer you can trust.
Remember, the designer’s overall creativity and work style are just as important as their skills, if not more so. These aren’t things you’ll find in their profile, but are discovered through conversation. So the more hands-on you can be during the interview process, the better the process and final product are sure to be.
Search the thousands of great graphic designers ready to work or post your design needs and let the right Moonlighters for your project!