So you need a Graphic Designer to brand, market or launch your vision, there’s a few ways to find one, firstly you could open the window and hire the first person who walks past with a beard, secondly you could use an employment agency, and pay probably treble the going rate, or you can do a bit of scouting around and find the perfect candidate at the perfect rate.

There’s a few things to know before taking anybody on, so here’s our essential guide to finding, and working with the perfect candidate for you.

1. It’s not you, it’s me!

Some people just don’t not get on, it’s so important when choosing a candidate that you not only pick the person with the best portfolio, but also someone you feel you can get along, and work closely with. Things can get heated as you creep towards a deadline, and if you’re the kind of person who does not handle pressure well, you’re going to need a thick-skinned, proactive designer who can deliver on time right up to the whistle.

Don’t be afraid to be up-front about this, tell them it could get crazy, and sound out their attitude to timelines and delivery, remember you’re paying them, you’re the boss and if this is going to work, they have to work on your terms and to your schedule, and if it really, really  works out you could be looking at a best-buds-for-life scenario.

2. What time do you call this?

There’s freelancers all over the world in different time zones, there’s some that never sleep, and a few that never seem to get out of bed, lazy ones, hyperactive ones, motivated ones, and some that are the most miserable people I’ve ever met (you know who you are!). So you need to make sure that you find someone who, more-or-less works to the same hours as you. When things need turning around quickly, you do not want to have to wait for someone to draw a bath, and talc their nethers before they can crack on with a day’s work.

3. OK, so I’ve got an idea!

Never forget the fact that you’ve hired a designer because they can do things that you can’t. I’m sure you can do things that they can’t, like talk confidently to people in a crowded room, or not worry about every piece of typography on all the posters in the entire London Underground, but these people have something worth paying for, and their creative energy is where the gold is. If you force them to work on your ideas too rigidly and close the door on their creativity the results will always suffer, and once that spark is dead and the confidence of your designer eroded it will probably never come back.

Good designers will stand up for their ideas, so listen to their rationale, and if they know what they’re doing and are passionate, I guarantee you the best work comes from the trust and understanding of someone who cares about what they’re working on. Of course I’m not saying they’ll always be right, but at least listen before crushing their dreams into a million pieces!

4. It’s about your rates..

Pretty simple one this, but agree a few things up front. Firstly if they’re going to stick to the quote, or if there’s a provision for going over the agreed rate. Secondly get them to agree with you that you’ll be informed of any increases in the quote as they happen, and thirdly how you’re going to pay, as some services like Paypal will take a percentage and they might want to charge that as an additional cost.

With the marketplace as it is these days rates are on a huge siding scale, but expect to pay extra for designers within your location, who have good experience and have a good portfolio, there’s plenty of cheap options out there, but remember that bad design only makes you look bad to your customers.

5. Wait, you might have already done all of this…

OK this was always heading to one conclusion, and if you’re here because you’re looking for a very good Graphic Designer, then you have already found one. I’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years, I’ve worked with some huge brands like Apple, HP and Universal, and I’m all of the good stuff mentioned above, I can’t guarantee that we’ll going to be ‘super buddies’, but I’m pretty sure we can have an awesome working relationship, and it’s worth nothing that I never use talc on my nethers.

Take a look at my work in the portfolio on this site or give me (Ben Brown BTW) a call on 07738 175 614 or email on