Can you recognize this view? This is Times Square, or rather, what it would look like if we stripped down all the ads. As you can see, sometimes advertisements and posters are the key elements of making the place recognizable.
But we all know how this square usually looks. With the high density of ads and wallpapers, getting noticeable is a difficult task, and most brands don’t make it. So, how do you create visuals worthy of displaying on Times Square?
You hire a graphic designer. This specialist will turn your brand’s mission into a top-tier visual story that speaks to people. And we at Awesomic will help you understand what makes a professional graphic designer, learn about their roles and pick the best candidate.
“More than 50 percent of the cortex, the surface of the brain, is devoted to processing visual information”.
According to David Williams, a Professor of Medical Optics.
The thing is that our brain perceives visual information much better compared to text or speech.
This means that with the right graphic design, you may influence people’s behavior, increase their engagement and attachment to your business.
It takes 0.25 seconds for the brain to attach a meaning to a symbol, and hence, to form the first impression.
A graphic designer understands the connection between visuals and information like no other. They use their knowledge to create structures that our brain can easily perceive and remember.
A lead graphic designer becomes a creative drive for the whole team, when it comes to marketing. They develop branding strategies to help your business attract clients even in busy niches.
Now, what does being a graphic designer really mean? Everyone understands this term a little differently. To find out if your description is correct, we suggest taking our simple quiz.
So, how did it go? Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the roles and responsibilities of this creator:
A graphic designer is a universal soldier that works towards making your brand noticeable and attracting customers. They develop visual strategies and create catchy designs to make them stand out from the crowd.
The core skill of a professional graphic designer is working with five design basics: hierarchy, composition, color theory, balance, and contrast. They can implement those basics in their project using fonts, colors, patterns, visual rhythm and create unique designs.
Also, graphic designers often possess decent illustrator skills and can draw custom graphics or mascots for your brand. Or, they can work with experts like animation designers and help them with concepts and storyboards.
The primary responsibility of a graphic designer is to create your brand’s visual strategy and style. Then, they work on brand presence online, offline, and in print and develop eye-catching ads for all those media.
The work of a graphic designer starts from getting to know your brand’s mission and values and then developing a visual strategy based on those values. They then pick colors, fonts, create the style guide to represent your brand, and set all the following visuals according to that style.
75% of customers recognize business by its logo. And putting minimal effort into this element might wreck your business awareness right at the start.
So, you need to hire a graphic designer who can develop a unique logo based on the message you want to communicate to your customers and your brand’s tone of voice. They also create logo variations for different sizes and mediums, so your business will maintain a recognizable look.
Visuals can be an important tool not only for the first company presentation but for looking at its accomplishments. A professional graphic designer can help you turn words and numbers into comprehensive visual data that clearly shows the achievements of your product and could be used for further promotion and growth.
You might think flyers or brochures aren’t even used in 2022. However, 33% of people keep the leaflets, especially if they have promo codes or coupons, which is almost as efficient as sending them a direct email.
Graphic designers can create mockups for flyers, posters, and other printable materials and work with prepress and post-production to ensure they look crisp.
In 2021, 93% of marketers used Facebook to promote their business, and 78% used Instagram. Aside from being huge, the social media market is a great way to approach your customers personally. Find a graphic designer, and they can help you craft captivating ads and boost your brand’s conversion.
Offering your clients branded phone cases, stationery, clothes, mugs, or other merch makes them feel more connected to your company. Hiring a lead graphic designer will help you create a layout for all these products without making them look generic.
72% of Americans say that packaging design can influence their buying decisions, and when it comes to buying gifts, it rises up to 81%. A professional graphic designer can create a package that corresponds with the form and style of your product and make it visually appealing.
Brand mascots and unique characters can increase the emotional connection to the brand: by 41%. A graphic designer can help you create those characters and craft the personality of your brand using stickers, illustrations, motion graphics, or 3D models.
When you read a book or a magazine, your brain ignores fonts, spacing, and orientation unless it becomes uncomfortable for you. The job of a professional graphic designer is to ensure that you will stay engaged while reading and that the color and font combo will please your eyes.
Have you ever confused a graphic designer with creators like illustrators, production artists, or visual and brand designers? That’s because graphic designers have broad skills and work for multiple mediums. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll see that, in most cases, you can draw a line between these types of experts.
These are two different directions that are closely related in the modern media field and require certain creative skills and experience.
Basically, the difference between a graphic designer and an illustrator lies in the volume of their work and the focus of their skills. Illustrators create sketches, drawings, infographics, and other things that you might call “art”, while designers work with images, text, color, typography to convey ideas or information for different visuals.
There is often overlap, depending on the skills of an artist and the requirements of a particular project. For example, there are some designers who know how to create illustrations, just as there are some illustrators who do graphic design.
Another confusion emerges when comparing a professional graphic designer with a visual one. Both create visuals, both communicate the brand’s mission to the customer. The difference, again, lies in the amount of work and where it’s directed.
Find a graphic designer, and you’ll be able to create the brand's visual strategy from scratch, starting with the logo and color scheme. They also ensure that the brand identity is consistent everywhere, from website to business card.
Visual designers also care about the brand’s visual communication, mostly online: on the web, in the apps, and on social media. Sometimes they can also work on creating visuals from scratch. However, in most cases, they go by a brand book that a graphic designer has created earlier.
The functions of a lead graphic designer and UI/UX designer are somewhat similar. Both try to combat user frustration but approach it from different directions.
A UI/UX designer mainly focuses on solving issues that emerge when a user interacts with an interface. Their main goal is to create a usable, engaging flow that completes a user request. This creator mostly works with online environments: apps, websites, or landing pages.
On the other hand, a graphic designer works on the first impression, which may appear way before the client even reaches your website. They create captivating visuals for banners, business cards, flyers and try to grab your attention and make you go further and learn more about the product.
These two titles are very similar in many ways. Both communicate your brand values and visions to a customer and create a brand strategy to ensure a steady stream of clients in the long run.
However, a brand designer is more focused on the brainstorming stage. He crafts your company’s personality and turns your brand’s values into captivating narratives. Also, he creates storyboards, outlines main concepts, and establishes a visual direction of your business.
If you hire a graphic designer, they can also work on brainstorming. Then, the designer takes the ideas and works with colors, fonts, and their composition to create visuals. They turn storyboards into materials like advertising flyers, banners, posters or collaborate with other creators to create videos, animations, or other interactive elements.
The overlap between a graphic designer and a production artist is probably the most significant. In smaller companies, you can just hire a graphic designer to cover both these positions — that’s how close they are intertwined. However, there still are some differences.
An independent graphic designer creates a project from start to finish. They pick colors and fonts, arrange them, and create a compelling visual that speaks to a target audience. They also ensure that the message is clear and unique through online and offline platforms.
A production artist, or art director, ensures that the final files are perfect. This includes formatting them for different media, prepress preparations, tweaking color modes, and polishing other imperfections. A production artist cares more about executing the concepts, not the initial ideas.
If you have a friend or a relative who worked with a local graphic designer, you can ask them for recommendations. Or, you can look for specialists on thematic events or design conferences.
A Facebook or Instagram profile with more than 100 followers can become another opportunity to test the six degrees of separation. Just post your job description there and rely on the power of the “Share” button. Or, you can browse through design communities and test your luck.
Finally, you can try hiring full-time and part-time employees on job sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn. They allow you to filter candidates by skill level and location, and help you estimate the average salary for a graphic designer based on proposals from other companies.
A full-time designer has a fixed schedule and paycheck, which allows you to gauge the annual budget and plan your work. You can look at the national averages and estimate your budget before even starting the hiring process.
Factors that impact costs:
Most common freelancer marketplace. Allows you to easily hire professional graphic designers globally and offers specialists for all budgets.
A design portfolio website and community for designers. Offers full-time designers and specialists with an hourly rate. Posting a job costs $249 for a slot per month.
Another design portfolio website, where you can create design contests with fixed rates and pick the best work from a selection of different designs. Or, you can browse a designer’s portfolio and hire a professional to work directly.
A website where independent graphic designers post gigs and set their prices. You can pick from three different tiers based on how detailed you want your project to be.
Hiring freelancers with an hourly rate is usually cheaper than full-time employees. You track time and pay only for hours spent working on a project. Plus, most freelancers are self-employed, so you don’t have to cover the benefits like medical insurance, pension, or educational courses.
Factors that impact costs:
If you are looking for a freelancer with pay per project, you might want to check Fiverr. Here, creators set their rates for the project. However, newbies are encouraged to lower their prices to get reviews and reputation, meaning that you can hire a graphic designer with senior experience for a lower price.
Factors that impact costs:
Almost every design agency has a Facebook page or profile on LinkedIn. This allows you to access their reviews and services quickly and watch how they communicate and deliver their services.
Websites like Dribbble or Upwork allow the registration of the agency account. Here, agencies can promote their services and reach out to clients.
Design agencies actively use the collaborative project feature on Behance to showcase every team member’s input. So, you can contact the manager directly on the website if you have an account.
Design agencies typically use two pricing schemes for their services:
In the first case, the agency usually outlines the services you’ll get for a fixed price, such as the number of designers, list of deliverables, free revisions, formatting, etc. If you go for an hourly rate, the price will depend on the designer’s skill level, location, average time spent on a project, etc.
Here are the average agency prices for most common graphic design projects:
Factors that impact costs:
Design subscription platforms are similar to design agencies: they also offer you services for a fixed fee per month. Most design platforms, including Awesomic, offer you graphic designers with many other creators: UI/UX designers, web designers, motion designers, visual designers, etc.
Once you hire a graphic designer through the design platform, you’ll get a dashboard where you can see all of your projects. Most platforms include unlimited revisions, including urgent, in their prices and typically provide you with feedback on projects tomanage them easily.
Factors that impact costs:
Searching for a perfect candidate takes a lot of resources. However, you can significantly shorten the time and get yourself a goldfish from a pool with these tips:
Freelance websites allow you to hire a graphic designer by looking at their portfolio. Scan it for relevant cases, whether it’s a packaging design for a biking helmet, a flyer for a beauty clinic, or a simple business card.
This will help you weed out potential scammers and check if the designer is credible. If you didn’t succeed at talking to a client directly, google the business name and their social media to see if the design is being used there.
If you’re in doubt about a candidate's reviews or recommendations, you can test them out. Give out a paid sample project that will only take a few hours. This could be a simple logo design or a retouch of one of existing projects. The idea is to see how the candidate thinks on their feet and what their creative process looks like.
After the initial screening of the candidates, you will probably want to invite a few of them to the interview. The goal of the interview is to assess the candidate’s critical thinking and communication skills and rate how confident they are in the field, so you will know what to expect from the work process.
We prepared the questionnaire to help you screen and hire a graphic designer with perfect skills. Get it here.
A great branding kit or visual identity is a result of graphic designer skills and business owner involvement. To maximize the effectiveness of any project, you can build your workflow around these simple steps.
Efficient feedback is like cement that holds the project blocks together. Try to review a designer’s works once it’s been submitted to you. In this case, you’ll leave just enough time to make revisions and go to the next step without missing deadlines.
Working on a design is similar to dancing, so you have to set the rhythm. For example, you can set the deadlines yourself and check them. Or, you can hire a manager to communicate with a graphic designer and check only the stages you mark as important.
If you hire a designer from a different timezone, set the time of the meetings that’s convenient for both parties. Thus, you won’t end up making your revisions late at night and get irritated.
As a business owner, you’ve probably already performed market analysis and identified your niche. Plus, your marketing department might have collected enough data to draw the portrait of your customer and identify their triggers.
This information is invaluable for a professional graphic designer. By knowing what your clients need and expect, he can create a branding strategy that communicates your message directly and sets you apart from the rivals.
There are so many online platforms offering such a service that it would probably take us another couple of weeks to cover all of them. So, for now, we’ve created a list of the top 5 websites to hire a graphic designer or outsource your design tasks.
Fiverr is one of the most famous freelance marketplaces.
You can get any design tasks done, from business cards and brochure design to logos, corporate graphics, and more. Lots of freelancers offer their design services on the platform, so you’ll always have what to choose from.
These two websites are the most popular portfolio platforms where thousands of designers worldwide share their best works. You can’t hire specialists directly through Dribbble or Behance, but you can find a graphic designer for your business and contact them for collaboration.
This Australian platform mainly deals with freelance graphic designers, so you might also give it a try if that’s what you are looking for.
Upwork is currently considered one of the largest freelance marketplaces worldwide. Like Fiverr, it will help you hire a graphic designer and get other services, such as UI/UX design, text writing, web development, etc.
Awesomic is an app that matches you with the best-fit designer at a flat monthly rate. It is a design subscription service with award-winning designers from Europe who work with small and medium businesses worldwide.
A graphic designer is an irreplaceable part of any creative team. Hiring this expert is a sure way to make your brand bold, unique, and memorable, which can grow your business in the long run.
However, job sites and freelance marketplaces are flooded with proposals. So weeding out the right employee among dozens of offers takes a lot of time and money.
If you’re down to work with skilled remote specialists, join design subscription platforms like Awesomic and skip the hiring process at all. Our AI will scan your request and match you with a designer in minutes. And you can get your first concepts in 24 hours, along with unlimited revisions ‘till your design is picture perfect.