How to Get a Graphic Design Job: 5 Business Owners Answer

 • 7 min read
Author Victoria Fimmer

If you have just started your designer’s journey, you may wonder how businesses cooperate with young talents to understand how to get a graphic design job Don’t look any further. We asked real business owners how exactly they work with designers today, how to hire designers, where to find a designer, what they pay attention to, how much money pay, what form of cooperation they prefer — hiring a designer or outsourcing, what scope of work they offer, and beyond. What makes the research great is that the interviewed business owners represent companies of different sizes.

So, here’re the answers to interview questions from different business owners so you can get multiple perspectives on the most concerning questions.

Laura Macaulay, Founder of Navigate by Design


Navigate by Design is an independent design business. From digital and print right through to packaging and point-of-sale. The company creates full design solutions for every sector and size. It strives to make the design process as enjoyable as possible whilst taking client’s objectives seriously.

Laura Macaulay, the founder of Navigate by Design, answered our questions.

Collage with photo of Laura Macaulay.

Company’s size: 1-20 employees

How often are designer services needed?

Roughly once every quarter.

What is the scope of work for designers?

It includes simple designs, illustrations, and motion graphics.

Do you prefer having in-house designers or hiring freelancers?

I hire freelance designers when I need an extra resource.

How much money do you pay for designers per hour?

I pay 50$-100$.

When outsourcing, where do you look for designers?

I look through my design network (i.e., word of mouth) and through Google website searches.

What factors affect the hiring decision?

Past work history and work portfolio, design credentials, and I always refer to Linkedin and look at client reviews.

Do you give a chance to novices, or do you prefer experienced and super-skilled designers?

Typically the work I need for collaboration requires more experienced designers.

What “pains” do you usually have during the hiring process & collaboration?

It’s important to be clear about expectations and turnaround speeds. I try to make sure that the work ethos and performance standards are similar in collaboration.

What do you value the most in designers?

Accountability is key. Honesty, dependability, and good regular communication on the project status as well.

Were there any failures you had during the hiring process & collaboration with designers?

In general, most collaborations have been positive experiences. From my past experiences, I’ve found it is really important that everybody is kept well briefed not only at the start; but also throughout a project. I have also been hired as a collaborating Designer, so I appreciate when the Project Manager provides a clear starting briefly with regular reviews to help keep everything on track.

Are there any recommendations you’d love to give to other business owners on efficient hiring processes & collaboration?

I would always recommend having terms and conditions which cover payment terms and what’s expected on both sides. Also, allow plenty of notice where possible so that the job isn’t too rushed.

Benjamin Talin, CEO & Founder of MoreThanDigital


MoreThanDigital is a global platform and digital ecosystem that gives everyone access to topics of the future but also the necessary tools to prepare themselves and their organization. For example, they have the well-known knowledge platform and soon a new platform will be launched and it will help business gather the necessary data and insights to improve their company.

Benjamin Talin, the founder of the company, answered our questions.

Collage with photo of Benjamin Talin.

How often are designer services needed?

We have peak times when we are making sales and marketing sprints where we need a lot of material at the same time. So then we sometimes create dozens of materials within a few weeks.

What is the scope of work for designers?

From ads, presentations, and banners to UI/UX design up to graphics and infographics. There is a lot that we need to create. Especially now, when we launch MoreThanDigital Insights, we identified over 100 different design assets that we need to create before the launch.

Do you prefer having in-house designers or hiring freelancers?

We have some volunteers supporting us with small tasks, but for bigger projects, we are either working together with freelancers or our partner CodeCoda when it comes to web, app, UI/UX design.

How much money do you pay for designers per hour?

Depends on the task and whether it’s an individual commitment or a project. We often also just pay on a project basis, so no hourly rates, as it is the fairest model for both sides.

What factors affect the hiring decision?

Reference projects, communication style, pilot projects, and then, of course, the results afterward to decide if we hire again.

Do you give a chance to novices, or do you prefer experienced and super-skilled designers?

We actually love novices because they are open-minded, and they really think themselves into our design philosophy. For more complex projects, of course, there are sometimes challenges for novices, e.g., UI/UX.

What “pains” do you usually have during the hiring process & collaboration?

Communication, fake references, unclear project pricing, no references, and the blind hope that it will be good.

What do you value the most in designers?

When they are communicating clearly and also take an hour to read into our story, understand our philosophy, and think the way we think.

Were there any failures you had during the hiring process & collaboration with designers?

Many of them. We worked with a lot of designers in the past, and we needed to replace almost as many again. The quality and also the outcomes are rarely consistent, and often when it comes to minimalistic design, it is hard to get the catch.

Are there any recommendations you’d love to give to other business owners on efficient hiring processes & collaboration?

Be as specific as possible with your requests. We usually create PowerPoint with reference graphics, with lots of comments, with all the inputs needed and also some picture input, so the designer has a clear understanding of what needs to be done. It is really helpful for both sides to have very detailed documentation on what needs to be done and what the expectations are. This way, we eliminated most of the unnecessary iterations.

Cameron Slayden, CEO at Microverse Studios


Microverse Studios is a provider of top-tier cinematic animation. They have five full-time scientific animation staff with advanced degrees to produce cinematic 3D features. They also have two non-animation staff that manage the day-to-day business elements of the company. However, they have no dedicated motion graphics staff. For that, the company relies on freelancers.

Cameron Slayden, CEO of the company answered our questions.

Collage with photo of Cameron Slayden.

How often are designer services needed?

We need a freelance motion graphics specialist about four times a year.

What is the scope of work for designers?

Usually, we need someone who can animate well in After Effects, creating snappy and fun moving pictures and dynamic text to accompany the exposition provided by clients. Sometimes we also need a document layout.

Do you prefer having in-house designers or hiring freelancers?

Our animators are capable of producing motion graphics, but often they’re too busy, and motion graphics is an element that doesn’t require quite as specialized a background and skillset as what they normally do. For those projects or components of projects, we prefer to outsource.

How much money do you pay for designers per hour?

We try to identify a project budget to stay within, but generally, we’re wide open to the animator’s rates. Our work has to look amazing, so we’re willing to pay top dollar for the best talent.

When outsourcing, where do you look for designers?

They are very hard to find. We haven’t found a singular resource yet, so a lot of it is via word of mouth.

What factors affect the hiring decision?

Always work ethic and high-quality output. A stellar demo reel that demonstrates the kind of imagery we’re looking for is important. We’re looking for reliability and consistency, and the ability to meet deadlines.

We do strive to keep those deadlines realistic, however.

Do you give a chance to novices, or do you prefer experienced and super-skilled designers?

Our approach to everything is experienced and super-skilled. We want the grizzled veterans of the industry.

What “pains” do you usually have during the hiring process & collaboration?

Usually, it’s finding someone with a sufficiently skilled portfolio of work, but a lot of times, it’s the fact that those people are already booked up.

We need a long list of talent to work with so that, statistically, someone is always free.

What do you value the most in designers?

Skill level and a good work ethic, and the ability to operate without a lot of hand-holding. We like to show our talent appreciation and provide a good virtual working environment for them as well.

Were there any failures you had during the hiring process & collaboration with designers?

We’ll usually give new talent a try, but if they don’t give us work that measures up, we pay them their agreed rate and take it back off their hands and give it to someone else. Unfortunately, if you fail your first project with us, it damages the trust we have in you to do a good job, so usually, the working relationship is over. Reliability is critical.

Are there any recommendations you’d love to give to other business owners on efficient hiring processes & collaboration?

When you find someone good, stick with them. Explore their professional network because, a lot of times, these creatives know other people at or near their level.

Ryan Turner, Founder of Ecommerce Intelligence


Eccomerce Intelligence is an e-commerce agency offering growth marketing for online retail brands. This involves a lot of design work, primarily for email graphics and templates and custom images for blog posts and other content pieces.

Ryan Turner, the founder of Ecommerce Intelligence, answered our questions.

Collage with photo of Ryan Turner.

Company’s size: 1-20 employees

How often are designer services needed?

Designers’ services are needed daily.

What is the scope of work for designers?

Designers need to create email template designs, custom images and illustrations for blog posts, and occasionally visualizations of data sets, such as presenting data in the form of an infographic.

Do you prefer having in-house designers or hiring freelancers?

We use both in-house designers as well as freelancers for specific projects.

How much money do you pay for designers per hour?

We pay 10$-50$.

When outsourcing, where do you look for designers?

We actually hire a lot from Twitter. Many designers on Twitter post their client work along with mockups for brands they want to work with. We reach out to users who are posting great work.

What factors affect the hiring decision?

Portfolio strength, attention to detail, and ability to work to a deadline. The deadline aspect is very important as much of the work we do has to be ready by a certain date for a marketing campaign.

Do you give a chance to novices, or do you prefer experienced and super-skilled designers?

Usually, experienced designers are our preference, but we have worked with one or two novices in the past, just starting out and seeing good results.

What “pains” do you usually have during the hiring process & collaboration?

Often the major pain is around communication and being kept in the loop by designers. When we’re working to a client deadline, good communication is vital.

What do you value the most in designers?

We value a real passion for their work, good communication, and attention to detail.

Were there any failures you had during the hiring process & collaboration with designers?

A couple, mostly around not hitting deadlines. This is now one of the main things we look for when working with new designers.

Are there any recommendations you’d love to give to other business owners on efficient hiring processes & collaboration?

Yes. Don’t hire based purely on creative ability and portfolio. Communication, attention to detail, and the ability to work to a deadline can be just as important as a designer’s artistic skills.

Marc Werner, CEO and founder of GhostBed


GhostBed offers supernatural comfort that’s bigger, better, more affordable. It’s a 5th generation family business with mattresses that are made in the USA. A company has a 100-year history to share.

Marc Werner, the founder of GhostBed, answered our questions.

Collage with photo of Marc Werner.

Company’s size: 100-500 employees.

How often are designer services needed?

Designers’ services are always needed when we need fresh creative, whether it is a sale or a new product launch.

What is the scope of work for designers?

The scope of work we have to offer for designers includes website design, retail store displays, trade show material, web banners, and TV ads.

Do you prefer having in-house designers or hiring freelancers?

It depends. We prefer having both in-house and freelance designers.

How much money do you pay for designers per hour?

Usually, we pay 50$-100$ per hour.

When outsourcing, where do you look for designers?

We consider, first of all, referrals from our marketing team and current designers that can vouch for the designers’ work portfolios.

What factors affect the hiring decision?

At GhostBed, we have a unique story to tell. So it’s all about how great the designer is in storytelling to show the family values, craftsmanship, and pride in our 5th-generation family business.

Do you give a chance to novices, or do you prefer experienced and super-skilled designers?

Everyone deserves a chance to be mentored. However, we look for those with the desire and skill set to see GhostBed’s creative vision.

What do you value the most in designers?

It is all about people. I may be the founder and CEO of GhostBed at age 65. But I don’t want my team to turn into the HIPPO Effect. I.E., “Highest Paid Person’s Opinion”.

Were there any failures you had during the hiring process & collaboration with designers?

As a business owner, I don’t collaborate with designers. You can’t waste your time micromanaging. You have to make decisions, but as long as you think the idea is 80% on track, you have to let it fly.

Are there any recommendations you’d love to give to other business owners on efficient hiring processes & collaboration?

Be open-minded, honest, and use A/B testing data to make educated decisions, not business owner opinions, to grow your business design vision.


Main Insights Every Designer Should Consider

Based on the interview answers, we’ve gathered the main trends in today’s designers’ hiring process so you can know what to be ready for and how to get hired as a graphic designer:

  • The demand for designers is usually higher in big companies (100-500 employees). However, even small businesses like Eccomerce Intelligence may need designers’ services daily. So it all depends on the industry rather than size.
  • Today, the scope of work of designers is extremely broad. The common tasks include website design, retail store displays, trade show material, web banners, TV ads, template designs, custom images and illustrations for blog posts, motion graphics, and infographics. The companies like Microverse Studio also look for designers who can animate well in after effects, creating snappy and fun moving pictures. So, make sure you find your cup of tea on the market.
  • Freelance or employee? Both big and small companies with daily design tasks prefer having both in-house and freelance designers. Companies that need design tasks occasionally prefer to outsource. Today, freelance graphic designers make up around 90% of the industry (IBISWorld). And the tendency to outsource seems to increase.
  • The most common rate for designers’ services is $50-$100. Small companies that need simple design tasks, such as creating basic illustrations, may pay up to $50. Many companies also prefer paying on a project basis since it is considered the fairest model for both sides. But be ready that your salary will depend on your professionalism. Just like Cameron Slayden, CEO at Microverse Studios, said: “If the work looks amazing, we’re willing to pay top dollar for the best talent.”
  • Companies rarely use a singular resource to find designers for outsourcing. A lot of them rely on word of mouth. Also, common resources are Google website searches and referrals from employees. Some companies, like E-commerce Intelligence, look through Twitter posts.
  • The following factors affect hiring decisions when outsourcing: reference projects, communication style, pilot projects, design credentials, LinkedIn reviews, portfolio strength, attention to detail, and ability to work to a deadline. Some companies like GhostBed have specific requirements — hiring designers who are great at storytelling and can represent a unique story of a company. Also, when it comes to hiring again in the future, the results afterward are key in making the decision.
  • A super-skilled designer or a newbie? Companies today have become less biased when it comes to hiring novices. Everyone deserves a chance, and what matters is the desire and skill set. Companies like MoreThanDigital even prefer novices who are usually more open-minded and can think themselves into the company’s design philosophy. However, for some businesses, hiring only experienced staff is a guiding principle. Just like Cameron Slayden, CEO at Microverse Studios, said: “We want the
    grizzled veterans of the industry.
  • The most common pains companies have when hiring designers are an insufficiently skilled portfolio of work, pre-booked designers, and poor communication.
  • The things companies the most value when choosing are skill level, a good work ethic, the ability to operate without a lot of hand-holding, clear communication, understanding of the company’s philosophy, a real passion for their work, accountability, and attention to detail.
  • Based on the failures shared by companies, here’re the things you should avoid to not make these fatal mistakes: difficulty in getting the catch, inconsistent quality and outcomes, and not hitting deadlines
  • The companies use the following recommendations on how to hire a designer: using A/B testing data, growing business design vision, sticking with good talents, being as specific as possible with your requests to eliminate unnecessary iterations, having terms and conditions which cover payment terms, and considering soft skills in addition to creative ability and portfolio.

Main Insights Every Designer Should Consider in Infographic

We got more than 100 answers to our survey but couldn’t add all of them to our article 🙁 So, we created an infographic based on all answers, and here you can see the result of our survey.

Main Insights Every Designer Should Consider in Infographic.

Conclusion

Hope all the abovementioned things will give you a clear understanding of how the market for designers looks today and how to get a job in graphic design. What we also want to say is don’t be afraid to kickstart, even if you think you don’t have enough skills. You never know where is your ideal project waiting for you.

Also, if you are looking for a passive income as a designer, don’t look any further. Consider selling your deals on MasterBundles. All you need is just to fill in the Sell Your Deal form to start selling your deals. Why are we worth your attention?

First of all, our platform is convenient to use. A caring support team will answer all the questions you might have.

Besides, you don’t need to participate in marketing and sales funnels. The company will do everything for you. All you need is just to place your design on the website and create catchy personalized descriptions. Also, one more reason to join is that clients trust MasterBundles. There’re strict quality policies. So, make sure your design is of the highest possible quality before placing your deal.

Some Awesome Video About Graphic Design Job



Getting Graphic Design Jobs IS EASY With This Process!

How to become a graphic designer? Or better yet, how to become a full time graphic designer? Or better still, how to PROPERLY become a full time graphic designer?



How To Get Your 1st Graphic Design Job

When you have just graduated college or university as a graphic designer or creative professional the biggest question is ‘How do I get my first graphic design job?”. You don’t have any real-world work experience. You don’t have a big portfolio. You’re also probably wondering, “Should I work in an agency or in-house?”and “How do I get an interview?”. The system for applying for jobs online is completely broken. But, there is one secret method get you a job in the design industry fast – and I in this video I’m going to share that secret with you.

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