How do I hire the right graphic designer? (freelance, in-house, and retainer)
With graphic design having suddenly taken off as an industry in India the way it has; both designers and employers seem to be bumping around in the dark trying to find each other. Headhunters, managers, CEOs, who are used to gauging a person’s value to the company from a black and white resume, are now faced with the esoteric task of reading a creative portfolio.
What are you supposed to look for in a creative portfolio? How do you know if someone will be the right fit? Is that brother-in-law’s friend’s kid’s cousin your colleague recommended really up to scratch or not? Is this a portfolio or a Tinder profile? I want to help answer these questions.
DISCLAIMER: I’m a print, graphics, and online/offline visual communications person, so this is my context. Some of the pointers may apply to UI/product/other designers but that’s not my forte so I won’t claim to know anything about that.
Here is a very specific list of things I’d be interested in addressing:
- How do you find out what type of designer you need? (Graphic is too ambiguous)
- Where do you look for designers?
- What expectations should you have?
- Do you really need a designer five/six days a week?
How do you read a creative CV?
- What do educational qualifications mean?
- Do they matter? Which ones matter?
- Do years of experience matter? What am I looking for?
- This person just graduated, do I take the risk?
How do you read a creative portfolio?
- What are all these things?
- How do I read them? (social media creatives, posters, illustrations etc)
- I don’t see an example of the exact specific work that I want, does that mean I need to look elsewhere?
- This portfolio is shiny but this one isn’t. What’s better?
- How do I interpret whether or not what I’m looking for is in this portfolio?
Talking to your potential hire:
- It’s important to ask the right questions (especially in the case of a recent graduate with a smaller portfolio). Design ethics are as important as the designs themselves.
- What questions are relevant for me to ask, with regard to the role that needs to be filled
- How do I interpret the answers
- How do I know if this is the person to close the deal with?
Instilling confidence in your designer:
- What fixable mistakes am I making that might cause a fitting designer to decline?
- How do I discuss stipend?
I’m Winona Laisram, a graphics, communications, and illustration designer based in Bangalore.
- Creative Lead of Marketing at Freshmenu
- Teacher (Design Modules at Mount Carmel College)
- Communication Studies, Mount Carmel College Bangalore
- Visual Communication, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Selected Past Work:
- Happy McGarryBowen India (Digital Media)
- The Takshashila Institution (New Brand Identity and Communications, 2 year engagement)
- The Solidarity Foundation (Communications Design, reports, social, events)
- Namma Pride Bengaluru (Art director 2016, Pro-bono)
- Kodagu Connect (Logo)
- Myro Prosthetics (Logo)
- Testsigma (Logo)
- Human Rights Law Network (Wordpress blog design)
- BRICS (Conference Booklet)
- The Queer Arts Movement, India (Event Posters, Social Media)
- Tattle Tale Marketing (2017 short gig, Instagram Product Posts)
- Forum of Environmental Journalists, India (Print Design)