What to look for when hiring a designer
March 25, 2022

Points to look out for when choosing your new designer or design agency:

So you’ve got a design project but you have no idea which designer to hire because there’s just so many. Hiring a designer can be daunting when you don’t know what to look for. We’ve put together a list of things to look for in the designer you’re entrusting with your project. We’ll be using ourselves as an example.


You should be able to find a designer’s online portfolio easily. If a designer doesn’t offer up their portfolio, or you’re unable to find it, it’s probably not the best sign.

Remember that sometimes a designer cannot display their entire portfolio due to confidentiality reasons. So, it’s best to ask your designer if they have certain experiences, and they should be able to give you vague details without breaking that past client’s confidentiality.

Find out if they have worked with businesses like yours or if they have experience in the type of design that you’re after. You may sell cars but like the design of a cupcake shop from the portfolio. It’s not the same industry but you can be inspired by the styles and the skill that went into the work.

Be wary of a portfolio where everything feels or looks the same. 

Industry Expertise

How much does the designer know about their industry? Are they newbies that are just in it for the paycheck or have they dedicated time and effort to learning about their industry? 

Research how much your designer or agency knows by looking at their social media – are they just showing their work or do they also share tips and information on their industry? It’s always a good checkpoint if they can apply their own advice and make terminology and concepts easier to understand. This gives you an idea of how it will be to work with them. It’s a relationship after all.

Check to see if they have a blog and if it highlights experience and good and consistent communication. If their content is helpful or teaches you something – you’re getting a lot more out of them than a design. 

Client Testimonials and Google Reviews

The amazing (and scary) thing about Google reviews is that people can post them and the business can’t delete them. 

These reviews tell you a lot because they mean that someone was impressed enough by the service they received to go on record and share it. Pay attention to the type of comments; what do they tell you about the quality of the service and the relationship they had with the designer or design agency?

At the same time, don’t always trust reviews on a website, those can be fabricated. We showcase some of our reviews on our website but you will always be able to link them back to the exact same Google or Facebook review.

Setting Expectations

Do you have a tight deadline for your project that you can’t compromise on? If so, can the designer get it done in time? Will you receive the same amount of attention as all their other clients? 

These are things you will have to address with the designer. Be clear about what you expect and don’t settle for less. 

Listen out for signs of over-promising. If it sounds too good to be true, it might be. It’s unfortunate that in the design industry, there are people who will take your money and deliver a sub-par design. We counteract that by offering a tracking system that allows for transparency and accountability. Look for a designer that offers something similar. 


It’s important that you have access to your designer when you need to discuss changes or ideas. Within reasonable hours, of course. 

Your designer or agency should be eager to have a meeting with you to discuss your needs and develop a relationship. Whether this meeting is online or in person, if the person you’re hiring has no desire to see your face or have a chat, be wary. 

The Bigger Picture

Is the designer taking the future of your business into account? Are they making sure that your designs are scalable and fit into your future goals and plans? 

The right designer or agency should offer you advice and offer their services or guidance for the next step in your project and allow for growth in your vision

Finding an agency that offers multiple services means developing a long term relationship with someone who really knows and understands your business. So, try to hire someone that can see the bigger picture and will stay the course. 

Design Agency

We’ve spoken a lot about the designer, but we also want to mention why you’re better off going with a design agency.

Hiring a company rather than a solo designer means more people, which means more hands, eyes and skill sets. Your project will be seen by a few people and you will also have access to more knowledge, experience and service offerings such as SEO and marketing.

It also means that if the designer is out of action  your project will not go dark and you will always have a point of contact . 

When hiring a designer, do your research and trust your gut. 

Our ZenZero Team

We hope this helped you feel more confident in finding the right designer and agency for you. If you found this blog post helpful and would like to learn more, subscribe to our mailing list!

Kayla Manfredo


Kayla is our head designer and blog post gal. She works hard every week to bring you new and exciting posts along with Vanessa, who talks about marketing, and Mirko, who talks about buisness.


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