Many Ottawa companies these days are hiring professional graphic design firms or freelancers to absolve some challenges behind branding, but they do not always hire the right person. Since graphic designers are all unique—some with university degrees, some self-taught—you have to look through a lot of profiles before finding the one. 

It’s a little like dating! Fortunately, you won’t have to go on a million blind dates. All you have to do is ask the right questions during the Zoom conference or phone call. Aside from interviewing a graphic designer and getting them to tell you little tidbits about themselves, in creating rapport, you should consider the following questions:

Question #1: Can I See a Portfolio and References?

Any designer in Ottawa worth your time should have a professional portfolio with previous work. They should provide you with samples of styles they are adept in, as well as projects that are potentially similar to yours. As you peruse the portfolio, look at the aesthetic, the use of colours, and the composition. Ask yourself if it is what you want. 

At the same time, you should ask for references or any proof of reviews or testimonials from previous clients. Take both positive and negative feedback into consideration. How the professional handles the worst reviews is going to tell you a lot more than how they replied to a good one. 

Question #2: How Long Does It Take to Develop a Design?

While time is relative to the intricacies of the design and how many people are working on it, an experienced designer will be able to estimate a turnaround time. This is a good indicator of competency. 

Going with a freelancer? Then you should know that they probably have multiple projects going on and are doing so on their own unique schedule. You have to make sure you are both on the same page. Make sure they are going to be responsive to your emails and calls and that they confirm when they can deliver. 

Question #3: Can You Tell Me About You/Your Team’s Design Process?

Even if you don’t know anything about graphic design, the professional should be able to describe how the team (or the individual) comes up with their ideas and develops them. There is usually a system in place to help graphic designers produce quality work. Regardless of the complexity of the project, a trustworthy graphic designer will have steps they take that are easy to understand and logical. If they have trouble discussing this, they probably are not skilled enough to complete the job. 

Question #4: Who Owns The Copyright After Design Completion?

Never forget the all-important licensing and copyrighting. Sometimes, graphic designers are not happy to surrender their right to original work. Others will not have issues with it. This is up to you, but if you plan on making changes to the digital work in the future but may not want to use the same graphic designer, make sure you both agree that you receive the copyrights and licensing to do so. 

Question #5: Can You Work Within Our Budget? Or How Much Do You Charge For Services?

Some graphic designers have a fixed rate for a project. Others charge by the hour. Factors can alter the price, such as the number of designs you order, revisions, planning, licensing, and so on. All these impact the price. A graphic designer who is reliable will be honest and transparent about their charges and include that in any contract you sign. 

In short, hiring graphic designers for a project is much like hiring anyone else. You need to gauge their personality and their skill before giving them the green light. By asking these 5 questions, you will find the right person for the job in no time.