Help, I can’t find my freelance Graphic Designer!

We’ve heard that three times this year and wonder what’s happened in those situations. Has your designer truly disappeared, or have they dropped you like third period French?

So we asked.

In two of those cases, both freelance designers got a full time job and left their marketing clients in a lurch. The third one? Well that designer took on more than she could handle and just wasn’t responding to her client.

We’ve also heard about freelancers that went back to school, designers that could only talk after 5pm, and one that would only communicate by email. No phone calls please!

Now don’t get me wrong, my creative agency loves freelance designers and I have a designer friend that treats his clients like gold – but just as there are really good designers out there, this article is about ensuring you don’t hire one of the three I mentioned above.

So if you’re about to hire a freelance designer, we suggest interviewing them as if they were applying for a job in your business.

  1. Have they been freelancing long? Check their work history. Did they bounce from job to job? That may be a sign of instability or boredom. Look for one that has dug in.
  2. Have they just been laid off or packaged out? Will they commit for the long term or is this a temporary fix until they land a new job?
  3. Check their website and look for clients that match your business size. Are you too big for them? Too small? Or just right?
  4. Call those clients and ask them about their experience with their designers. Most will tell you they love their designer, but some will be candid and tell you the truth.
  5. And finally, have a look at their social media channels. Are you dealing with a professional, or someone you hope your daughter doesn’t bring home?

There are many awesome graphic designers out there – finding (and keeping) a really good one is possible. But if you have enough work to really depend on someone every week or two, then consider hiring a design company or a creative agency. Why hire just one designer, when you can have access to many? Like this client of ours….

“Greg, one of the things I love about Synergy Design and your in-house designers, is that I never have to worry about getting our marketing material done on time.”

Ok, I have to go. A new client is asking us to take over from where their freelancer left off. No one can find her working files, so we’ll have to rebuild everything. But that’s ok, we’ve got this.

Greg Carmichael
Greg Carmichael

Greg is the Managing Director of Synergy Design, a creative branding agency in Streetsville (Mississauga), just outside of Toronto. Greg leads a talented team that creates effective marketing collateral for print and online, and he ensures their clients have a great experience working with them. To learn more, visit