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Graphic design is about visual communication; whether you want a logo, a label, an infographic, or a whole new brand identity, you want the end result to get your message across and leave an impression.

How do you find the right professional to help you make an impact? Here’s an overview of what you can do to find, hire, and work with a freelance graphic designer.

Identify Your Design Project Requirements

The first step is to define what you want, then identify the type and level of skill needed to make it happen. Research what those requirements might be using resources like the Hiring Headquarters: There’s lot of information available about common projects, such as logo design or creating infographics.

Refining your project details with a basic creative brief can help you identify high-level information, such as the deliverable and its purpose, your audience, brand guidelines the designer should use, and any existing content that should be included.

Write an Effective Job Post

Use the information in your brief to create a detailed job post that will appeal to the type of freelancer you’re looking for.

Start by defining a scope of work that focuses on three things:

  • Results: What deliverable(s) do you expect?
  • Targets: What are your deadlines?
  • Time: What are the start and end dates for your project?

You’ll also want to highlight the specific skills you’re looking for and what stage your project is in.

Shortlist Potential Freelance Graphic Designers

As proposals are submitted, you’ll need to vet the most promising graphic designers to create a short list of people you want to interview. Here are some points to look for:

  • Professionalism. Who’s tailored their submission to speak to your business and your project? Check out their Upwork profile: How do they present themselves in general?
  • Talent. Because graphic designers create visual content, it should be clear from their proposal, profile, and portfolio that they have the skills needed to do the work.
  • Experience. Has the freelancer done work with others in your industry? Commonly used software, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, may also be referenced. Familiarizing yourself with common design terms can help you understand their previous work.
  • Feedback. What do previous clients have to say about their work? Reviewing feedback can give you insight into their ability to communicate, solve problems, and produce a great product.
  • Portfolio. Design is a subjective art, but can you understand what they were trying to communicate? Do they know whether they were successful? Each sample should provide a description, which may explain the problem they needed to solve and other project requirements. Look for portfolio examples that are in a similar aesthetic to what you want, or that are otherwise within with the style you prefer. Have they created similar visuals in the past?

Prep for the Interview

The interview is an opportunity for you to learn more about a graphic designer’s approach, creativity, experience, and talent.

Prepare your interview questions ahead of time so you can feel confident that you’ve covered all relevant points. We’ve created a list of graphic design interview questions you can reference, but here are some additional questions to consider:

  • “What do you think of our existing work?” Tailor this to ask about something related to your project—i.e. existing app, website, brand—or to learn whether they’ve done their homework.
  • “Tell me about three projects you’ve worked on?” Ask about their most similar projects, favorite projects, or most recent. Listen for how they solved the initial problem, challenges that came up during the process, and what they did to address them.
  • “What’s your production timeline?” Get more details about how quickly they work, how much time they’ve spent on previous projects, and how they receive and implement feedback.
  • “What makes a great [insert type of project here]?” Learn more about how they’ll approach your project as well as their experience with similar work.

Using your observations and their responses, engage the designer who has the talent, experience, and mindset to excel with your particular project.

Get more work done, faster with freelance help. Post your first project today!