How to Hire the Right Designer

Great Big Graphics Business Card Mock Up for Emerson & Sons Logging

So you're looking for a professional designer for your business. Excellent decision. But how do you know when you've found the right one? Hiring a professional designer is truly an investment for your brand, and it's up to you to make sure that investment is a wise one long-term.

The best designers for business branding will work closely with you from start to finish on your project until it’s exactly how you envisioned (or even better). The best designers care equally about their craft as they do your experience. They know how important your business is to you, and understand that each project is a reflection of you and your brand as a whole. While these qualities are largely important to find in a designer, they can be hard to spot at surface level when you're searching for one. Lucky for you, we've thrown together a quick guide for what to look for when hiring a designer, that will set you up for success as you venture into professional design and branding for your business. Let's get into it!

Emerson & Sons Logging Logo by Great Big Graphics

1. Start to Finish

When you begin your search for finding a designer, it’s important to seek out one who is willing to work closely with you on your project from the beginning to completion. It’s not difficult to seek out a designer who will fulfill a specific task that your brand needs. What is rarer, but well worth the digging, is finding a designer who will support your business needs throughout the entire process- and bring valuable insight, quality, and care to the table. From the initial idea phases, to clearly communicating throughout each step of the process, to the finish line - a quality designer will not leave you in the dark at any step of the way.

2. Consider Their Portfolio

While it may seem obvious, considering your potential designer’s past work in their portfolio is always a must before committing to work with them. The right designer for your brand will proudly show off past projects that are relevant to your brand’s needs, and ultimately prove that they can deliver what’s promised.

In addition to laying your eyes on the quality of their work, it’s also important to look over the designer’s portfolio to be sure you even like their style. Yes, design styles vary greatly depending on the client the designer is working with, but their ability to align with your brand’s aesthetic is necessary to work together. If you’re really loving a designer’s work, but are hoping for a slightly different approach for your business, it doesn’t hurt to express that and see what they can do. The right designer for your business will listen to your ideas and work with you to find a solution that meets your vision. And if they don’t, that makes your decision an easy one- keep digging.

3. Meet Face-to-Face

While many meetings have transitioned to primarily remote in the past few years, there is something incredibly genuine and valuable about connecting in person. Lots of agencies have transitioned to be even 100% remote, and if that is what you prefer, that's great! However, if you're looking to work with a design agency in person and discuss your goals face-to-face, you may want to filter your search efforts for branding specialists that offer in-person correspondence.

When you meet with a designer in person, you are able to collaborate extremely efficiently and effectively. Lucky for you, we know a New England design team that offers that.

Truck Graphics for Emerson & Sons Logging by Great Big Graphics

4. Care in Their Craft

Hiring a designer or design team that genuinely cares about the quality of their work is what you’d think the bare minimum would be. Unfortunately, there are many designers out there where that isn’t the case. The bottom line: the designer you hire for your business should care equally about their own craft as they do about representing your company. A good way to gauge this is to pay attention to how they talk about their personal work, work for clients, and the overall way they communicate with you about your goals. You’ll know when the fit is right, and you will never regret waiting to work with the right designer who is genuinely passionate about what they do.

5. Consider the Timeline

The next, and very important aspect to consider when hiring a designer for your business is the timeframe for your goals. Ask yourself, “Is this timeline realistic for my brand's needs?” For example, if you’re looking to get some new signage for your business, but the designer can’t get it to you for six months, will this negatively impact your business by waiting too long for new signage? Every circumstance is different, but you need to be sure you and the designer are in sync about a realistic and achievable project timeline from the start to avoid chaos. The right design team will work with you to find clear deadlines that meet your business goals and only benefit you in the long run.

The other question to consider when thinking about your design timeline, is will the finished product withstand the test of time? If you are working with a high-quality team of skilled designers and craftsmen, you’ll end up with branding materials that not only enhance your business today, but will continue to do so in the years to come. A professional designer will inform you of the right fonts, colors, and materials, and more that will stay relevant and increase the value of your business over time.

6. Ask About Ongoing Support

Lastly, while you may not think you need it, asking if a design team offers support after your initial project has been completed is always a nice perk. This service is helpful to keep up with graphic refreshes, new signage, additional branding materials, or other general questions you may have after your project is completed. Even if you never need to use it, having a design team that offers ongoing support long-term is always comforting when you’re investing in new design and branding for your business.

Work With the Pros

So you’ve read the criteria for hiring the right designer, and now you’re ready to get to the search. No need to click and scroll, Great Big Graphics has got you covered. As a high-quality graphic design company located in Vermont, we serve hundreds of clients throughout the Northeast. From overall branding and logos, to displays, print, signs and banners - we’re ready to help you transform your business through design. If you’re ready to get started on your next project, want a free estimate, or have questions for us, get in touch today. We can’t wait to work with you!