The role of a graphic designer is crucial in many industries and it is no wonder that these visual communicators have always been in high demand. As the world of marketing continues to evolve with technological advances, graphic designers have to continually improve and fine tune their skills in order to keep up with the growing demand. If you are looking to hire a graphic designer for your next project, here is the quintessential guide to everything you need to know about the local industry.
What is a Graphic Designer?
Generally, a graphic designer is a professional who communicates using visuals. These visuals may be created by hand or computer and utilises images, motion graphics and typography. Graphic designers these days create visuals for print and digital use, including print ads, billboards, business logos, digital banners, website design and marketing materials. The job requires both technical skills and creativity, and graphic designers are expected to be proficient at programmes such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
It is easy to describe what the goal of a graphic designer is and that is to communicate the intended idea or concept to target audiences for clients through the use of designs across various platforms. The specific definition of a graphic designer, however, is more complicated than that as it is dependent on their role in the project that they have been tasked with. For instance, a graphic designer can also be an interface designer who designs user interfaces for app developers; an art production manager responsible for handling the creation process while looking to increase efficiency and decrease costs; creative director managing a creative team for an advertising campaign; web designer who crafts web page graphics and layouts.
What does the job entail?
Before the actual job of creating the visuals starts, the graphic designer will first have to meet with the client to determine the scope of the project and what ideas and concept they would like to have conveyed to their target audience. The graphic designer is in charge of advising the client as to which is the most practical and efficient way to get their message across and how they can assist with that.
After the graphic designer has come up with a design that is in line with the client’s requirements, they will present their work to them and, if any changes are recommended by the client, make the necessary edits before finalising the project.
Where can I find a professional graphic designer?
At an agency:
Most digital agencies offer graphic design services as part of their website, branding and app development packages. Google “graphic designers” and you can find scores of digital marketing agencies, web design agencies, creative and branding companies, and mobile app development companies pop up on your screen. Selecting the right agency to work on your project will depend on your requirements and budget. It is crucial that you read reviews and testimonials of the agencies online before making your decision on which to hire.
Should you choose to work with freelance graphic designers instead of agencies, they can be easily found online via Google or freelance hire platforms. Here is a list of some of the more prominent local freelance graphic designers:
- YANAat yana.com.sg – this Indonesian-born graphic designer specialises in branding and logo design, and print ad design.
- Maria Fungat mariafung.com – this freelance graphic designer previously worked at some of the top creative agencies both in the UK and Singapore. Her past clients include Dryers, LinkedIn, Singtel and Zalora.
- Serene Sohat singaporefreelancedesigner.com – Serene’s portfolio consists of an array of designs that include catalogues, calendars, magazine layouts, website design and name cards.
- Jay Sun Woo at jaysunwoo.com – some of the clients that this Singapore-based graphic designer has worked with include Diesel, L’artisan and Fisherman’s Friend.
Alternatively, if you have no preference as to where your graphic designer is based, you can browse the following freelance portals for the perfect designer for your project:
- Toptal – this US-based freelance platform only lists the top 3% of freelancers for businesses to hire from. Their freelance database consists of software engineers, business consultants and designers from all over the world.
- Fiverr – based in Israel, Fiverr is a platform for freelancers to advertise their services to potential clients globally, and freelancers work on a “gig” basis.
- Freelancer – freelancer.com is currently the world’s largest freelancing marketplace, based on the number of users (over 31.5 million) and projects.
- 99 Designs – this Australian-based company matches freelance graphic designers available for hire worldwide with potential clients.
Freelancer vs agency
Most freelance graphic designers work from home and, as a result, will have a lower overhead to cover as compared to an agency. You can expect to pay more for graphic design services in an agency that has to pay office rent and employee salaries. Additionally, agencies may be more inclined to dedicate a team of designers to handle your project and you will be charged more for that extra manpower.
As freelancers set their own working hours, they tend to be more easily contactable than agencies that operate within office hours. So if you happen to need to speak to someone about your project over the weekend or after 6pm, a freelancer will be more readily available as compared to those working in an agency.
Quality of Work
Before any comparisons between the two can be made, it is vital that you understand the importance of doing research before hiring anygraphic designer, be it a freelancer or from an agency. Go through their portfolio and client testimonials and reviews to get an idea of how that team or individual works, and what their style is.
When it comes to creativity, it maybe more beneficial to hire a freelance graphic designer who handles all aspect of your project as compared to an agency where creativity may be stifled due to the many hands that a design has to go through before being given the green light.
As agencies have a larger team of designers and managers dedicated to handling each project, they will be more equipped to handle larger workloads as compared to a freelancer. Agencies will also be able to provide a more integrated range of services as they have more professionals on-hand.
How much will it cost?
The minimum hourly wage for a graphic designer in Singapore is $20, with the maximum being $150 per hour. The actual cost of hiring a graphic designer will depend on the scope of the project which will affect the total time spent on it, as well as the overall effort that will be put into it. Most agencies offer reasonable packages to fit any project and budget. In fact, clients can first consult with the creative director or art director and come up with a package that will match both the client’s and graphic designer’s requirements.
How is the payment process like?
While it varies with each company and designer, most would ask for an advance before work commences and the balance will be collected upon delivery of completed work. In Singapore, the more commonly used payment processes include cash, secure bank transfer and cheque. You will need to enquire with the agency or designer for specific instructions on payment method and payment structure.
There is no better way to bring your artistic vision to life than through the skilled expertise of a graphic designer. Regardless of which graphic designer you eventually decide to hire for your project, it is important to go into the work relationship with an open mind and have all your expectations clearly communicated beforehand to prevent any unnecessary trouble along the way.