Regardless of the industry you’re in, graphic design will play an integral role throughout the brand journey of a company. From effective logos to data-filled infographics to illustrated presentations, these visual creations are going to help you and your company express your messages in a far more impactful and meaningful way.
Therefore, choosing the best monthly graphic design service for your ongoing design projects is a vital part of this process.
Given that this is probably a completely unique challenge when compared to others that you face in your day-to-day job of running of a business or managing a marketing department, many entrepreneurs and marketing professionals are unsure about how to go about choosing a graphic designer who they will be able to work with on an ongoing basis, either on a retainer basis or as an ad-hoc provider of designs for marketing materials.
Here’s everything you need to know before hiring an outsourced graphic design expert for the business you own or the company you work for.
Why should I use an unlimited monthly graphic design service for my business?
Before making any business investment, you must first be sure that it is the best solution to solve your problem. The concept of using an unlimited graphic design service shouldn’t be any different (whether you choose DesignHero or another similar service).
The need for graphic design
It shouldn’t be too difficult to appreciate the reasons for using beautiful custom designed graphics in your marketing plan. Whether you operate as a B2B or B2C company, the use of powerful visual media can benefit the company in an array of different areas.
You may find yourself needing graphic design for:
- Logo design;
- Mascot design;
- Shop front design;
- Website design;
- Product and packaging design;
- Promotional product design;
- Public presentations;
- Investor or client brochures;
- Marketing posters;
- Online ad design;
- And so much more…
Regardless of your business or industry, there’s no doubt that creative designs and infographics can work wonders for the company’s marketing campaigns and really help to stand your content out from the crowd. It can help you grab the attention of prospective customers, as well as existing clients. Meanwhile, better visualisation of data that you want to share can make it easier for readers to digest the information or understand the points being made. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
Why should I choose a professional graphic designer and not use Canva or just do it myself?
Thanks to the accessibility of modern tech, most computer-savvy individuals could knock up a semi-decent logo or graphic using tools such as Canva. However, there are several clear differences between an amateur design that you’ve created yourself and a professional one crafted by an experienced graphic designer who understands that graphic design is a lot more than meets the eye. Even when you don’t notice those contrasts on a conscious level, there are lots of ‘behind the scenes’ elements that go into a good design.
There are plenty of additional factors to consider when hiring a graphic designer or an agency. Here are just some of the aspects to consider:
A professional graphic designer will ensure that all aspects of the design are correct, including the bits you can’t see! From ensuring that the colour schemes are consistent across all designs to choosing the right dimensions for social media platform that the design will be used on, the seemingly subtle changes make all the difference in how people respond to your content. This is the best way to ensure that your brand is represented in the very best manner possible.
Creating a graphic that looks good is one thing, but creating one that resonates with the intended audience is another altogether. Experienced graphic designers will boast a deep understanding of how to design for specific audiences. This enables them to find the most efficient ways to promote the brand in a way that engages a user and leads to the desired result – whether it be a conversion or heightened brand awareness.
Time is money. Taking the DIY approach will take far longer as you won’t have the finely tuned skills to get the job done efficiently. Given that this will also distract you from actually doing your job, any savings made are a false economy. Using unlimited graphic design services like ours also enables you to create time-sensitive content such as responding to news in your industry or creating designs following a promotion or special event.
In truth, choosing a professional graphic designer over dabbling in Photoshop yourself is the smartest solution by far. It’ll save you time and money while ensuring that you gain the very best results for the business. When supported by smaller benefits such as knowing that all files will be organised and compressed in the right way, it’s clear that a professional monthly graphic design service is the way to go.
What questions should you ask your graphic designer before hiring them?
Deciding to hire a graphic designer gives you a solid starting point. However, given the importance of the visual masterpieces you’re going to be expecting, it’s essential that you choose the right person (or agency!) for the task. Whether you opt for a freelancer for a single project or for an ongoing monthly graphic design service is up to you. Either way, you must be prepared to carry out your research with the same levels of scrutiny as would be used when hiring other staff members.
While an external graphic designer or agency will essentially be a contractor or supplier, the following questions need to be asked before making your decision.
When are you available?
Availability will be crucial, especially if you require graphic designs on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s important to know when a designer can start working for you. Moreover, you’ll want to gain some insight into their schedule to gain an idea of how quickly they can get new creations sent to you. While you can’t expect them to be around 24/7, particularly when hired on a freelance basis, it’s vital to seek some kind of reliability.
How much do you charge?
Given that most of the materials a designer will produce for you will be linked to items that generate revenue, either directly or indirectly, you can’t make a decision without considering the financial elements. The cheapest graphic designer won’t always offer the best value for money (i.e. someone from Fiverr.com). In truth, you need to consider which will provide the best financial investment. You’ll also want to know whether it’s an hourly rate or a set fee for the assignment.
What qualifications and software experience do you have?
Academic qualifications aren’t everything, particularly when dealing with a creative role. Still, it’s good to gain insight into their background to see how relevant their education and experience is to the cause. Meanwhile, knowing which graphic design software is used will help you know whether their service is matched to your needs.
Who have you worked for?
Likewise, a background of their work experience as well as their software experience and qualifications can be very valuable. If they have completed work for big companies, it may suggests that they have a good reputation and innovative ideas. It may also give some indication as to whether their work translates to profit for their clients. If they have a track record of working for brands that have grown off the back of their designs, there is a very strong chance that they’ll be able to provide a similarly good service for your company. You can also check their social media profiles and website for reviews/testimonials from past and current clients.
Note, however, that a lot of designers won’t be able to share their client details due to non-disclosure agreements.
Can I see some of your work?
Seeing is believing. Ultimately, the quality of a designer’s past work will show you whether they have the desired style and quality to satisfy your needs. This extends to the idea of checking whether they boast the versatility required to provide the comprehensive range of designs that you may require. It’s also a chance to discuss their work and gauge their levels of passion for the work. In truth, this says a lot about them. Almost all graphic design freelancers and agencies will have a portfolio page of some sort. Infact, you can see ours by clicking here!
What do you know about the business?
While interviews and the general application processes are primarily meant to help you judge a candidate’s work and personality, it’s a chance to see what they know about the company. If they are familiar with the brand and its audience, there is a far greater chance that the freelance graphic designer will produce the quality goods you deserve. If you run a startup, their knowledge of the sector as a whole will suffice as it’s probably not really a typical ‘interview’. However, bonus points if they can tell/show you how they intend to help you improve your designs during any sales call or meeting!
Asking the right questions won’t guarantee positive results, but there is no denying that the answers can at least give you an insight and point you in the right direction.
Crystal Davies who runs Davies Designs also sent us these questions that she would encourage you to ask a potential designer:
- What’s your process for completing a logo design?
- How will you provide the files to me?
- What type of files will be included?
- Will my logo design be resold?
What to expect when you hire a freelance graphic designer
Hiring a freelance graphic designer presents some unique challenges, which you often don’t get when using an agency. Work your way around these challenges, though, and you’ll see some truly incredible results. The only way to ensure that you get it right is to prepare yourself by knowing what to expect and building a suitable strategy around it.
When hiring a freelance graphic designer for your projects, be sure to take the following into account.
One of the great things about using freelancers is that you can hire them remotely, which enables you to find professionals from around the globe on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. There are potential struggles in relation to communication, though. If you don’t like email as a creative way of communication, setting up a WhatsApp group or using professional team messaging apps like Slack or project management tools like Basecamp can have a positive impact. Sometimes, though, you may have to accept that allowing the designer to use their own initiative while still sticking to the brief is your only real option.
Images can take up a lot of storage, especially when the designer sends the source files to you on completion of a project. Therefore, setting up Dropbox or One Drive or another similar file sharing service that offers significant volumes of digital storage is essential. Or, if you aren’t desperate for the designs to be delivered quickly, you could always get the designer to send a USB stick or external hard drive with the files on to you by post. They can always send compressed screenshots of the concepts to ensure that you’re happy before sending you the final designs.
A final alternative could be for them to send you the final files via a service like WeTransfer or YouSendIt.
You cannot expect a freelancer to be around at all times. They have other jobs and clients to manage as well as their personal lives to consider. You may also need to think about timezones and how that could impact the workflow. As long as you are able to provide enough notice ahead of deadlines, this needn’t be an issue. If you feel that it may be necessary to have works completed immediately, it may be necessary to hire a full-time member of staff or at least a freelancers/agency in your own timezone who can cater for urgent requests.
While these potential issues can cause teething problems when you start working with a graphic designer, the fact is that you can expect to gain the best level of service at an incredibly cost-efficient price compared to hiring an in-house designer. Better still, as long as you are clear with the brief, designers can take care of most elements without too much input from your side. In turn, this enables you to focus on the aspects that actively drive your business in the right direction.
Where to find the best monthly graphic design services
Knowing what you want from a graphic designer is great, but the final step is to know where to look. There are plenty of options at your disposal including hiring an outsourced design agency or platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. Whatever option you choose, remember that working with a designer or agency is all about building a strong relationship, leading to better designs for your business.
There are many platforms that bring designers, writers, and other professionals together. In truth, though, most will find that opting for a dedicated and specialist service that is created specifically with graphic design in mind is the best option.
Here are three possible options for you:
DesignHero (that’s us!)
DesignHero is a our UK based unlimited graphic design service where you can get anything designed for your business. We’d love to work with you and help you create better content to publish online or to use as part of your offline marketing activities. You can read more about us here.
The 99designs platform is popular with thousands of graphic designers, as well as other services. You can quickly access their portfolios to find a designer that suits your needs. With professionals of all levels of experience and price ranges, you’re spoilt for choice!
DesignPickle is another unlimited graphic design as a service brands that we love and are always inspired by as leaders in our industry. They have already supported over 10,000 brands, including giants like UPS, and can provide a winning service for you too if you’re looking for a US based service rather than a UK provider like us!
Conclusion – How To Choose a The Best Graphic Designer
The value of a high-quality graphic designer for your business cannot be emphasised enough, and graphic design agencies that offer unlimited graphic design as a service are ideal for any business owner or marketing professional who knows that they will need regular designs created for their internal and/or external marketing needs. It gives you the perfect opportunity to use a professional that creates graphics that you’ll love while only paying a flat monthly fee.
Better still, many of the best platforms offer buyer protection so that you won’t be charged unless the designer satisfies your brief. For a simple, affordable, and highly time-efficient approach to this immensely significant aspect of the business operation, professional graphic designers are the obvious answer. Now that you know how to hire one too, you have no excuse to ignore those benefits any longer. Happy designing!