How to hire a designer?

Colin McKeown
Colin McKeown is Creative Director at Whitespace2 helping clients to develop their brand and communications to improve business performance.

There are many ways to find and commission a designer but the process can take time. Before you begin, it is useful to write down exactly the type of project you are considering, reasons for it, and the budget you have identified with proposed timescale. Share this information with other management colleagues and encourage their input. It is important at this stage in the selection, that everyone feels part of the decision-making, as they may well have to work closely with the designer as part of the creative process in the future.

Ultimately you want to a mutually beneficial working relationship that will improve your business competitiveness and sales performance. Recommendations can help to speed things up, but be prepared to spend time on the designer selection process. You should interview designers asking questions about their project approach and experience, which are relevant to the design project being considered. Always remember that you are going to have to work with the selected designer closely, so chemistry is vital and good communication needs to work both ways.

Some people will ask for speculative design to be undertaken, however this is generally not considered to be good practice; nor does it provide a great beginning to what should be a fruitful relationship. Instead of this, ask designers to provide a credentials pitch, demonstrating their previous client work, along with their proposed outline of approach and costing for the project to be undertaken. The best design outcomes will result from an appreciation of both parties and agreeing sound financial arrangements.

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  • Jack Lee

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