When you are searching for a graphic designer, you will find that there are plenty of choices out there. However, you need to know what makes a graphic designer a good one. How do you spot a professional graphic designer? What are some traits they would show?

Today, we’re going to discuss 5 ways to tell if the graphic designer is worth hiring for a job. 

Decide Between Freelance and In-House Graphic Designers

Before gathering up a pool of candidates for your project, you should consider what kind of graphic designer you want. Freelance graphic designers and in-house designers can both have the same amount of education and experience, but there are also places where they differ greatly. An in-house graphic designer is a great choice for brands who need a designer’s full attention. The downside to hiring an in-house designer is that you need to pay them even when you don’t need their skills. They also have a set capacity and are often specialized. 

Freelance graphic designers are usually far more flexible with what they can do. You can hire them whenever you need them, but they will be less familiar with your brand and marketing than an in-house designer. Unlike an in-house graphic designer, a freelancer may not always have the flexibility to expedite your projects. 

Know What You Need When Hiring 

Setting your expectations too high could make the hiring process much more stressful. So, first things first, understand what a graphic designer does for your company. Graphic designers are not web designers or developers in most cases. While they excel at crafting the feel of a brand with imagery, they will not code. Furthermore, graphic designers are not meant to shape your brand. They need your guidance. You may be lucky and find a graphic designer who is also a creative director or web developer, but you should assume that most will need input from you. 

Because of this, you need to have a firm idea of what kind of graphic designer you are looking for before you even begin interviewing. You won’t hire a logo designer if you need a brand book. Understand your brand identity—the color scheme, fonts, images, targeted demographics, etc. When you start searching, you will know which graphic designer is worth hiring based on their resume or CV and how well it matches your needs. 

Ask The Right Questions

So you have several graphic designers lined up. How do you choose the best of the bunch? You interview them. Ask questions about their experiences and their education. Some graphic designers might have excessive experience without ever receiving formal education, while others could have freshly graduated from university but a limited portfolio. Again, it depends on what you are looking for. 

Candidates should have proficiency in proper tools, namely Adobe Creative Cloud or similar software. If they don’t have experience with Adobe, they should display signs that they will quickly pick up the proper skills to do the work. 

Also learn about their adaptability. Ask them to give an example of a time when the scope of a project suddenly changed. A good graphic designer is one who can go with the tide. They cannot be too protective of the original idea in their head. Keep an eye out for candidates who seem resistant to changing or who struggled with the notion of adaptability. 

If you decide to go with a freelance graphic designer, ask them if they can handle two projects at once. A professional will include their time management techniques within their response. You want to know your graphic designer isn’t going to fumble the ball in times of stress. 

Evaluate Their Portfolio

The right designer for your brand or business may not always be the one with the most education. Sometimes, you will like someone based on their interview answers and quirkiness. That is why you should consider the interview only half of the whole hiring process. The next part is evaluating the portfolio. A designer worth hiring is always going to have a portfolio of samples. The pieces that they share will give you a clear idea of their personal aesthetic, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they interpret instructions. 

Evaluating a portfolio can be a bit challenging if this is your first time, so look for three things: relevant samples, design aesthetic, and experience. 

Relevant samples help you find the designer that is strongest in skills befitting your project. For instance, you wouldn’t choose a logo designer for a marketing ad. Some graphic designers might be good at it all, but others specialize. Always compare oranges to oranges. 

From there, take in their design aesthetic. Edgy brands are going to need edgy designers over those who prefer a toned down look. A whimsical designer won’t match a sophisticated brand, either. Another thing to look for is whether they keep up with the trends. Designs that look outdated could mean that the graphic designer is not continuing their education or in tune with design advancements. 

Lastly, the samples you see will show just how much experience someone has. If you are making a logo for a coffee shop, it helps to work with a designer who has worked with the restaurant industry. They will comprehend your needs better than someone with less experience in your field. 

Try a Small Project Before Committing 

After looking over a graphic designer’s portfolio and learning about their experiences, you will definitely have candidates. The next step to figuring out whether or not to hire them is to see what they can do for you. Give the graphic designer a small project. See how they listen to the instructions, use a specific drawing style, take criticism and feedback, and how well you communicate together. If they produce a satisfactory result without any mishaps, then you know you have someone you will enjoy hiring.

Unsure about what kind of small project to give them? The best is something that has already been designed, such as your business logo or a marketing piece. See how they revise the piece.

Wrapping Up

Finding a graphic design that suits your brand isn’t as hard as it seems at first. Keep these tips in mind! Have some questions ready to ask the candidates then evaluate their previous work. From there, you should have a good impression of one designer, especially when they match your brand aesthetic.