Finding a designer:

A difficult process, at best, unless your best friend happens to be a designer, and even then things can be tricky. The question comes up frequently, “how do I find the right designer for my project?”

As a freelance designer, I would tell you to look into these key things:

How to Find the Right Designer for YouPortfolio:

Check their style are you drawn to it? Do they have a distinct style? Does it match your ideas?  If not, are they flexible in and capable of giving you what you want?  One way to tell their flexibility; their portfolio will have a range of designs that may vary in look.

The Bottom Line: If you are on their website, everything you click on makes you happy, and you feel like you could spend all day looking at their content they might be the right designer for you.

Fees:

Are they over or under priced? The right price for your budget does not always make the best bang for your buck when it comes to a designer. Quality counts here.  If they are undercharging they may be perfectly good designers but may find themselves with to many small jobs and not enough time.  If you feel they are overcharging, why?  Are they that good?  Or are they trying to catch a whale?

The Bottom Line: Discuss your budget with the designer, some are willing to work inside your budget and deliver quality product.  Whatever you do, pay on time.  Remember freelancers cannot pay their bills if you don’t pay them.  We, by and large, do not need free exposure.

Catalog:

List out all of your expected needs from a designer and find one that can help you with as many as possible, some are specialists and some have a broad range of knowledge and talents. Some web site designers only write code and insert your current photos, content, and artwork. Some designers can do everything from create your logo, to creating the labels for your products within industry standards, do your product photography or maintain your social media ads. If you need a logo: your list needs to include all the places you need that logo: website, business cards, tote bags, note pads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, product packaging, etc.

The Bottom Line: It is not “simple enough” to just say you need a logo. It matters to the designer to know these things because they need to know how it will look across applications. They need to know how much time to estimate for all your needs.

Communication style:

Do you jive? Do you like each other? Does your designer clearly communicate and help you understand how to achieve your needs?  Do they respond to your questions, emails, and inquiries in a timely and concise manner?  I had an interview with a potential client once, he got mad at the way I was breathing…true story.  I was not all that bothered that I didn’t get the client.  I need to jive with the people I work with that is why I am a freelancer.

The Bottom Line: Miscommunication will kill a project.  Incompatibility and expectations can kill a project.  Being annoyed with each other will affect your outcome.

How to Find the Right Designer for YouProcess:

What tools do they use? Ask them how they create. Do they sketch first?  Do they work only on digital platforms?  Do they offer proofs, if so how many?  Do not judge them for the tools they have.  I know amazing photographers that have never touched a DSLR camera.

The Bottom Line: knowing their process can help you understand what is involved in the timeline and the effort they give their clients.

Purpose:

Does your purpose align? If you are for a cause, do they support or understand it? While this is not always necessary, if you are working with someone and your relationship is lengthy, to accomplish said goals you may want someone who understands why you are doing what you are doing and is on board with you.

The Bottom Line: Are you bringing on a person that supports your “WHY”?

~Joli Campbell

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