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What Should You Look for in a Graphic Designer?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | Comments (0)

Hiring a graphic designer can seem like an intimidating decision, especially if you know very little about graphic design and the design industry in general. The good news is that the challenge of looking for a graphic designer isn’t just about talent or hard skills. In fact, you’ll likely hear from a dozen candidates with amazing portfolios. Instead, what you can do is focus on finding a designer you can work with, someone who fits into your corporate culture, and someone who can work with minimal supervision.

If you’re currently looking for a graphic designer, here are # tips to help you in your search:

1.     Set Clear Goals and Expectations 

It’s important to let candidates know what they can expect from the position and your company, as well as what is expected of them should they take up the job. So, in your job postings and creative briefs, be sure you go into detail when describing your company, the project, and its objectives, as well as the position’s requirements.

The more specific you are in describing the details of the job, the easier it will be for candidates to set realistic expectations.

2.     Do You Know What Skills to Look For?r

Do note that skills aren’t just about a candidate’s ability to use design software, create designs from scratch, or take good photos.

While it’s obviously important for candidates to know how to use Visual Studio or Adobe Illustrator and be in touch with the latest in graphic design best practices, you should also watch out for “soft” skills like communication skills, interpersonal skills, and management skills among others.

3.     Look at How Candidates Adapt to Situations

Another great way to assess graphic design candidates is to ask how they would respond to specific situations through problem-solution-results questions. For example, you could show a candidate a design asset of a competitor and see how they would do things differently. This lets you understand a candidate’s thought process and whether they can think on their feet.

4.     Look Beyond Portfolio

Basing your hiring decision on a graphic designer’s portfolio alone may lead to regret down the line, especially when it’s time to work on top-level projects. Rather than focus on output, you want to look at a candidate’s design process, how they approach a creative challenge, and what makes them make specific design choices. This approach lets you understand a designer’s creative style and how you can complement each other when working together

5.     Start with a Test Project

If you want an even closer look at a designer’s creative process, you could let them work on a relatively small sample project that would take no more than two hours to finish. Examples of challenges include designing a logo or improving upon a previous design project. What this does is show you a candidate working in real time.

Whatever the case, just be sure to pay the candidate for the trial project. 

Once you have your graphic designer, it's time to put their expertise to good use. At Smartbag, we offer customisable shopping bags, tote bags, and other custom packaging materials that can be personalised with your brand logo, colours, and messages. Visit our contact page to get in touch with the Smartbag team. 

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