Your not just hiring a graphic designer, but a project manager as well.
Hiring a graphic designer for any project can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. A considerate designer should take the time to educate the client on his/her process. The business of design may be new for the client, but not for the designer. Whether the designer is a couple years into his/her career or 30 years into it, he/she needs to help the client understand the roles of each party
And an Excellent Communicator
One of the roles of the designer is to be a good communicator. They need to have spot on communication skills as he/she is paid to communicate the client’s message to the larger public. A designer with above average communication skills allows for a smooth process from ideation to execution and through to completion.
With the knowledge to know when to be flexible
The designer is working for the client. Yes, the designer has been trained regarding the ins and outs of design, the trends and where the design world is moving to, color schemes and such, but first and foremost they are there to execute the client’s needs. Sometimes that means allowing through choices the client has requested.
A designer’s website is the first insight into the world of the designer’s aesthetic. The website should be thought out and clear. The user should easily be able to navigate the site and links. A clear email link or phone number should either be in the header, footer or contact / info page. If it is not clear within seconds how to get into touch with the designer, he/she is doing something wrong.
Well Designed Website
A well designed website is necessary in today’s age of design. Think about it, would you hire a designer if their site lacked hierarchy, flow and a point of view? If the designer doesn’t take the pride in their own site how do you expect them to take pride in yours? The site doesn’t necessarily need to follow a certain aesthetic, but it should be creative and consistent.
And a Penchant for Grammar
The days of a graphic designer just designing the text are long gone. Now he/she needs to be able to write copy as well. And the copy needs to be well written. It used to be the case that the client would come to the table with text already written or the designer would utilize a copywriter. Not any more. Now clients expect more from the designer.
The Devil is in the Details
Any graphic designer worth their weight must be able to see through the clutter to the fine details. Like how the leading of a paragraph or the kerning of a headline can effect the feel of a piece in an instant of seeing it. Or like how the placement of an image or graphic element can upset the balance of the piece. It’s in those fine minute details where a design can move from stale and ordinary to something that is extraordinary and has the ability to go viral.
When all else fails look to the portfolio. It’s a visual resume. And the work the individual is most proud of. Here you will get glimpses into the quality and style across the body of work. Its the proof they can create. Some designers rotate work on their site so don’t be surprised if you see something different the next time you visit the site.
In closing, Remember not all designers are created equal. Some excel in illustration, others logo design while others have a keen eye for typography or layout. But when searching, if you keep the above in mind you should be able to find a designer that you can trust, collaborate with and know that they have your best interests in mind. And a partner for future projects.