Hire A Freelance Graphic Designer: Step-by-step Guide (2023)

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How To Hire a Freelance Graphic Designer

As a business owner, presenting a professional and cohesive brand image to your customers is important. One way to do this is by hiring a skilled graphic designer to create visual materials such as logos, brochures, and social media graphics.

While it may be tempting to try and handle design tasks yourself or delegate them to a non-designer employee, the value of hiring a professional cannot be understated. Not only will a freelance graphic designer bring a fresh perspective and creative ideas to your project, but they also have the technical skills and experience to produce high-quality, effective designs.

Follow these three steps to find the best freelance graphic designer for you.

1. How to find a freelance graphic designer

There are numerous ways to hire a freelance graphic designer for your business.

Freelance platforms: One option is to search online platforms that connect businesses with freelancers in various fields.  These sites allow you to search for designers based on location, budget, and design style and often provide reviews and ratings from past clients to help you make an informed decision. Some popular platforms for finding graphic designers include:

  • Toptal – best for professional and vetted graphic designers ($60–$150/hour)
  • Fiverr – the most affordable but has a lot of scams ($5–$1000+/project)
  • Upwork – intermediate prices with many freelancers inflating their hourly rate to seem professional ($10–$200/hr)

Referrals: Another option is to ask for referrals from colleagues or industry professionals who have previously worked with graphic designers. Word-of-mouth recommendations can be a great way to find a designer who meets your specific needs and has a proven track record of delivering high-quality work.

Local designers: You can also research local design studios or independent designers in your area. Many designers have their own websites where you can view their portfolios and contact them directly for more information about their services. This can be a good option if you prefer to work with someone in your community or have a more hands-on approach to the design process.

Consider alternatives

Before hiring a single freelance designer for a graphic design project, consider alternative options such as unlimited graphic design and crowdsourcing.

Unlimited graphic design allows you to receive as many design concepts and revisions as you need for a fixed monthly fee. This option is cost-effective for businesses with ongoing design needs. Most unlimited graphic design services cost around $400 per month, and many offer the option to hire more than one designer for an additional fee. Some of the best options include:

  • Manypixels – Best price for value ($439–$1,199/month)
  • Awesomic, Vecteezy Studio – Expensive but the highest quality ($699–$2,490/month)
  • Kimp, Penji – Cheapest but also the lowest quality ($599–$995/month)

Crowdsourcing is another option involving enlisting a graphic design team to create several designs for you. You can do this through a design contest platform like 99designs, where designers submit their work, and you provide feedback as they are submitted. At the end of the contest, you can choose your favorite design and hire the designer for further work.

These alternatives can be a great option if you want a variety of design options to choose from or have ongoing design needs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that working with a single freelance graphic designer can often result in a more personalized and cohesive end product.

2. Tips for finding the right fit

Finding the right freelance graphic designer is crucial to the success of your design project. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect fit:

  1. Determine your budget and project scope: It’s important to have a clear idea of how much you are willing to spend and what exactly you need from a designer. This will help narrow your search and ensure that you are working with a designer within your budget and able to meet your specific needs.
  2. Review portfolios and ask for samples of past work: Take the time to review the portfolios of potential designers and ask for samples of past work similar to your project. This will give you an idea of the designer’s style and level of expertise.
  3. Communicate clearly with potential designers: Make sure to communicate your vision and goals for the project to potential designers, as this will help them understand your needs and wishes. As a result, the designer can provide designs that align with your brand and aesthetic.

3. Working with a freelance graphic designer

Once you’ve found a freelance graphic designer that you think is the right fit for your project, it’s important to communicate clearly and set expectations for the work process. Here are some key considerations when working with a freelance graphic designer:

  1. Contract and payment: The contract should detail each party’s expectations and duties, and both parties should sign and keep a copy for their records. Payment can be divided into installments for larger projects, and for smaller projects, payment should be made in full upon completion. Specifying the payment schedule and methods in the contract is important to assure both parties. You can confidently move forward with your project with a clear contract and payment process.
  2. Discuss timelines and deadlines: Make sure to discuss realistic timelines for the project and agree on deadlines for deliverables. This will help ensure that the project stays on track and is completed in a timely manner.
  3. Set clear expectations for revisions and feedback: Discuss how many rounds of revisions are included in the project fee and how the feedback process will work. It’s important to provide specific and constructive feedback to help the designer understand your vision and create designs that meet your needs.
  4. Determine payment terms and schedule: Make sure to discuss and agree upon payment terms and schedule before starting the project. This will help avoid any misunderstandings or disputes down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I pay a freelance graphic designer?

The amount you should pay a freelance graphic designer depends on various factors, such as the project’s scope, the designer’s level of expertise and experience, and your budget. On online platforms like Toptal, you can expect to pay $60-$150/hour for professional and vetted graphic designers. Fiverr tends to be the most affordable option, with prices ranging from $5-$1000+ per project, but be aware that this platform has many scams. Upwork offers intermediate prices, with many freelancers inflating their hourly rate to seem professional, typically ranging from $10 to $200/hour. It’s important to clearly understand your budget before beginning the hiring process and to communicate this with potential designers. It’s always a good idea to shop around and get quotes from a few different designers to get a sense of the market rate and find the best fit for your budget.

What to ask before hiring a graphic designer?

Before hiring a graphic designer, it’s important to ask about their experience, portfolio, design style, availability, and rates. You should also ask about their process for revisions and feedback and clarify any details about the project scope and deadlines. Asking these questions will help you determine if the designer is a good fit for your business and project needs.

What does a freelancer graphic designer do?

A freelance graphic designer is a professional who creates visual materials such as logos, brochures, and social media graphics for businesses or individuals. They use software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to design and create these materials and often work on a project-by-project basis with clients. Freelance graphic designers are responsible for understanding the needs and goals of their clients and creating designs that effectively communicate the desired message and align with the client’s brand.


In conclusion, hiring a freelance graphic designer can bring numerous benefits to your business. A professional designer can bring a fresh perspective and creative ideas to your project and has the technical skills and experience to produce high-quality, effective designs. It’s important to find the right fit by determining your budget and project scope, reviewing portfolios, and communicating clearly with potential designers. By setting clear expectations and communicating effectively during the design process, you can work with a freelance graphic designer to create designs that align with your brand and help your business succeed.


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