How to Hire a Designer & What to Expect

Art & Design
by liz wilson

Every designer is different, just like every person or employee is different. But there are a few things you can expect when working with a designer.


First of all, each designer has different styles, uses different mediums and has different skills. So before even hiring said designer, look over their portfolio. If you need a web designer, find a designer with web experience. Every good professional designer has a portfolio and should have their own website. So always check out their previous work to see if they are the right fit. If their work is not what you had in mind, go look at another designer. There are great design oriented employment sites to help you find designers and artists, such as Behance.com, Coroflot.com, CreativeHotlist.com, ArtBistro.com and AIGA.com. These will be some of the best places to find your designer. Lots of these sites will include a small sampling of their work for you to see before you contact them.


After you have hired the right designer, get to know them. I find that us designers are always an interesting bunch and you can learn a lot from them. Almost all designers create art on their own, beyond the field of design, such as photography, videography, fine arts, paintings, sculpture, and other types of art. By getting to know your designer and all of their work, you may want them to include some of their fine art in your business, like original photographs or videos. Having a source for design and any other talents they have is a bonus and should be taken advantage of. You will get more out of them and they will enjoy your interest in their other work.


Once you are satisfied you have chosen the perfect designer and are ready to work with them, you should expect to work very closely with them. Remember, we are not mind readers. The best way to get the design that you want out of your designer is to constantly communicate with them. Don’t just assume we know what you are talking about and know what you have envisioned. The design process is a give and take between you and the designer. This process is very in-depth and you should know beforehand that your involvement is critical for you to get what you want.


All in all, the design process is always the same. You will give them your ideas, they will come up with a design based on your thoughts and you will then review the drafts and make your comments. This process is continued until you and the designer are happy with the result. Taking an idea and creating a visual representation of that idea is difficult and takes time. This is totally normal. There can be up to hundreds of revisions for a single logo. That is how you get the perfect design. Even the best designers out there make tons of revisions to designs. It’s just the way it works.


When communicating with your designer, be specific. Take the draft that your designer gave you and mark it up. Then the designer can visually see what you are commenting on. We are visual thinkers and the more visual you can be, the better we can communicate and the quicker things can move forward. And remember to be kind when revising your designer’s creations. They spend lots of time on them and can get their feelings hurt when your comments are particularly rude or short, just like any person. Explain your revisions. The more information you give us, the less revisions we will have to make. We can’t know what you want unless you tell us. And we are less likely to enjoy the process with you if you are unkind in your comments. Comments like “I hate this” are not helpful. They are only hurtful and will hurt the process by hurting the designer. But don’t be afraid to make your comments. Tell us what you don’t like about a design or what you would like changed. It is your design just as much as it is theirs. Just be mindful in the way you make your comments by being specific and constructive.


When your design is complete, always take some time to thank your designer. It keeps them motivated and the working relationship positive. Everyone loves a compliment and so do us designers. And keeping the relationship positive will only aid in future projects. The more you two work together, the faster the process will become and the better the designs will be.


I hope this essay will not only help you find the perfect designer, but for you and your designer to flourish together and create some amazing designs.

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