Questions you NEED to ask before hiring a designer.

Do you need something designed? And looking designer to help you. Don’t forget to ask questions about them before starting up the dial-up and hiring them for your project.

There are many questions to ask, but we narrowed down the most essential topics from the general to the specific. First, let’s go over some basics.

First, you want to make sure their availability and location meet your requirements.

Ask your self, do you need to meet the designer in person or is remote okay? Since the answer to this question will greatly change the type of clients you will be contacting. The key is to find one that will work well with you and meet your needs, that's why asking questions can help you.

1. Can I see your portfolio?

It might sound well kinda obvious, but every designer is going to have a different style, appealing to different people. You may resonate with one person’s work over another’s.

Anyone with experience in hiring a designer will tell you the designer’s portfolio is your most valuable resource, aside from the designer.

First of all, ask which of their works they’re most proud of and why. This gives you insight into their priorities, whether they value commercial success, client satisfaction or creative artistry. This helps you find a freelancer more in line with the overall goals of the company.

2. How do you approach a new project?

Good design is about solving problems. The problem could be something a bit broad like needing a friendlier image or something more black-and-white like meeting a sales quota.

Either way, hiring the right graphic designer can help you solve these problems.

Every new designer should understand the client’s needs—the problem that needs solving—before putting a pen to paper.

Look for designers who answer this question by referring to finding solutions: researching user data, speaking with the team, looking through archives of older design work, etc. Each designer has their process for solving problems, but what you’re looking for is whether or not they have a solid process in place.

3. Can you explain your design process/ key milestones?

Before work starts on the project, you should have a clear understanding of the designer’s process. What will happen, when and how this process is key.

For example, what outline does the designer have moving forward with the project, what will happen after the out first meeting? (This question sometimes can also be answered within question 2)

For example, at Campfire this is our process.

While you can’t accurately judge a designer by the source of their creativity, you can and should evaluate how they incorporate business goals and work with the client. There are no right or wrong answers, but use their responses to help you understand if they’ll fit your own company’s culture (or your unique design needs).

4. How many rounds of amends are included?

This is a key point to double-check, as it can vary from designer to designer, with some including unlimited amends (essentially, a guarantee that you will walk out with something you love), and others charging extra for each variation. It is common for 3 rounds of amends to be included, with any extras being charged on top, but it’s always worth making sure so you know exactly what to expect with the process.

5. What files will be supplied to me?

This is something not maybe people think about even when the final project is handed over. You should before starting the job have a clear understanding of what you will be getting once the job is done.

This is very important when it comes to the logo. It is very important to receive a vector version of the logo so that you can scale it up to any size in the future without a loss of quality. (That means a PNG or a JPG will NOT be good enough for all of your needs.)

Most commonly, a vector file will be either an EPS or AI file, but if you're not sure, ask. A good designer will be able to explain the difference to you.

Tho a vector file (EPS or AI file) is not always or will be giving out for design elements outside of the logo. For example. For marketing materials, you will most likely need a high-resolution PDF file. The main reason behind this is printing, the PDF is set up to the printer’s specification and easier to use the vector file itself.

It is unusual to be given the source files of any marketing material that’s created, but these can sometimes be negotiated for a price – useful if you have the professional software and skills to edit it, although most people would never need this.

Bonus question.

It is good to always end the interview by giving the designer a chance to say something. This could be something they’ve been trying to bring up the whole interview but never found the chance, or it could be something they thought of after the fact and wanted to add to the dialogue.