Whether you’re heading into a particularly busy time of year or have developed a demand for ongoing support, hiring a graphic designer can be a challenge and we’re here to help make it a bit easier. In this article, we’re going to run through everything you should consider before you hire a graphic designer.
We’re a Manchester-based graphic design subscription service, so we are in the business of hiring graphic designers really regularly. You can check out our team of in-house designers here. (In fact, it’s our mission to build the biggest team of talented UK-based designers in the world, but that’s for a different blog.) That being said - we have a lot of experience in hiring graphic designers and some tips to share.
1. Volume of work
First up - you need to understand your actual design requirements. That’s more than just vaguely knowing that your team needs a helping hand. Before introducing any new graphic design support to your business, it’s important to have a good grasp of the volume of work that needs doing. Ask yourself how much work is outstanding, how many projects are coming up, and the average number of graphic design tasks that are needed every week.
Knowing the volume of work that you need support with not only means you can choose the best solution for your team, it also helps to set realistic expectations and goals for the new design support you employ.
Anybody new coming into a business to work on a creative project will need properly onboarding. If you’re hiring a graphic designer in-house, you’ll need to run through the processes of how your design workflow currently functions. For example, how will that designer receive their briefs? Who do they need to communicate with for revision and sign offs? Who sets deadlines and how can they keep track of that? Those are key questions for any new designer so that they can deliver work on time.
You’ll also need to provide design resources to your new designer. What work has already been completed for the brand? Where are those files stored and how will your new designer get access to them? Design guidelines are crucial for helping any new designer hit the ground running with a creative project.
After you’ve considered how your new designer will be onboarded, you’ll need to get some equipment. Being a graphic design subscription service working for hundreds of brands across the UK, we understand the value of investing in your team's equipment so that they won’t need to battle against slow computers as well as everything else. Ordering your equipment ahead of time helps to avoid any wasted days when your new designer is hired.
If you have an existing internal team - the chances are that you’ll already have paid for licences on popular stock photography sites like Adobe or Shutterstock. It’s important to check that you have all the right licences in place for your new team size so that a designer can get straight to work and has all the resources they need.
Depending on the projects you have lined up, you might need to alter the licences you have. For example, upcoming projects might need editorial licences for images rather than just commercial. You can learn more about image licensing here.
5. Existing design guidelines
As touched on earlier in this article, your designer will need to have access to your brand’s design guidelines to be able to get stuck in on projects at the earliest opportunity. Your brand guidelines will help keep every designer on the same page, and keep consistency throughout your brand’s visual identity, whether you’re outsourcing design or hiring in-house.
Amongst other things, those guidelines will help your designer know which fonts your brand uses, colour palettes and which image styles to use.
Communication is a really key part of creative projects, and whether you decide to hire in-house or outsource, you should make sure that there is a clear method of communication in place that will make your design workflow smooth and hassle-free. For some who are hiring in-house, you’ll still need to consider how remote working fits into this. Getting project management tools in place like Asana or Monday.com can be a good option for this, and setting up channels on Slack. At Design Cloud, anybody on our PRO plan is given a dedicated Slack channel alongside use of a custom-built app to communicate easily with their designer.
A lack of planning around communication can very easily result in lost time, misinterpreted feedback and ultimately - missed deadlines. Take your time on this step to plan out exactly how your graphic design support will work to really help out your team, rather than to create more work by needing to chase up emails or go through countless rounds of revisions.
7. Recruitment fees
Before you hire a graphic designer, you’ll also need to consider the cost of recruitment. From PAYE to the recruitment agency you use to find the best talent, the cost of finding the perfect team member can be considerable.
Alongside this, it’s worth considering the cost of any lost projects or down-time in the business that might happen in the time that you spend looking for the best candidate. Once you’ve got a better idea of the true cost around hiring a graphic designer in-house for your team, it’s easier to plan accordingly.
Within this, it’s also a good idea to look to the future of your graphic design needs. If you are steadily growing your graphic design demands, you’ll need to consider whether hiring in-house is going to work with your budget as your demand increases and your need for a bigger team becomes evident. If you don’t foresee your business being able to consistently hire graphic designers in-house.
9. Subscription-based graphic design
If you’re looking for an immediate answer to your graphic design support needs, as well as one that will work as your business expands - Design Cloud will work for you. We’re an unlimited graphic design subscription service built to give teams a great mix of the in-house team member experience, as well as the cost-efficiency of outsourcing.
When you sign up to a plan with us, you’ll be teamed up with a dedicated designer that will work on your brand’s graphic design tasks every business day. All you’ll need to do is send us a brief through our specially-designed app, where you can also manage all communication with your designer. We charge one fixed cost per month, starting at £549, so you can rely on the cost of your graphic design being consistent and scalable as you grow. You can learn more about how our plans work here.
We hope that this blog has helped shed a bit of light on the process of how to hire a graphic designer, and also presented some alternative options that could work for your team and save you some budget. If you found it helpful - be sure to share it with a friend or colleague that might also be interested!