So you need a designer - but what kind?

What Type of Designer Do You Need to Hire?

Ten or twenty years ago, design jobs were pretty straightforward, focusing on either the world of print or web design. But today’s world of design is more demanding and only keeps getting more niche. This is great for job growth, but difficult for anyone trying to figure out who they need for their projects. Not to worry! We’re here to help you figure out exactly what kind of designer you need to hire.

Graphic Designer or Visual Designer

  • What they do: Design visuals for marketing campaigns, including both digital and print assets. Design the look and feel of landing pages, emails, digital ads, and social materials. These designers are often the workhorse of the department, working directly with Art Directors, Creative Directors, Copywriters, and Photographers in order to gather everything needed for all digital assets.
  • Skills needed: Full knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite. Ability to create assets based on an established brand book and brand aesthetic. Works cross-functionally with other teams to create a cohesive user experience. A portfolio that showcases a broad range of skills. 
  • When you need to hire them: They’re probably the first type of designer you will need to hire to create all your marketing materials, especially as these titles often have the ability to work cross functionally and platforms. Consider the seniority that the job requires as well as any crossover skills you might request and hire junior, mid-level or senior based on your needs.

Publication or Print Designer

  • What they do: Design layouts for packaging, magazines, merchandise, and other print materials.
  • Skills needed: Adobe Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Deep knowledge of type setting, color choices for print and print requirements. Perhaps they have experience with Affinity and Procreate, other great software that helps designers create vectors, patterns and more. Illustration experience not required, but helpful.
  • When you need to hire them: If you’re in need of anyone to transfer your brand vision onto print materials of any kind, these are your people.

Illustrator or Animator

  • What they do: Specializes in creating original drawings, logos, icons, and animations that fit within your brand identity. Their work is used in all of your communications to help tell a story.
  • Skills needed: Adobe Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Animators will be fluent in their animation software of choice, like Visme or Adobe After Effects. Fluency in creating vectors and prepping illustrations for both print and web is necessary. Both of these roles need to have a strong understanding and ability to create simplified designs from complicated concepts.
  • When you need to hire them: Most companies will need to hire an illustrator whenever they are creating a new brand book or campaign. Their expertise can help expand the capabilities of your Creative Team by introducing logos, icons, patterns, and brand characters. Animators are also incredibly helpful for creating advertisements and in-app animations. 

UX Designer

  • What they do: UX Designers are responsible for designing the end-to-end user experience while adhering to a brand’s content strategy. 
  • Skills needed: Fluent in UX software like Adobe XD, Sketch, and Figma. Competitor research and strategy development. Able to create detailed wireframes and prototyping. Runs site tests and conducts consumer interviews. Integrates UX with other digital platforms. Ability to work cross-functionally with marketing and other creators to create a cohesive experience. An understanding of the full human-centered design process.
  • When you need to hire them: If you are creating any type of digital product, like an app, you will need to hire UX Designers. These designers are also incredibly valuable for website reband projects or landing page creation as they're concentrated on designing the digital process your customer will take with you. To find one that understands your customer best, look through candidates’ Case Studies and have them walk you through their methods of problem solving.

UI Designer

  • What they do: A UI Designer is responsible for designing the interface of a consumer’s experience, which is typically an in-app product or other digital experience.
  • Skills needed: Experience with Adobe Creative Cloud, primarily Adobe XD and Illustrator. Is able to work in UI software, like Figma and Sketch, with UX Designers to achieve a cohesive product together. Understands market research and strategy so they can incorporate it into their prototypes.
  • When you need to hire them: Hire them in addition to your UX Designers so the two can work together to create the most optimized product for your target consumer.

Art Director or Senior Designer

  • What they do: Establishes and maintains the style of a brand’s visual identity, while working closely with photographers, videographers, illustrators, and graphic designers to translate this identity across assets. Art Directors are often intensely involved or lead the process of creating advertisements and campaigns. They will be responsible for managing other design parties like photographers or graphic designers and keeping the project aligned with the vision. 
  • Skills needed: Fluent in Adobe Creative Suite. A great communicator who has a clear vision of the brand identity, able to make color, type and graphic arrangements. They’re like the florist of your Creative team—everyone leans on them to oversee the beautification of your creative assets from start to finish.  
  • When you need to hire them: The title Art Director began in the agency space, overseeing the visual side of projects for other end clients. Now, these designers can be a helpful senior presence for any company. For example, if your brand is lacking in style or needs a rebrand, Art Directors can help you get the job done.

Creative Director

  • What they do: Oversee the entire Creative Team (often including Copy) while working cross-functionally with marketing and product teams to produce consistent brand assets.
  • Skills needed: Management skills. Fluent in Adobe Creative Suite, though their seniority does not often require them to create the assets themselves. They should have over ten years of experience in their field and are a great communicator, able to take their vision (like a 360 campaign) and direct the Creative Team on how to make it come to life.
  • When you need to hire them: If your brand has zero branding, start with hiring a Creative Director who is unafraid of getting their hands dirty. A great Creative Director will have a hands-off approach but is able to teach younger designers to rise to their greatest potential.

Bonus tip: Because of the state of design you might be able to find a specialized generalist who is perfect for your open position. 

Having difficulty finding the right person? You’re in luck—we have a full roster of designers of all stripes who are looking to work with clients like you.

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