The old saying ‘You get what you pay for’ is often 100% true in the design world. When looking to hire someone for graphic design work, it is important to ask the right questions to make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money. Here are a few examples of what you should be aware before hiring a graphic designer:

Where can I see examples of your work?

These cases are relevant whether they have a website portfolio, a behance.net or dribbble.com account or some other type of portfolio to see re-world examples of work they have done. Now one thing you have to consider is some designers are very limited by their clients what work they can share in their portfolio, as well as busy graphic designers ofter let their portfolio’s slide when business is great. Either way, you will need to see some of their capabilities before hiring them.

Who can I talk to that has worked with you in the past?

A good graphic designer will have a client that they have worked with in the past that you will be able to reach out and ask questions. Just getting a couple of names from your designer will help to ensure they have good past and present relationships with their clients. If you end up following up with some of their customers, the most important types of questions to ask are likely about their communication, competency and whether they delivered in a timely matter.

Who is doing the actual work? Who will be my primary point of contact?

One of the worst feelings in the world is when you develop a relationship with someone during the sales process, only to be passed off to someone that you find out isn’t delivering the promised goods. It is important to know who is doing the actual work as well as who will be returning your calls or emails. You will also want to know what kind of partners or employees will be working on this project ahead of time. Is this person going to take your project and immediately pass it off to some other company to finish the work? You want to find out as much about the process as you can.

If I need stock photography, where will you be purchasing it from?

So, let me start by saying “Google Images” is never the answer. Did you know if your designer steals a photo or image you can be held responsible? On the same note, please be cautious about scams where people falsely lay claim to a picture on your site and try to con you into paying them. Any skilled graphic designer is well aware of getting images from legitimate sources or creating their own. It is just important to be on the same page from the beginning.

What is the project timeline?

Well, we all live and die by schedules. A graphic design project is no different. You want to make sure you know ahead of time if this project is going to take six days or six months to complete. Defining milestones are also important so you can make sure the project is progressing along as promised to you. When will the project actually start versus how long the project will take is important as well.

What are my precise deliverables for this project?

Who owns the designs once they are bought and paid for? Is your graphic designer licensing the use of their designs or will you own them outright?

What kinds of files will be provided for this project? If you are designing a logo, you should ensure your file is in vector format. If the project is for a brochure, you might have to negotiate a higher price for the AI, PSD or ID design files if you plan to hand these off to another graphic designer in the future.

How will you be billing me for this project?

There are a lot of different ways which designers and developers charge for service. Some things that we like to focus on are What are your payment terms and requirements? Can you provide me with a W-9?

A skilled graphic designer or web developer will be able to answer all of these questions for you quickly as well as provide you with an in-depth view of what their process will be.