How to Choose the Best Graphic Designer for Your Freelancing Projects

No matter which freelancing path you happen to be on, graphics are going to be part of the equation at one point or another. Whether it’s promoting the work you do for others, or your own website/eBook/etc., there has to be that visual stylization.

Sure, you could do this all yourself, but if you’ve never designed anything before, the game changes. You want to look as professional as possible, as soon as possible. Don’t be daunted by the large amount of graphic designers out there – finding the optimal candidate will be easier than you think, as long as you have a mindful plan in place.

Search selectively.

For that all-important first Internet search, don’t just type in “graphic designer” – it’ll just take you longer to sort through the online marketplaces, the websites of designers who’ve made it to those coveted 1-3 pages of search engine rankings…you get the idea. Streamline things by, yes, searching the term “graphic designer” AND your project type. Example: “graphic designer website banners”

Then again, you might want to go directly to graphic designer marketplace platforms, narrowing down search results from there:

Or, you can simplify things even further by posting on one of your social media pages, be they business or personal, about your graphic designer search to see who among your creative contacts responds.

Implement an interview.

You might think that this step is unnecessary, especially considering the plethora of information that graphic designers provide on platforms such as the ones that I’ve listed above. Never choose a designer based on portfolio sight alone – their aesthetic might look good for certain projects, but can they adapt to yours in a unique way?

You need to evaluate their communication skills, because the design process usually involves revisions and even budget adjustments. Ask for references, the inspirations they use for projects, the pace at which they work. Make a list of any concerns/hesitations you might have, and voila! You’ve got your questions at the ready.

Choose constructively, and even collaboratively.

You’ve researched, you’ve interviewed, and now, you must choose. Perhaps this is the easiest part of the journey for you – a graphic designer aced every checkbox in your list of requirements, and no one else even came close. Alternatively, perhaps you’re torn between several graphic artists. In this case, why not have them do a sample design, provided that they’re receptive to doing so?

In the interest of keeping things completely fair, while the design and dimensions should be what you’re looking for, the wording should be ambiguous, or even in the form of placemarkers like “Text goes here.” They could also use their respective watermarks. If, once everyone has sent in their sample, you still don’t know who to choose, consult with those you trust who can provide insight from a more objective perspective.

No matter which path you take to selecting a graphic designer, be sure to tactfully thank all applicants. Keep finalists in mind for future projects, too, and don’t lose touch with them. If you take this authentic, appreciative approach to the selection process and subsequent networking, it might even bring paid freelancing opportunities your way!

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