As a small business, startup, or a larger business at some point you are going to need to hire a designer for a single project or a large body of work. With you being a large amount of people calling themselves graphic designers you need to make sure that you were getting the best quality employee, freelancer, or contractor designer. You do not want to make a large investment in a designer and spend a lot of time to realise that they are the wrong fit. There are some easy steps you can personally take to make sure that when you are looking to hire a designer that they will be a great fit. This could take some time and the designer with the lowest cost might not be the best fit, so take your time.
Take a good look at their portfolio
A Graphic Designer or Web Designer portfolio can tell you a lot about what kind of work they can do. It can also tell you what a designer might feel more comfortable with or where their comfort zone is. Take a good look at a designer’s portfolio and exam the body of work they have for on offer. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the projects in their portfolio. You will get a good understanding on how their design process works. This a great starting point to strike up a conversation in under exactly the workflow of a designer and to see if it will fit in your business. Also look at how the portfolio is laid out. Look to see how much time was put into it. This is a good sign to see how detail oriented a designer is. If they are willing to put work into a simple portfolio then they will make sure that all of their clients work will be just as well designed. Do not get distracted by designers who use flashy portfolio cases or websites. These are tail tell signs that they might not have the best work and are using flashy tactics to distract people.
Some designers might have some work that is not for a client. This is okay, do not judge them for that. This might mean they are still working on their craft and have not got the selling end of being a designer end of things down. You can still look at their work and understand a lot about their design process. This type of designer might be better for you since they will be able to be molded for your business specifically.
Talk with their previous clients
All designers should have a list of previous clients that they can use as a reference. Think of it this way would you hire someone who did not have any references on their resume? Well probably not. So why would you risk someone with a project like the one you are starting right now with a designer who does not have any clients you can talk with? Well it’s the same case. The only case should be if they are right out of school and do not much client work in their portfolio. In a case like this you might have to take a lot of risk on what you can see by their portfolio.
Try using them as an intern
Think about this wouldn’t it be great if you could get some of the work you want done, help out a designer, and if it doesn’t work off you can try another designer? Well doing an internship you can do just that. By doing an internship you can help a designer get some great experience under their belt. You can maybe get some of your small projects done depending on how long your internship is. If all goes well you could have a long term designer on board. If not at least you both got something out of it and you can move on happily.