Graphic designers touch nearly everything we see, from the billboards you drive by on the way to work, to the packaging of your toothpaste, to the website you’re looking at right now (hello!). If you own a business, chances are at some point you will require some sort of graphic design work. And while it can be tempting to DIY or rely on a friend with photoshop, hiring a freelance professional is usually the way to go.
A professional graphic designer will not only make your logo, website or brochure look great, but they’ll also make sure it gets you results.
The different options for graphic design work
There are multiple ways to get graphic design done online, and depending on what you’re looking for, one may be more suited to your needs.
Design contests are great for ideation! You create a brief and designers from around the world pitch you concepts specific to your project. You pick your few favorites and work with those designers to hone the look, feel and message. And then you pick one (or more) as the winner.
We recommend design contests for logos, t-shirts, book covers, landing pages and anything else where you have clear, set deliverables (e.g. one logo) and want to generate multiple ideas to help you find the perfect design.
Working directly with a freelancer
Working one-to-one with a freelance designer is the best option when you’ve got a complicated project, or if you are very clear on what you want. This method allows you to iterate on one project until it’s exactly right, or to expand scope as needed.
We recommend working directly with a freelancer for websites, app designs, book layout, illustrations and any projects where there are a large amount of deliverables (e.g. many web page designs) or there are complex details that need to be explained.
Want to work directly with a freelancer? Read on!
The 10 best freelance graphic designers to hire in 2020
How did we choose these as the top graphic designers?
At 99designs, our goal is to connect you with the best designer for your project. We want to make sure you have the information you need to confidently select that graphic designer. When choosing the top graphic designers for this list, we looked at a couple of things:
1. Design skill
All designers on 99designs have their portfolios reviewed by our in-house design experts. This team looks at design concepting, technical execution and knowledge of design principles and assigns the designer to one of three levels:
- Top Level designers are experienced creative professionals
- Mid Level designers have shown good examples and are working on establishing themselves as experts
- Entry Level designers show promise, but are just starting to develop in their careers
Each designers portfolio will show you their level so you have a better understanding of who you’re working with when choosing a designer.
Design chops are obviously important when you’re a designer. But so is professionalism. Which is why we also take responsiveness, communication skills and client happiness into account when rating our designers. You can be assured you’re not just getting a skilled artist, but also a professional.
What to think about when hiring a graphic designer
Choosing the perfect designer is fun, but can also be daunting. You want to make sure you hire someone who gets your project and your brand, and can help you elevate it. Here’s what you need to do to pick the right person:
- Focus on the portfolio: This is a designer’s resume. You’ll want to look at the type of graphic design they do (you probably don’t want to hire a logo designer to do book illustrations) as well as the style they specialize in (are their designs cutesy? Modern? Tough?).
- Make sure you have clear goals: You may love vintage etchings, but is that style going to make clients feel welcome and comfortable at your dental practice? Understand the needs of your project and pick a designer based on those as opposed to your personal taste.
- Know what you need and how much you can spend: It’s fun to fantasize about the future of your business and pin beautiful images of your ideal website. But make sure you’re being realistic. What’s your budget? Timeline? What (exactly) do you need? Talk to designers to make sure they get what you’re going for, and you agree on the price.
Are you ready to hire an amazing freelance graphic designer?
Whether you need a 3d product prototype or the brochure to advertise it at a convention, you’re going to need some graphic design. Hiring the right graphic designer can help you stand out from the crowd.