How to Hire a Freelance Designer

Design is a significant determinant of a brand’s uniqueness. The word “brand” is mostly associated with a specific visual representation, like a logo associated with a company or product. Therefore, it’s the foundation upon which your brand identity is built and how every user perceives it.

You want to make sure your brand’s touchpoints convey the same message and carry the same branding elements. If you don’t have a creative, in-house, full-time team, or you aren’t a pro when it comes to design tools and you don’t want to outsource an agency, your best bet is to hire a freelance designer with adequate talent for your projects to bring the visuals you dream of to reality.

Below, we’ll guide you on how to go about hiring a freelancer for your design needs. Whether you’re looking for a logo or to build a site design, we’ll make sure you hire the best freelance designer while enjoying maximum flexibility.

1. Set Your Expectations Before Starting to Hire a Freelance Designer


Before starting your freelancer recruitment process, set your expectations on what you’re looking to achieve out of the project. Develop an outline of your exact requirements, the deadlines, the overall project duration, allocated budget, and every other detail you could think of.

By doing so, you’ll prevent any possible miscommunication with your freelance designer, and you’ll save time and energy that could otherwise all be dedicated to explaining the project in-depth through one-on-one meetings.

2. Develop Clear Guidelines and Deliverables


Great design takes a lot of time. Yes, the output may seem like a combination of shapes and letters, but creative work goes beyond that. For that reason, you need to be detailed as possible about how you want your material to look. You can’t afford to restart the entire process; not to mention, you’ll be wasting the freelance designer’s time too.

If you have a style reference or brand guidelines, provide them to your freelance designer. Furthermore, be clear about dimensions, sizing, file formats, and how you want to receive the final product (email, hard copy, on a flash drive, etc.)

If you don’t really know what your dimensions are, for example, it’s completely fine. Just specify where you’ll be using the designs. The freelance designer will know how to proceed and exactly what to provide you with by mentioning your intended uses.

3. Time to Hire a Freelance Designer: Start with Your Network


Now that the specifics are laid out, it’s time to hire a freelance designer! Since the perfect match can be very close to you, start by asking around. Seek recommendations from your network, or post a job posting on your social media platforms.

You might either find members of your network who are designers themselves, or you may receive personal recommendations out of experience. But what happens if you don’t find someone?

4. Use Freelance Platforms to Hire a Freelance Designer

Sign Up to Al7arefa Freelance Marketplace

Freelance websites are like a marketplace for jobs. As a client, you can post your project, while freelancer individuals looking for jobs can apply and submit proposals to the hundreds of jobs available on the platform.

Our very own Al7arefa is an example of an online freelance platform, so make sure you create an account to be able to post your job and start receiving proposals from qualified freelancers in Egypt! If you don’t want to wait for proposals, you can start browsing portfolios of designers who specialize in different areas.

Be specific in your search to find your expert, by using keywords such as graphic designer, UI/UX designer, UI designer, UX designer, web designer, logo designers, art directors, brand designers, creative directors, product designers, icon designers, illustrators, digital designers, Photoshop experts, mobile app designers, or more, depending on what design services you’re looking for.

5. Shortlist Talented Candidates


With freelancing platforms like Al7arefa, you’ll discover that it’s not easy to pick the right freelancer. So many freelancers are experienced and professional, making the choice very challenging. However, it’s vital to evaluate freelancers based on the skill level they possess relating to your requirements to find the ideal candidate.

Remember that you can post multiple projects on Al7arefa. If you feel like each freelancer is skilled in a particular area, divide your comprehensive project into several tasks and choose a freelancer for each freelancing role. We’re that flexible! 

For every freelancer you perceive as a potential candidate, go through their portfolio to make sure that their work is aligned with your vision. Then, using our platform, connect and invite them to an interview.  By the same token, if you had posted the job first and you received proposals, follow the same methodology to hire your freelancer.

6. Interview Your Top Choices

During the interviews, ask as many questions as you can to ensure you hire the perfect freelance designer for your task. Not to mention, knowing more about your freelancer will help make the selection process easier. Let them tell you more about their portfolio, the projects it includes, which projects they enjoyed most and why, which industries they prefer to work in, and more.

You’ll also want to understand the design tools and software they rely on. Since you’re probably not a designer, here are some of the common answers you should expect to hear, depending on the job type: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Sketch, Affinity Designer, CorelDRAW, GIMP, Inkscape, Figma, and Adobe XD.

Since design can be highly subjective, it’s best to request a sample tailored to your business. Yet, since as we mentioned earlier, design is a lengthy process, make sure to pay the freelancer for this task. That way, you’ll be able to make a final decision based on the deliverable and how you see it. If all’s good, you’re ready to go!

7. Make the Final Selection

At this phase, you’ll have certainly met the one who ticks all the boxes and decided on a freelancer. Now, it’s time to start the project. If the freelancer had applied to your job, you’d just accept the proposal after agreeing on the budget or salary, and they’re hired. If you hadn’t posted the job yet, now is the time to do so. Make sure you include all the details you discussed with your freelancer.

With freelance designers, you’ll find that most of them charge on a project-to-project basis, so they’ll provide you with the cost for the project that you’ll pay in milestones. Before you negotiate pricing, make sure to overview the market rates for different design projects, including those you’re requesting. As a matter of fact, it’s common practice to hear designers complaining about how offended they were by the rates clients want to pay them. You don’t want to leave that impression!

Just seek a fair rate that’s satisfactory to both of you, considering experience, project scope, and market average. Also, discuss the payment terms. Will they charge you per project, by an hourly rate, or other? Just iron out these terms before you get started.

Following that, you’ll need to make the payment directly through Al7arefa to guarantee both you and your freelancer’s rights. We hold the amount until you receive your deliverables and give us the green light to release it. Once you do, we deduct a 20% service fee and send the money to your freelancer.

Final Tips  

As we’ve discussed, design is subjective. Accordingly, always let your freelancer know whether they’ve hit the mark or not. Be constructive and transparent with your feedback, and make sure the brief is as straightforward as possible. Avoid asking for too many changes that weren’t agreed upon or expanding the project. If you hired a top-notch freelance designer, do what it takes to keep them on your side for the longer term; you’ll need them!

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Reem Abouemera
Senior Content Writer | Hire Me

Reem is a lifelong learner with a passion that never fails her: writing! Fused with a BBA in marketing from AUC, crafting compelling content that fulfills both business owners and customers is the blend she uniquely implements. Being a literal perfectionist, Reem capitalizes on this quality through research, empowering her to meticulously grasp topics and transform that apprehension into unique and engaging content, driving laser-targeted website traffic. Reem specializes in website content and blog posts. Yet, for the love of writing and its unconstrained nature, she, too, is boundless and open to other content areas.

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