After all the planning, budget approval, and hard work, it’s time to implement the project and find graphic designers to bring it to life. However, you’re not quite sure for how long or for how much work. You need a flexible solution to help you with your project. It might be a website design, marketing collateral, or packaging. Finding a trustworthy graphic designer is difficult. Here are some places to look, as well as a few guidelines with regards to pricing.
Part One: Your Creative Brief and Project Parameters
Understanding your project needs, timeline, budget, and desired outcome before hiring a graphic designer will be essential in helping you find the right person and avoid issues that may arise during the project duration. Your graphic designer will rely on you for information and specific details about the project, so having those worked out beforehand will eliminate many communication errors.
Your creative brief should detail the following specifics:
- Background Overview – This section provides information about the company, service or product. How would the client describe their business? What background info is relevant, including previous marketing campaigns? What do you need to know about their product or service for the current project?
- Objectives – Goals need to be clearly defined because they will affect all other decisions on a project. Does the client want to sell more products, increase brand awareness, or attract more donors? Do they have a call to action? How will they measure success? Having a concise objective provides a focus for the rest of the project roadmap.
- Target Audience – Who is the buyer or intended audience? This may include demographic information such as age, gender, education, or income level as well as info on how often they use the client’s product or service. Knowing your audience will shape the style and messaging of your campaign.
- Message – What are the key points that need to be said? What message needs to be conveyed to the target audience, and what is the best way to deliver it?
- Tone – What is the tone or image that suits the client’s message or brand? Are there certain colors or fonts that help communicate this? Ask the client to describe the tone, whether it’s sophisticated, fun, or bold, and for to share color, brand, or style guidelines.
- Scheduling – Having a timeline is critical for planning any project. Find out if there’s an advertising or publishing schedule you need to track against and solidify your deadlines are for each deliverable.
- Assessing Competition – Who is the competition and what do they offer? What makes your client unique? Understanding the competition can provide a clearer picture of where your client stands in the market, which will help you shape your campaign.
- Budget – The budget sets the parameters for how much time you have to work with and what materials the client can afford. It’s also how you get paid, so make sure you have a detailed understanding of what costs are included in the budget.
In addition to a creative brief, have the following things ready to prepare for your designer:
- Your design aesthetic for this project. You can describe it or use previous examples.
- The list of items you would like your designer to create, and whether each item will be used primarily for online or print usage.
- Your branding guidelines. This is especially important for websites and marketing collateral, and avoids many communication problems down the line.
- Your timeline specifically for design. Your overall project may have a different timeline, but having specific expectations outlined for your design team will help you get things when you need them.
Part Two: Find Graphic Designers
Pros Upwork is great for finding freelancers in a pinch. They have a wonderful (and fair) rating system that tells you how long someone has been working for, how many projects they have worked on, and allows hiring companies to rate them on several different factors including dependability, work product, and communication style. The advanced search function also allows you to search by rate, rating, availability, and specialities.
Cons You are responsible for time worked during hourly projects, no matter what the outcome is. Upwork only wants you to use their communication tool and time tracker. Their app is pretty limiting. Language barriers are often another factor.
Pros It’s cheap! Good for very small one-off projects like logo design. The resolution process for getting your money back in the event of a problem tends to favor the client. Their app is actually pretty good in terms of both searching for freelancers, communicating and rating.
Cons The quality of your final project is unreliable, and often times fixing the problem will cost more in money, time, and frustration.
Craigslist and Other Job Boards
Pros There are always treasures to be found on Craigslist and other job boards. There are many freelancers out there who do amazing work, and sometimes you just need to look.
Cons Looking can take a long time. With no rating system or specified categorization, you may not be getting what you need for when you need it. There is no resolution process if you receive poor service or a bad result.
Other Design Agencies
Pros You will get amazing work because you’ll be working with amazing designers. You will have a dedicated account manager to keep things on track. They are very easily researched for reputation ratings and their portfolios have varying specialities.
Ah, yes, here’s the pitch. At 2930 Creative, we have used all of the above methods with varying degrees of success. The adage “you get what you pay for” rings true for many of these. Time and money become serious constraints. That’s why we’ve invested in a trustworthy graphic design team and project management systems that get award-winning work completed at affordable rates.
Here’s why 2930 Creative is a great match for your business: you get everything listed above. Our pricing allows for flexible 3, 6, and 12-month service contracts at different hour levels depending on your needs. You’ll get an experienced and dedicated account manager to make sure things are delivered on your timeline from an award-winning, A+ BBB-Accredited team. Our rates are competitive, and are results are amazing.
You can afford good design.