When it comes to choosing a designer there are many things to consider and review before signing a contract because honestly... One designer will not fit all! Including myself
For those of you who know, I am very passionate about my career and go above and beyond to deliver quality service and support for each and every client. As my career and experience has advanced, I have learnt that fostering a healthy connection with my current and future clients is the most important aspect of running a design Business. While it becomes natural for a designer to assess if a clients project is right for them, its not usually that easy for YOU (the client).
Tips and insights for those looking to hire a designer followed by a FREE resource to help you get prepared before putting your feelers out.
Ask Yourself These Questions - About Their Service
Does the designer have a portfolio and do they live up to delivering the services they claim to advertise?
How much do they charge? Please do not be deterred if this is not listed openly on their site - just ask :) If they are reliable, honest and upfront they will reply promptly to provide you with flat rate fees or a quotation depending on your project needs.
What are people saying about the designer? Check google, facebook or online testimonials.
Do they offer the service that you need? If a service is not listed on their site it doesn't always mean they do not offer it however it usually does mean its not their speciality so perhaps you might like to extend your search or even better, ask them if they can recommend someone who does! (any decent humble freelancer will happily provide reliable industry contacts with you if a job is out of their scope)
How do they communicate and connect? Check to see if your designer has a reliable and relevant email address, phone number or contact form that is linked to their site and social platforms. Many freelancers operate with a PO box or use a larger agency as their "nest" where they may hire a desk or closely associate themselves with (don't worry this is quite normal)
Does your designers outsource their work? This is a huge factor and something worth looking at closely. The outsourcing of work means that your project may be completed by an offshore designer or they may pass your work onto another contractor. The main problem with this arrangement is turnaround time and communication - you want to be able to talk directly to your designer... after-all this is why you are hiring a particular designer!
Where is your designer located? Will time differences or languages cause any barriers when communicating?
How will payment work - are you contacting them directly or through a platform such as freelancer? If you are going through a platform, remember to research the fees and currency terms associated with this and also what reviews they have so far. Note: If you do use a platform - be sure to once again check their location.
What are their terms of service? Most designer with a website will have this available for viewing. Check things like termination policy's, deposits and copyright
Now this may sound far fetched but believe me...IT'S IMPORTANT! What is your gut telling you? Do you feel this designer is honest, reliable and stable?
What is their process? This is a key player in determining if the designer will handle your project in a professional and transparent manner. Most designers will openly list their processes or provide them too you after making contact. Look for things like research, development, design, delivery.
Ask Yourself These Questions - About Their Brand
What "style" does your designer seem to have going on? Are they a fluro fan, pastel promoter, bright bandit, crisp character, minimal master, corporate collar... you get the idea! Now firstly while the overall style may not be what you want for YOUR brand, assessing the style DOES highlight if they have consistency through their branding which is KEY. Now just to recap... style is how they look
What "tone" does your designer seem to be setting? The designers tone should shine through after reading their bio, offerings and recent blog posts. Are they happy, cheer-full, funny, dark, casual, witty, comical, firm or masculine within their tone? Now just to recap... tone is how they speak. Also note that STYLE will play a role in their tone
What is the "voice" of your designer? think about what personality they seem to have! If a designer has written their own content, their authentic voice will naturally shine through. Now just to recap... voice is how they make you feel.
If you are having trouble between looking at a designer tone and voice... think about "weather vs climate". The weather changes frequently while the climate is more consistent or predictable.
OK.... now you have asked yourself about their services and brand, determine if:
They have the ability and skill to fulfill your request
Their rates are within your budget
If the thought of working with them excites you
They can communicate with you clearly
They are trustworthy, reliable and reputable
They are the real deal
They work to a process and manage projects successfully
They have a nice clean consistency through their style
They speak in a tone that you resonate and connect with
They make you feel comfortable
And most importantly....do you feel that this freelancer will BE THERE FOR YOU from start to finish.... support must accompany service!
Now that you have a narrowed list of designers, its time to equip yourself with the basics, get it on paper, make contact and get going!
Download my FREE "little pre-project resource" which will ensure you are confident and equipped to contact your chosen designer.