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View Full Version : How to hire a designer (if you don't know any?)




njmac
Mar 22, 2006, 05:18 AM
To hire a designer, should I:

1. look at work that is similar to what I want to do, call the company who is doing business with that designer and ask who designed it?

2. search on the internet for a designer and ask for samples/references, rates, what other services are available?

3. do it myself. I'm cheap ;)

4. Contact a design school?


Is there some kind of designer showcase website with a good rep?

In short, I have been making flyers/post cards for cooking classes/parties that I have been giving locally (template design with Pages). I have been doing pretty well with that although it's mostly through word of mouth.

Now, I want to expand to do something in the same category but bigger and a little different. I (think) I need a designer to work with me on a logo, flyers, post cards, letterhead, and other marketing materials.

Also, just out of curiousity, how much should I expect to spend (very ballpark!)


One more thing: Does a designer give me files to get printed, or do they get a better rate with printers etc?

I'm concerned because I would need my promotional material to be different every time. Is it economical to have the designer update for different themes, or should I get a theme and modify the dates/wording myself?

Thank you all in advance!



Jaffa Cake
Mar 22, 2006, 05:31 AM
Probably the best thing to do is get a recommendation from someone. If you see some design work you like, be nosey ask who did it! Find out what they're like to work with, and what they're like in terms of price.

When it comes to dealing with printers, the vast majority of designers will happily sort this out for you. Bear in mind they'll usually charge a mark up for doing this, but they may well be getting the print at a cheaper rate anyway. And don't forget too that preparing artwork for professional printers is a whole world removed from printing it out yourself, so I would really, really recommend you leave this to someone who's familiar with the print process. Believe me, it'll save you a lot of headaches. ;)

njmac
Mar 22, 2006, 05:40 AM
Probably the best thing to do is get a recommendation from someone. If you see some design work you like, be nosey ask who did it! Find out what they're like to work with, and what they're like in terms of price.



I thought that might be the best way. I have seen some designs I like, hopefully I can get the name of a designer.

Thanks for the advice! :)

mac.FINN
Mar 22, 2006, 08:27 AM
I'd definately ask someone who did their design work if you like it. It's a great way to atleast find a designer. If he/she is a freelancer (like myself) then even if he/she is too busy chances are they'll know other freelancers who could do it. But don't just go with anyone - make sure you see some past work atleast.

If you're near a design school - you could always post a flyer stating what you want; more than likely you'll have more calls than you can deal with.

As for what you can expect to pay - for a stationery package like you described (logo, flyers, postcards, letterhead, maybe business cards, poosibly envelopes, etc) - if you want professional results be prepared to drop atleast $1000 (very ballpark) just for the design work. However, I'm sure you could get someone to do it for much less, just remember - professional results ;)

I would definately recommend getting the designer to deal with the printing! It's likely he/she'll be able to choose better, more appropriate paper stock too.

If it's just text that needs updating, I'd have the designer make (for example) a letterhead, print it, and you can print whatever you want on it later (at home if it's a small run, or at somewhere like TPH).
If there are major design changes, you'll need a new design each time - this will get VERY costly. Better to have a universal design (or two) that you can implement properly.

In the end there's an unlimited amount of ways to get what you want. It all depends on what exactly you need.

also, you can try searching the net for freelance or studio designers. posting on here is a good start; also try www.portfolios.com

Most designers have online websites or portfolios, even just try a google search.

Good luck.


Longest...Post...Ever!:D

_bnkr612
Mar 22, 2006, 08:32 AM
Start here, http://josephpeart.com

Or,http://creativehotlist.com

Or, http://craigslist.org

i.Feature
Mar 22, 2006, 08:35 AM
To hire a designer, should I:

1. look at work that is similar to what I want to do, call the company who is doing business with that designer and ask who designed it?

Thats one way although alot of these companies won't have time for you unless you're spending a worthwhile amount. A friends company won't look at anything with a budjet less than 10,000

2. search on the internet for a designer and ask for samples/references, rates, what other services are available?

Do not serch the internet for designers. There are alot of "pretenders" out there. Like the previous poster said your best bet is to get a recommendation.

3. do it myself. I'm cheap ;)

Depending on your skill level and what you need this may be the best option. However, it all depends on what you want to accomplish.

4. Contact a design school?

NO, NO, NO... You may luck out and get a student who is amazing and passionate and actually respects deadlines or you will more likely get the student who can't get things done on time because they're too busy with school projects, chasing tail and drinking.

One more thing: Does a designer give me files to get printed, or do they get a better rate with printers etc?

Lots of designers have printers they deal with and get prefered rates because all there work goes through them. Printshops very quite a bit in quality. It's the same as finding a designer.

Best to get a recomendation.

dornoforpyros
Mar 22, 2006, 09:55 AM
1. look at work that is similar to what I want to do, call the company who is doing business with that designer and ask who designed it?

Thats one way although alot of these companies won't have time for you unless you're spending a worthwhile amount. A friends company won't look at anything with a budjet less than 10,000

2. search on the internet for a designer and ask for samples/references, rates, what other services are available?

Do not serch the internet for designers. There are alot of "pretenders" out there. Like the previous poster said your best bet is to get a recommendation.

3. do it myself. I'm cheap ;)

Depending on your skill level and what you need this may be the best option. However, it all depends on what you want to accomplish.

4. Contact a design school?

NO, NO, NO... You may luck out and get a student who is amazing and passionate and actually respects deadlines or you will more likely get the student who can't get things done on time because they're too busy with school projects, chasing tail and drinking.

One more thing: Does a designer give me files to get printed, or do they get a better rate with printers etc?

Lots of designers have printers they deal with and get prefered rates because all there work goes through them. Printshops very quite a bit in quality. It's the same as finding a designer.

Best to get a recomendation.




Your a very negative person, I can't say I agree with many of your statements & reasoning, some of them are valid, but most of those seem pretty knee-jerk reaction to a bad experience you may have had.

BrianDavid0523
Mar 22, 2006, 10:01 AM
Tell me what you want, and I'll design it for you.

i.Feature
Mar 22, 2006, 10:43 AM
Your a very negative person, I can't say I agree with many of your statements & reasoning, some of them are valid, but most of those seem pretty knee-jerk reaction to a bad experience you may have had.

Not a negative person at all. They are not at all knee jerk or reactionary. They are pulled from years of working in the field for myself, for others and from the experiences of friends.

I'm not saying that good designers cannot be found in these ways. But your chances are much better if you go through referal. If i'm gonna get work done i'm not gonna trust an unkown commodity. If someone choose to have a designer from online, through a school, or through a cold call make sure you get references. Not just a page on there ortfolio. But real references with phone #'s or emails where clients can be reached.

dornoforpyros
Mar 22, 2006, 12:26 PM
Not a negative person at all. They are not at all knee jerk or reactionary. They are pulled from years of working in the field for myself, for others and from the experiences of friends.

I'm not saying that good designers cannot be found in these ways. But your chances are much better if you go through referal. If i'm gonna get work done i'm not gonna trust an unkown commodity. If someone choose to have a designer from online, through a school, or through a cold call make sure you get references. Not just a page on there ortfolio. But real references with phone #'s or emails where clients can be reached.


Well that's a much better way of wording it than "no no no"
I agree there are lots of fake designers out there and in alot of cases students are already too overworked to be taking on much freelance work.

I just take offence to the idea that a referal is the only way to do it. Being that the original poster is just trying to find a designer I think he needs direction instead of a brick wall.

i.Feature
Mar 22, 2006, 01:25 PM
I think he needs direction instead of a brick wall.

Sometimes putting a brick wall up keeps people from going the wrong direction. But now i'm just playing with words.
:D

dornoforpyros
Mar 22, 2006, 01:58 PM
Sometimes putting a brick wall up keeps people from going the wrong direction. But now i'm just playing with words.
:D
toche'! lol

njmac
Mar 23, 2006, 07:12 AM
Thank you all for your help.

I am going to gather up all marketing materials that I like for the next couple of weeks and see if I can make contact with any of the designers and see what they come up with.

If that doesn't work out.... I'll be back :p

Thanks again!

decksnap
Mar 24, 2006, 06:00 PM
By the way, $1000 for an identity package is a serious lowball price. A rough estimate of $100 an hour for a designer gives you ten hours for creative and mechanical time. If you are really looking for something done right, expect to drop a LOT more than that.

panoz7
Mar 26, 2006, 09:04 AM
NO, NO, NO... You may luck out and get a student who is amazing and passionate and actually respects deadlines or you will more likely get the student who can't get things done on time because they're too busy with school projects, chasing tail and drinking.


I'm one of those students who does freelance design stuff on the side. I admit that I am often too busy to have extra work on top of what I already get assigned, but if I have a project I will not miss a deadline. I take freelance work as seriously as my school work, and just as I wouldn't expect to make a good grade with a late project, I wouldn't expect a sastified customer with late work.

Personally (I probably don't speak for most college students), when I take a project I look very carefully at the work involved and my upcoming schedule, and set a deadline that I know I can meet. Yes, this deadline is probably longer then what you would get with a professional, but the cost is also going to be significantly lower.

Again, I can't speak for most college designers, but at least in my case, I am incredibly enthusiatic and passionate about my work.... probably even more so then alot of professional designers.

I'd strongly suggest contacting a local design school. It can't hurt. If I were you, I'd encourage you to higher a designer for the initial design, and then learn the software your self. I know plenty of people who have the technical skills to make what ever they want in Photoshop, Pagemaker, etc..., but who struggle with the intial design principles. While I'm certainly not saying that this is the case with you, it may still be helpful to get a basic design from a designer and then work on it yourself. That's just me though.

Oh yeah, about the printing... I'd have the designer do it for you, or at least point you in the direction of a good printer. I have an incredibly good (and very understanding) printer who put up with some of my initial ignorance and taught me the correct way things are done in the industry.

Sorry about that long post... hope it helps in someway.

Edit... by the way, njmac, great avatar! I love curious george! I had that set as my aim icon until iChat repalced it with that stupid cat randomly.

ajbchampion1
Mar 27, 2006, 03:22 PM
Just hire me.

I do a lot of work over the country.


I do work for Main Events in New Jersey,
local artist cd covers in Dallas.
Posters for the San Antonio SPurs

LMK


ajb_kop@yahoo.com

ATD
Mar 28, 2006, 01:46 AM
Another way you may want to try is to contact the better printers in the area and see if they can recommend a designer. The printers can give you an idea (from their POV) which designers know what they are doing and which ones don't.

Also most designers will mark up a printing job about 15% to handle the printing, that means they will oversee all aspects of the printing including getting estimates, press checks (being at the printer when the job is being printed to make sure it's exactly right), marking up proofs, etc. If it's a big or complex job it's worth it to have the designer follow it through.

njmac
Mar 28, 2006, 07:09 AM
Thanks again for the replies.

Right now I'm trying to get a grip on how much I can spend for the design.

What if I talk to a designer, they spend their time working on my design and I hate it?

Are you suppose to ask more than one designer to put something together, then pick the best one?

mac.FINN
Mar 28, 2006, 08:37 AM
What if I talk to a designer, they spend their time working on my design and I hate it?

Are you suppose to ask more than one designer to put something together, then pick the best one?

This is called spec work and is a very very very very bad way to go. Any self-respecting designer won't do spec work.

http://www.no-spec.com/

Spec is the way to go if you're looking to screw someone over, which is how people will see it.

A good designer will be able to give you something you'll be happy with. Most designers will present you with a few options in case you don't like one, and you should be able to get any revisions and changes you want (often times designers include a number of free revisions in the contract).
Your worries are realistic though - which is why a professional designer is always better than your neighbours 14 year old nephew who's "just a whiz with photoshop".

Back to my main point - No Spec, Spec Bad! Find a designer you like and trust him/her. Design is our job, it's what we're trained to do. You couldn't ask two painters to come and paint half your house each, then pay only one to finish the job. It's not ethical.

ATD
Mar 28, 2006, 10:11 AM
What if I talk to a designer, they spend their time working on my design and I hate it?


When you start with a designer to develop a look it's not uncommon for that designer to give you at least 6 different looking designs. For very large companies I have seen 100s and even 1000s of designs presented for a project. If you are clear about what you want and you pick a good designer, chances are that you end up with more that one design that you like. After the look is developed, the designer should follow that and will not need to hand you more than a couple of designs for each piece. Part of what you are paying a designer for is to explore the options.

njmac
Mar 28, 2006, 10:15 AM
I'm glad I asked! I was wondering how that worked.

Thanks for all of the info so far. I'm still researching......

mac.FINN
Mar 28, 2006, 10:41 AM
When you start with a designer to develop a look it's not uncommon for that designer to give you at least 6 different looking designs.


I wouldn't expect this many unless you go with a studio - even then I don't know. If you hire a freelancer or a small firm you'll likely get around three comps. You can request more after if you need - but if there's one thing I hate it's "I need atleast 6 designs to choose from". A good designer will probably do a ton of ideas, but will choose the best few and develope those. Having to fully develope every idea is a waste of time, shows you don't trust the designer, and will cost you.

ATD
Mar 28, 2006, 11:04 AM
I wouldn't expect this many unless you go with a studio - even then I don't know. If you hire a freelancer or a small firm you'll likely get around three comps. You can request more after if you need - but if there's one thing I hate it's "I need atleast 6 designs to choose from". A good designer will probably do a ton of ideas, but will choose the best few and develope those. Having to fully develope every idea is a waste of time, shows you don't trust the designer, and will cost you.

I'm sure you are right, it's my practice and many of the designers I know to do that much or more but I can't say that the way I work reflects what most everyone else is doing. And I hope that when I said 6 ideas I was not refering to 6 fully formed ready to go designs, just looks ;)

mac.FINN
Mar 28, 2006, 02:44 PM
True, everyone's got a different method. Me, unless specifically asked, I only provide a max of 3 to my clients.

Because I know they're the best of the many I've done.

Jaffa Cake
Mar 28, 2006, 02:56 PM
True, everyone's got a different method. Me, unless specifically asked, I only provide a max of 3 to my clients.Same here. There are three of us in the studio, so we generally chip in with a concept each. It gives the client a nice choice of styles, so there's usually something in there they like. :D

EDIT: I should say too that these are just visuals – only when the client has decided on their preferred concept do we take things forward to the artwork stage.

ChicoWeb
Mar 28, 2006, 10:33 PM
Easy, give us a call

1 877 893 5257

www.chicowebdesign.com

:D