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If you’re a startup entrepreneur or business owner looking for the best designers for your projects in 2024, you’ve come to the right place. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start.

To make your life easier, I’ve put together six tips on where to find great graphic designers for your startup in 2024.

From freelancing websites to networking events and more, the blog has all the information you need to start finding the perfect designer for your next project.

Read on to learn more.

But first, let’s see what role design plays in elevating your brand.

Why Focus On Design?

Your brand’s identity is shaped by several design elements including:

  • Graphics
  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Images and videos
  • Color palette
  • Packaging
  • Brochures/newsletters
  • Business cards

And, these design elements are an integral part of the branding and contactless marketing.

Why?

In a world where people are bombarded with messages from all sides, it is important to make sure that your marketing materials stand out and visuals are one way to do this.

Think about it – when you see an eye-catching graphic or image like the one below, don’t you stop to take a look?

Eye catching graphics
Image via Behance

Chances are, if the visuals are well done, you’ll also remember them long after you’ve seen them. This is the power of visual marketing.

Visuals also help people understand and remember information better. In fact, our brains process images up to 60,000 times faster than they do text.

Rich and relevant images and videos can also help your website rank higher on search engine results pages and give you better exposure.

Also, visuals can help create an emotional connection with your audience. We know that people buy based on emotion, so if you can connect with your audience on an emotional level, you'll be better placed to persuade them to buy your product.

Need more convincing?

In a study, researchers showed these two variants of packaging for crackers and asked the participants to identify which one has natural ingredients and which one is synthetic.

Packaging for Crackers
Image via ResearchGate

Over 80% said the purple cracker package has synthetic contents and 80% said the yellow/brown color was perceived to have natural ingredients.

So, it’s essential that you get the right set of designers to develop visuals for your brand and get your message across.

Top 5 Tips to Find Designers for Your Startup

Here are five tips you can use to find designers for your startup.

1. Define Your Design Needs

As a startup, you likely have a limited budget for design-related work. But that doesn't mean you can't get high-quality designs. You just need to be strategic about where you look for designers.

The first step is to determine what you need designed. A logo? A website? Marketing materials? Or all of these?

This will help you understand what type of designers you need for your startup and get an accurate quote from them.

2. Determine the Type of Designers to Hire

Depending on what your startup is creating, you may need web designers, visual designers, user experience designers, or a combination of all three.

Here are some of the different types of designers you might need for your startup:

  • Web designer: A web designer will help you create a website, landing page, or blog template for your startup.

    From static, and dynamic, to stunning 3D illustrations such as Redis Agency’s website, web designers can create any type of website you want.

    Web designers will also design apps, add social media share buttons, and Google review widgets to your site.

    Web Designer
    Image via Redis

  • Graphic designer: A graphic designer can help you with everything, from creating logos and branding materials to business cards.

    Take a look at Margot Elena’s packaging design for its hand creams:

    Margot Elena's Packaging Design
    Image via Margot Elena

  • User experience (UX) designer: A user experience designer is responsible for creating designs that are both functional and appealing to users.

    They work closely with researchers and developers to create intuitive and user-friendly designs for websites, applications, and products.

    Here’s an example of a great UX design. All elements of Nike’s website add to the user’s experience, guiding them through their journey.

    UX Design
    Image via Nike

  • User interface (UI) designer: These designers create the user interfaces for websites, mobile apps, or other technologies.

    Here, the focus is on the visual and graphical elements that users interact with, such as the icons on your phone or the layout of a website.

    One example of a streamlined UI design is Duolingo’s website. With a minimalistic approach, the UI design makes it easy to find what users are looking for.

    UI Design
    Image via Duolingo

  • App designer: An app designer will help you create software applications that are both effective and enjoyable to use.

3. Make a Storyboard of Creatives

It's a good idea to create a storyboard with a collection of styles and creatives that you like and quickly organize them before hiring a designer.

This will help you communicate your vision to the designer and make sure they understand your style preferences. Plus, it'll save you time and energy in the long run.

Creating a storyboard doesn't have to be complicated. You can simply start by finding some images that inspire you, whether they're from other businesses in your industry or just general design inspiration.

Once you have a few images, start arranging them into a rough collage. You can also use a tool such as Eagle to create smart folders that filter images based on your defined criteria.

Eagle Smart Folders
Image via Eagle

4. Look Into These Sources to Find Designers for Your Startup

Here are a few different ways to find designers for startups in 2024.

In-House Designers

One of the best ways to find designers for startups is to hire in-house designers. As full-time employees, they will be available to you throughout the process of building your brand.

With an in-depth understanding of your company’s culture, goals, and offerings, your in-house team can better translate these into custom designs.

According to BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the annual wages in 2021 was $50,710 for graphic designers.

The annual pay of web designers and developers can vary depending on the industry:

Packaging for Crackers
Image via BLS

However, for startups looking to control business spending, hiring full-time designers may not be an option. You can find these designers through platforms like LinkedIn.

Agencies

Agencies that specialize in branding, logo design, and other web design services are a great place to find designers for startups.

Established agencies have experienced designers in their team and can help create custom designs for your startup.

While there is no fixed pricing formula that agencies adopt, here’s an estimate of what a logo design can cost you:

  • Smaller agencies: $65 to $100
  • Mid-sized agencies: $5000 to over $50,000
  • Renowned/high-end design agencies: $100,000 to $1,000,000 +

A comprehensive set of business collaterals such as letterheads, business cards, mailing labels, business tax planning, envelopes, and invoice can cost between $1,500 and $5,000.

And, here is an estimate of how much website designs cost based on the type of website you need.

Website Design Cost
Image via WebFx

Note that many agencies offer a full suite of design services and packages that can meet your needs.

For instance, a high-end agency can include logo design, specialized landing pages such as a page for your brand ambassador program and with global branding services.

Other agencies may bundle their services into different packages where you can get a defined number of logo concepts with envelope, newsletter, brochure, or flyer designs.

Freelancers

One of the most convenient ways to find designers for startups is to engage freelancers. As you only need to pay them on a per-project basis, hiring freelancers can be a cost-effective option.

Working with a freelancer can help you get your project done faster. Since they're not tied down to one company or client, they can often take on more projects and get them done quickly. This is especially helpful if you're on a tight deadline.

Here’s an estimate of how much freelance designers typically charge.

Freelance designersAverage rate per hour
Graphic designers$15 to $150
Website designers$15 to $30
UI and UX designers$20 to $50
App designers$18 to $39

If you’re not sure where to start your search to find freelance designers for startups, here are a few tips:

  • Look for online course platform directories that specialize in connecting businesses with freelance designers, such as Fiverr, 99designs, Dribbble, Toptal, or Behance.
  • Check out job boards like Upwork, Craigslist, or Freelancer.com. You can post a job listing and receive bids from interested designers.
  • Ask for personal recommendations from people you know and trust. This could be friends, family members, or colleagues who have worked with a designer they liked in the past.

I would recommend that you try to find designers who have experience working with startups or small businesses—they'll understand the unique challenges and needs that come with designing for a startup.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

If you are looking to save on the costs of hiring a designer and your team members or you have some basic design skills, you can take up the design projects yourself.

One way to do this is to use a website development solution such as Wix or Zyro that offers affordable plans for small businesses and startups.

Similarly, you can download a few design inspirations from the internet and other sites such as Pinterest and use Canva to design the images. If you have created a few videos for your website, you can use video editing software to give them a polished look.

But, it can be a cumbersome process to find, download, and organize all your designs for various projects.

This is where a tool such as Eagle comes in.

It has a convenient browser extension that you can use on your favorite browsers to quickly collect images and drag them into the platform.

Browser Extensions
Image via Eagle

Of course, you can also capture screenshots with Eagle and copy, and paste any of your images. Then, add folders and tags to organize your images and search for specific images by using a wide range of filters and criteria.

Organize Images
Image via Eagle

You can sync Eagle with tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive for seamless team collaboration on design projects.

Other Sources

In addition to these sources, another option is to use social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to reach out to designers directly.

Also, don't be afraid to reach out to local design schools or programs—there are often talented students or recent graduates who are looking for real-world experience and would be excited to work on a startup project.

Finally, you can attend design events or meetups in your area to network with potential designers. Keep in mind that it's important to find a designer who understands your business goals and can help you achieve them.

5. Discuss Rates, Project Timeline, and Next Steps

Now that you know where to find designers for startups and have compiled a list of potential designers, reach out to them and schedule consultations with your top picks.

If you decide to go with an agency, the next step is to identify which agencies might be a good fit for your project.

There are many factors to consider, such as their size, location, portfolio, and areas of expertise. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, reach out to a few agencies and request proposals. Finally, you can sign the contracts with e-sign tools like DocuSign and PandaDoc. When evaluating candidates, be sure to look at their portfolios on these sites.

Design Portfolio
Image via 99designs

And, read reviews from previous clients.

User Reviews
Image via Upwork

Once you’ve found a few designers you’d like to work with, reach out and discuss your project in more detail.

Be sure to come prepared with questions about their design process, previous work, and rates. In addition to the creative details and pricing, talk about the project timeline. Some designers may be able to complete your project in a week, while others may need a month or two.

Get Started On Your Design Project

Designers are an invaluable asset to any startup, and in 2024 there will be even more options for finding the perfect fit.

With these five tips I have listed, you can easily find the designer that meets your needs and goals.

From working with agencies to utilizing freelance marketplaces and social media platforms, it's never been easier to find a design professional.

Be sure to work with a designer who understands your brand identity and has the skills to create something unique that stands out from the competition.

Take advantage of these tips today and start searching for designers who can help take your business to new heights.

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