How to hire a graphic designer

A step-by-step guide to hire a graphic designer
Think of any successful brand and their design is often one of the first things to come to mind. This makes
hiring a graphic designer an important part of any recruitment roadmap. However, the hiring process isn’t always hurdle free, so we have put together an article on how to find a graphic designer that feels right for your brand.

Job responsibilities of a graphic designer

Let’s begin by understanding what a graphic designer does.

1. Works on print and digital visual designs such as logos, ads, artboards, social media graphics, blog images, newsletters, book covers, packaging, brochures, business cards, presentations, website layouts, and so on. Each graphic designer, however, has a speciality or works on similar kinds of projects.

2. Creates the brand identity through visuals. This is called visual identity and can help you distinguish your brand from the competition. It involves using certain types of images, font types, and colors to communicate the brand personality. For example, the brand Frooti uses the same typography as is found in mango crates in India unlike other mango juice brands.

3. Creates visual style guides that document how the visuals will look across different forms of media. For instance, a digital design would differ from print one. 

While we are describing the graphic designer responsibilities, let’s also talk about another similar role that overlaps with graphic design, UI design.

What is the difference between a graphic designer and UI designer? 

UI design refers to creating user interfaces such as websites and apps that are visually appealing and user-friendly. A simple example is designing website menus. This requires a mix of design skills and knowledge of how websites/apps work. 

What should you know before hiring a graphic designer?

Before you dive right into creating a graphic designer job ad, cross off the following items on your checklist:

1. Decide if you want to hire a freelance graphic designer or an in-house graphic designer

Some reasons for hiring an in-house graphic designer can include:

I) You have recurring design requirements and need someone to work on tasks as they come up.

II) You need a designer who can get familiar with your business strategy and can help you meet those goals in the long term.

Now here are a few signs that you need to hire a freelance graphic designer:

I) You don’t have regular design requirements.

II) You are still trying to figure out the ROI on graphic design.

III)You have a tight budget and only need a designer for a specific project.

IV) You need a graphic designer with a specialisation.

2. Specify the objective behind hiring a graphic designer 

What value will a graphic designer add to your business? For example, do you want to increase brand awareness (e.g. social media posts) or conversions (e.g. ads)? 

3. Specify the project(s)

Now that you know what is your bigger objective behind hiring a graphic designer, get into the specifics of the project. This could include anything from creating a logo to creating the entire visual identity of your brand. You should also know where the designs will be used. For example, websites, social media, newspapers, and so on.

Quick tip: While you are defining the project, create a vision board as this would help the designer understand your expectations better.

4. Define the target audience for the project(s)

Knowing your target audience will help the graphic artist that you hire make designs that create an emotional resonance. The more specific your buyer personas are, the better. 

5. Determine the stakeholders

Who will make the final call about the design decisions? Will the graphic designer work with a particular team such as marketing?

How to write a job description to hire a graphic designer?

Now that you have a clearer understanding of what the role entails, let’s get started with the job description.

1. Write a clear job title

Begin by writing a concise job title that clearly describes who you are looking for. Some common titles include:

Junior Graphic Designer, Web/UI Designer, Brand Designer, Packaging Designer, Print Publication Designer, Logo Designer, and so on.

2. Give an overview of the role

Write 2-3 lines about what the role entails. For example:

We are looking for a graphic designer to build our digital presence. You will be a part of the creative team and work closely with the marketing and product teams to bring ideas to life through visuals.

3. Write a numbered list of responsibilities

Think about all the tasks that the designer will take care of, get in touch with all the teams that the designer will be working with to understand who they are looking for, and create a list. For instance:

1. Work on a variety of design formats including social media, newsletters, ads, and landing pages.

2. Work closely with copywriters to create a consistent brand tone and personality across all channels.

3. Brainstorm new ideas with the creative team.

If you are hiring a freelance graphic designer, you should prepare a creative brief that will convey the objective, target audience, messaging, and deadline of your project.

4. Mention requirements and skills

Once you have described what the day-today responsibilities will consist of, mention eligibility criteria such as skills, education, and experience.

Commonly required hard skills for graphic designers include proficiency in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Creative Suite.

Soft skills can include attention to detail, teamwork, and keen learner.

You can also divide the skills into must-have and nice-to-have. For example, while many recruiters prefer candidates who have a degree in design, it isn’t an essential requirement as long as the candidate has the skills to perform their job.

4. Mention compensation and benefits

This is kind of the most important bit of the job description and can save you a lot of time down the road, so don’t skip it. You can check out PayScale and Glassdoor to know the market rate and understand how the compensation can differ according to experience and skills.

Besides the above-mentioned details, you should also mention a short company description and the location of your office.

How to shortlist candidates for interviews?

Shortlisting candidates for a graphic design job is generally done by reviewing a portfolio and giving an assignment.

1. Reviewing a portfolio

Like most industries, graphic design comes in many shapes and forms. So the first thing to look out for is samples that resemble your project. For instance, they might have great book cover art in their portfolio, but if you need help with designing landing pages, then they won’t be the right fit.

Next, review their design style. For example, the designs could be minimalistic. Does it match the vision you have in mind for the project?

Another thing to look for includes the industries they have worked with in the past or are interested in working in. For example, a fresher or an intern might not have past work experience. However, their samples might be tailored for a specific industry.

2. Giving an assignment

Other than the portfolio, you can also assign the candidates a small assignment to evaluate their skills for the position. This can be especially helpful if you want to test a skill that may not be apparent in their portfolio.

Graphic designer interview questions

Once you have gone through portfolios and assignments, you will probably have a list of interview questions you might want to ask from candidates. In addition to those topics, here is list of graphic design interview questions:

Mention any two projects from your portfolio that changed you as a designer or taught you something new.

Briefly explain the process followed by you while creating these creatives.

Why have you chosen this color?

Which tool did you use to create this element?

How many fonts and font sizes should be used in one post?

How many colors should be used in one post?

How long did it take you to create one creative?

What was your role while working on this project?

Do you prefer working alone or in a team?/Tell me about a time when you worked in a team.

What are some brands that you admire?

Are there any designers who inspire you?

Tell me about a time when you handled difficult feedback/worked with a difficult client.

If you had to do a project again, which one would it be and how would you do it?

Once you have conducted the job interview and all the stakeholders have reached a decision, you should make a job offer as soon as possible. In case of freelancers, make sure that you have a written contract that contains details about the project, deadlines, number of iterations, copyrights for the designs, and compensation.

Now that you know how to hire a graphic designer, register on Fresher Jobs on Internshala and find a graphic artist who will bring your design ideas to life.

Image credits:

Photo by OVAN from Pexels

One thought on “How to hire a graphic designer

  • July 18, 2022 at 12:15 AM

    Just to add:

    Please don’t expect that a graphic designer will help you with CSS, HTML, and other programming languages.
    Some job descriptions expect a lot from a graphic designer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *