Is your boss is giving you grief about finding the perfect infographic designer? Don’t despair, help is at hand. Over the past year, we have published over 100 infographics here at NeoMam, and we would like to share our top tips on hiring designers to help you succeed.
1. Provide an awesome brief
Getting a great design for your infographic can be a tricky business. Contrary to belief, you will encounter your biggest problem from providing a poor brief, rather than finding flaws with the designer’s skill.
2. Get designers to… design
Designers love to design and visualise. They are not researchers or copywriters. You wouldn’t hire a plumber to do your electrics so don’t expect the designer to provide research and write copy. It may look great, but it isn’t likely to fulfil its purpose.
3. Meet in person
Emails can seem like the quickest way to communicate, but explaining a design brief by email can end up taking much longer than you originally anticipated. If you meet in person with a potential designer, you can get a real feel for whether they have a clear understanding of the brief. It will take less than an hour to confirm a brief with your designer in person- which is much more efficient than several days of emailing to clarify your ideas.
NeoMam’s Tip: Aim to get a designer in your local area.
Searching Twitter is a great way to find someone internet savvy and looking for work.
4. Design on a small budget
A tight budget can seem like a nightmare when it comes to producing a great infographic. But with a bit of groundwork, you can act frugally and achieve your aim. Personally, I find a small budget somewhat of a fun challenge (sad, I know).
If you’re on a budget then you are better off getting a freelancer than employing an agency. Agencies have far higher overheads. With agencies, you’re paying for the wrap-around services such as design brief provision, project management and promotion. Without an agency, you will need to do much more of this work yourself, or find someone to do it for you.
For a broad pricing range:
- Expect to pay $300-$800 for a freelance designer
- And upwards of $1000 for an agency – with top end agencies starting at $3000+
5. Where to find suppliers
Here is a selection of sites and tips that will help you find potential suppliers.
- Gumtree (UK) or Craigslist (US)
- Elance.com or Odesk (My personal preference is Odesk)
- http://99designs.co.uk (we have had some good and mediocre experiences with this site)
- Twitter- A great resource: search for “infographic designer” or tweet to ask your followers if they know someone
- Google Search- Be wary; just because someone is ranked Google number 1, it doesn’t mean they are best.
- Find your favourite Infographic- If you like a particular design, look for the designer names/logos at the bottom.
- Design Networking Events- A great way to meet designers face to face prior to working with them.
6. Try before you buy
Once you have found your designer, whether freelance or through an agency, you need to make sure that they have the suitable skills to produce your graphic.
Make sure that the designer has recently produced infographics within their portfolio. This is particular useful at an agency; asking to see an infographic which they have produced within the last 2 months will show you their current capability (and they won’t fob you off with their favourite, completed by a designer who left a year ago).
Don’t feel shy to ask a freelancer to work on a small aspect of the graphic before deciding to move forward with the whole piece. This way you can see what they can really do, and whether the designer is suitable for your particular project.
7. Feedback and communication
Be patient. It’s very unlikely that your first draft will be designed exactly to your specification. It may be that what sounded great during the research doesn’t quite work when visualised. A first draft is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your infographic and make some changes, and designers tend to expect adjustment requests.
To speed up the feedback process, we use http://mock.ly/ a tool used by web developers. By getting your designer to load the graphic onto this site, you can review the graphic and provide feedback all in one place. This saves time, space and the confusion which multiple emails with attachments can cause.
Good luck with your infographic.