Working with Creative Professionals – Part 1

Working with Creative Professionals – Graphic Designers, Copywriters, and Web Developers: An Interview with Alizah Epstein Part 1

I interviewed Alizah Epstein, Chief Creative Officer at Epstein Creative for this Q & A. Epstein Creative is a full-service graphic and website design studio that provides a full range of professional creative and marketing services. We discussed what you should know before hiring a creative professional to help you promote your business.

Creative professionals include graphic and multi-media designers, copywriters, and web developers who work in a variety of settings. They can be self-employed freelancers. They can work in design studios or marketing communication firms that offer branding, logo development, and web services. Full-service advertising agencies offer marketing research services and the full range of creative services, including advertising placement. Some studios and most advertising agencies employ account managers who act as a liaison between you and the creative team. They manage your project.

Question: Where can I find creative professionals?

Answer: One of the best ways to find creative professionals is byword-of-mouth. If you like someone’s website, logo or printed promotional literature, get the name of the person or persons who wrote and designed it. If you need design work, and have budget restraints, think about going to a local art school. Graphic design students are always looking for work to use in their portfolio.

There are design industry publications that have directories of design professionals. For example, you can browse designer’s portfolios at www.comarts.com or go to AIGA.org and look under Find a Designer. AIGA also has local chapters. You can post your job on the Art Directors Club website, adcglobal.org. Another place to look is LinkedIn where there are design groups and advertising copywriters groups and you can search for designers in your area. There are crowd-sourcing websites such as www.eLance.com.

You can search for multi-media and graphic designers, writers, and web developers. If you see a website you like and you think it’s appropriate for your business, look at the bottom of the home page and you’ll see the name of the designer who built the website. You can click on their name and go directly to the designer’s website.

Question: Should I hire my brother-in-law’s cousin to design my website and logo?

Answer: It depends. If this relative has experience creating websites and logos in your specific industry or business, interview him. Can you have a frank discussion about fees?

Question: What do creative professionals charge for their services?

Answer: This is a big topic for freelancers and design firms. Creative costs should be considered part of your business start-up costs such as branding and logo development. Creative fees vary by the experience of the designer and location. A designer in Oklahoma City will charge less than one in Chicago. Logo designers charge anywhere from $300 to $8,000. You can look at www.howdesign.com to find hourly rates of freelancers. You are paying for the value, experience, and education of your creative team.

Most designers charge by the hour. Some do value-based pricing. Value-based pricing sets the fee for the project based on the value to the customer rather than on the cost of the project. However, most creative professionals charge by the hour. When selecting a web designer, you should find out what the charges are for: your domain name; web hosting; website design and development. If you were not going to handle maintenance such as updating your site or adding blog postings, it would be fine to use these services. To find specific prices go to GoDaddy, Bluehost, or MediaTemple.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Working with Creative Professionals.

Contact Alizah