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  • How to hire a designer

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    AIGA is the professional association for design. Our members include designers who are committed to the highest professional standards—as creative professionals and in serving clients. AIGA members work in a wide range of disciplines and mediums including print design, branding, logo design, advertising, editorial design, interaction design, motion graphics, product design, packaging, industrial design, environmental design, experience design and service design.

    The value of hiring through AIGA is that members are committed to the highest levels of professionalism, which improves the quality of their work and performance. This makes AIGA members a valuable pre-qualified group—the designers who are most committed to the ethics and the future of their profession.

    You can approach hiring a designer in several ways:

    • Use the AIGA Designer Directory: If you know a member’s name or a firm name—or want to limit your search to a specific discipline or geographic area—this directory is a good start. Those who agree to adhere to AIGA Standards of Professional Practice are indicated with an AIGA logo.
    • Browse AIGA Member Portfolios: Visit this portfolio site to browse members’ work and sort by discipline. You’ll also see highlights of recent work from these portfolios throughout AIGA.org.
    • Post an opportunity on AIGA Design Jobs: AIGA members across the country use this job board to look for their next opportunity. Since the search is limited to an audience of potential employees who are deeply committed to their profession, it assures serious responses. And if you’re a Sustaining Member or your company has a group membership, you get a discounted rate on listing job openings with AIGA.
    • Contact a local chapter: Sometimes the best way to meet local designers, freelancers and firms is to get in touch with the AIGA chapter near you. Each chapter is run by passionate volunteers, who will be able to guide you in your search for talent.

    Things to keep in mind

    Whether you’re hiring for a project or a position, there are several things you should keep in mind when working with a designer:

    • The Client’s Guide to Design is a good primer for working with designers and firms. It’s available for download in the AIGA Design Business and Ethics section.
    • Think about the role a designer can play in your business. For some recent examples of successful projects, see our case studies.
    • AIGA does not condone speculative work. Read AIGA’s official policy on spec work to learn more about professional restrictions on uncompensated design work and the issues it raises for both client and designer.
    • Consider your expectations for intellectual property: Who will own the concepts and completed work?
    • AIGA encourages the use of contracts to detail a project’s scope of work, and provides a standard agreement that clients and designers may use as a template.

    Design can have a huge impact on business. To learn more about how design can affect your bottom line and why you should hire a designer, visit aiga.org/why-design.

    Image courtesy of Shutterstock, the Official AIGA Sponsor for Creative Inspiration

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