Published 6 Jan 2022

Top Tips on Engaging a Graphic Designer

If you are looking to engage a graphic designer to support with your digital marketing and communications programs, we have curated this guide to support you through this process.

Top Tips on Engaging a Graphic Designer
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Hire Digital Editorial

6 Jan 2022

How often do you choose to shop from a brand that has a good website user interface than one that is difficult to navigate? Or buy a product from a catchy Instagram ad? Market research reveals that 49% of marketers rate visual marketing as an important pillar of their marketing strategy, more so because they see the effect it has on the engagement they receive. This includes visual assets for your marketing campaigns, social media, blog, web design, app development, UI/UX and many more, and the key to these are graphic designers.

If you are looking to engage a graphic designer to support your digital marketing and communications programs, this guide is what you need to make the right decisions for your business.

Why would your business need graphic designers?

Consider these facts: 

  • A simple infographic increases web traffic by about 12%
  • 94% of consumers will leave a website with poor graphic design
  • Graphic designers will help make your brand more credible as 46% of website visitors relate the website design to the credibility of the company
  • Brands making use of graphic designers have observed their benefits as social media posts with visuals have a 650% higher performance than those that don’t
  • 73% of companies are investing in good graphic designers as they help set their brand apart from their competitors

Each year, the number of brands leveraging graphic design increases, because they know how effective a design can be to fetch them higher ROI. From building brand guidelines, designing your company website or publishing social media posts, a graphic designer will come in handy.

Different types of graphic designers

Each company’s design requirements are unique and require specialized skills that would be relevant for your business. You must evaluate your requirements and select the type of graphic designers that are a good fit for those requirements and goals. For instance, in case you want to build a brand style guide or define your company’s visual identity, a Brand Designer is what you are looking for, whereas if you are looking to launch a new website or build your e-commerce storefront, you may need a web or app designer. Here are a few common types of graphic designers:

Choose the best engagement for your needs

Freelance graphic designers 

Hiring freelancers is an option if you require support with one-off or ad-hoc projects. However, it is hard to find a quality talent that fits your requirement, or set up consistent workflows and efficient processes on an ongoing basis with an informal work arrangement.

In-house graphic designers

If you are looking for a dedicated resource to support your team over a longer-term, in-house designers would be a better option as they will understand the company’s core values and work on brand-centric designs. Learn how Hire Digital provides the benefits of an in-house team and much more.

Agency graphic designers

Agencies will provide you with a team for your project. However, agencies come at a premium compared to other engagement options available, and often with slower turnaround times.

On-demand graphic designers

On-demand graphic designers are gaining popularity as companies do not have to compromise on quality and timelines. Being a convenient and scalable option, their services are relatively less expensive and offer a flexible way of working and getting things done fast and effectively. You have the control on your priorities, add resources when you need them, expect quicker turnarounds and have the copyright ownership as well. This is why on-demand talent makes sense for enterprises, and Hire Digital can help you set up suitable engagements with highly skilled graphic designers.

What to look for in a graphic designer?

Here are a few prompters to help you identify a suitable designer for your business:

  1. Digital skills – Today there are a multitude of design softwares that graphic designers use to fulfill project requirements. A graphic designer should be experienced and highly skilled in the softwares that is imperative to fulfill your specific design requirements. Make sure you look for the right skills among graphic designers to get the results you expect. Additional understanding of project monitoring tools and working knowledge of programming languages can be a bonus in terms of cross-functioning.

    The below table defines the preferred skills as per common project requirements of businesses:

  2. Design principles A design not only needs to be visually appealing, but also well structured. The basic design principles – Alignment, Balance, Contrast, Hierarchy and Repetition should reflect in the portfolio of a skilled graphic designer, also showcasing the use of different design elements strategically to convey the message of the brand.

    A skilled graphic designer will also be able to present design principles with typography, which helps to differentiate between emotions behind different designs. Typography is what makes brands memorable, adding meaning behind designs and logos.

  3. Branding – Each business owner puts a lot of hard work and thought into building their business from scratch, brought together with a set of values, ideas and strategy to form a brand. Through branding, a good graphic designer will give an identity to your brand which is unique, which is consistent across platforms and which will make a permanent place in the minds of people it is meant for. This will be facilitated by creativity, which is a trait that helps graphic designers innovative designs which are appealing and informative.

    Although creativity is subjective, identifying traits in a graphic designer that would fit well with your brand will help support quality branding.

  4. Detail-oriented – It is critical that a designer maintains consistency in their designs and always be on the lookout for design elements that are going off-track, or distinguish between different details that need to be added carefully in their work.

    Inconsistencies in spacing between design elements, or spelling errors in the product design, or even color palettes that don’t match the brand guidelines should catch the designer’s eye.

  5. Time management – Coming up with stunning visual concepts is often time taking but one has to comply with the business timelines too. That’s why sticking to deadlines is a trait many graphic designers do not possess. Of course the first draft wouldn’t be impeccable, therefore one would need several iterations and zero in on the final outcome within the stipulated deadline. They should have the knack of prioritizing key tasks and executing the plan as per schedule.

  6. Communication – A graphic designer should be a good communicator. It is often seen that designers do not understand the brief and end up designing something else than what the marketing team intended. A great designer should always be communicative with other team members, departments and clients as well. They should interpret a creative brief, understand what is expected of them and try to get clarity before starting the project. Even during the project, the graphic designer should make the collaborating team members a part of the creative process, so that concepts and interpretations can be discussed and draft review cycles are more productive. 

    A good graphic designer will not only give you what you want, but also give you insight into how other brands in similar sectors are innovating their graphic design, what are the design approaches currently in trend and also share with you their vision of how they can make your project a success.

Top tips to engage a graphic designer

If you are working with graphic designers for the first time, you may be unsure of how to get started. It helps to have an understanding of your design requirements when you are looking to engage with graphic designers that are the best fit for your goals. Here are some essential tips to engage a graphic designer:

  1. Determine goals and set expectations – It is good practice to set expectations from the start, as being transparent helps to streamline the activities and deliverables.
    • Explain the objectives and scope of your engagement
    • Define timelines for the deliverables
    • Align on the level of communication expected, workflow and resources available
  2. Share creative briefs & assets – Providing sufficient information to your graphic designer helps facilitate effective collaboration. A creative brief should define your objectives, goals, key competitors, style preferences, target audience, expected deliverables, deadlines, and more.

    Here are a few examples of creative briefs:

  3. Compare portfolios – The designers’ past works and experiences help you to determine their capabilities.

    For instance, if you are looking for support in the area of website design, out of the three portfolios presented below, portfolio 1 would be a better choice as portfolio 2 is more into branding design.

  4. Keep channels of communication open – To achieve  desired results, it is important to provide regular, constructive feedback . Offering the designer context and sharing project goals can better align the designer to the brand style and direction.

    Collaboration tools such as Asana, Trello or Jira,  come in handy and maintain productivity, where you can assign tasks and receive updates on ongoing progress. It also helps you to assign and manage the timelines effectively so that each designer is aware of the tasks, timelines and dependencies which help them manage to pull off tasks in an agile manner.

    Additionally, design collaboration tools like Canva, InVision, Red Pen or Adobe XD facilitate your collaboration with the graphic designer, giving way to shared ownership and productive workflows.

  5. Set achievable milestones – Milestones work as markers that help to create momentum and drive projects to completion, by breaking down the overall goals into smaller and more manageable tasks.

    For instance, a social media creative may take a few hours, whereas an infographic may take a few days. When it comes to UI/UX projects, it may take weeks or months. For longer term tasks, break it into smaller milestones, e.g. for a website design, keep multiple milestones that include completion of research, wireframes, landing page artwork, inner pages artwork, beta-testing and launch, as it improves project planning and helps the team to visualise the end goal. 

    Ensure you are defining realistic timelines to achieve effective workflows and receive quality deliverables.
  6. Budget alignment Your graphic designer engagement should be set up according to your available resources and budgets. How much support do you require from the designer on a regular basis? What are the budgets that you have set aside for this resource? Hire Digital finds you suitable talents that are aligned with your requirements and budget preferences.

Looking to work with an in-house graphic designer that fits your budget and has the skill set to match your requirements can be time-consuming. 

That is why leading brands engage Hire Digital’s graphic designers. We have a wide network of designers, ranging from illustrators and brand designers to  UI/UX designers and motion graphic experts, and we can set up suitable engagements that can best achieve your team’s goals,  be it a multi-talent creative team or a single expert.

Businesses worldwide trust Hire Digital to power their graphic design efforts. We make it easier for you by helping you engage with the right talent from a pool of pre-vetted graphic designers who can get started in as early as 48 hours. Get in touch with us today to gain access to a network of highly skilled global talents.


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