Hire the top 3% of freelance Graphic Designers

Toptal is a marketplace for top Graphic Designers. Top companies and start-ups choose Toptal Graphic freelancers for their mission-critical design projects.

No-Risk Trial, Pay Only If Satisfied.

Clients Rate Toptal Graphic Designers4.6 / 5.0on average across 37 reviews as of Aug 12, 2020

Hire Freelance Graphic Designers

Jake Kahana

Graphic DesignerPhotoshop CCUX DesignIllustrator CCUI DesignInDesign CCDigital Product DesignArt DirectionWeb DesignVirtual Reality (VR)BrandingResponsive Web Design (RWD)Web UX + 0 more

United StatesToptal Member Since June 9, 2017

Jake is an award-winning designer who uses storytelling, art, and technology to instigate positive social change and build stronger businesses. He's worked with a range of Fortune500 companies, major nonprofits, government agencies, and startups. Over the last ten years, Jake's work has helped these companies change their public image, reach broader audiences, and impact more lives. He'd love to collaborate with you on your next big challenge.

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Alex Engzell

Graphic DesignerAdobe PhotoshopUI DesignAdobe IllustratorWeb UX DesignAdobe InDesignResponsive Web Design (RWD)iOSAndroidResponsivePitch DecksWebsitesWebsite Redesigns + 0 more

EstoniaToptal Member Since March 2, 2017

Alex has been a designer-of-the-year nominee for four years in a row, and he's won Breakthrough Designer of the Year in 2014, Swedish Designer of the Year in 2015, and Visual Designer of the Year in 2016. Words like powerful, stimulating, and daring come to mind—also beauty and magic. Engzell is a designer with a hefty number of awards, an impressive client list, and a philosophy. He practices what he preaches.

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Nemanja Veselinovic

Graphic DesignerAdobe PhotoshopIllustrator CS6User Interface (UI)User Experience (UX)PrototypingIdentity DesignAdobe Experience Design (XD) + 0 more

SerbiaToptal Member Since June 7, 2016

Nemanja is a UI/UX specialist with over eight years of industry experience who focuses on usability, user experience, and user research in his designs. He has worked with both small and large teams, which also include teams from Google and Red Hat. Nemanja has worked as a freelancer and enjoys the challenge of solving user problems.

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Alexandru Pitea

Graphic DesignerAdobe PhotoshopAdobe IllustratorAdobe After EffectsAdobe Experience Design (XD)AndroidMobileWebWireframingIconographyIllustrationInformation Architecture (IA)User Interface (UI) + 0 more

GermanyToptal Member Since October 17, 2015

Alex is a passionate digital product designer with over 10 years of UI/UX experience. He has worked together with both boutique design studios and large IT companies and feels most comfortable in a creative environment where visual design is second only to usability.

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Korana Jelovac

Graphic DesignerAdobe PhotoshopAdobe IllustratorAdobe InDesignSketch 3Axure RP ProIllustrationBrandingPrototypingUX DesignUI DesignUser Interface (UI)SaaS + 0 more

CroatiaToptal Member Since February 16, 2016

With 15 years of experience in design, Korana's work spans over a varied number of UX/UI and graphic design projects. She's designed for Adidas, Pacific Disaster Centre, and Noteworth and is a co-founder of Zingword.com, a startup translation marketplace. She enjoys UX challenges and uses custom illustrations to give character to her designs. In her spare time, she does stop-motion animation.

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Steven Miller

Graphic DesignerAdobe PhotoshopAdobe IllustratorWeb DesignUser Interface (UI)ResponsiveResponsive Web Design (RWD)Android UI DesigniOS UI DesignBrandingPrototypingWireframingVisual Design + 0 more

CanadaToptal Member Since January 19, 2016

Steve is a digital art director at DDB, with years of experience in digital design. He freelances for companies all over the world as a visual and UI/UX designer on websites, web apps, and mobile apps. Steve has had the pleasure of working for advertising agencies such as DDB, Tribal Worldwide, Grand Creative, Colenso BBDO, and many others. He communicates exceptionally well with his clients and has worked in teams of all sizes.

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Mike Slone

Graphic DesignerSketchWebsitesUser Experience (UX)AgileiPhoneCreative DirectionPitch DecksUX DirectionWebsite RedesignsApp UXInformation Architecture (IA)Mobile UI + 0 more

United StatesToptal Member Since March 14, 2017

Mike is a highly experienced and successful product, UX, UI, visual, and branding designer with many years of experience creating large- and small-scale designs. He has worked for global clients in many industries including ExxonMobil, Reebok, Taco Bell, Nike, and many others. Mike has also provided his design leadership and experience to startups in healthcare, higher education, and SaaS companies.

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Miki Stefanoski

Graphic DesignerPhotoshop CCIllustrator CCInDesign CCAcrobat Pro CCAdobeBrandingBrand IdentityLogo DesignLogotypeAdobe Experience Design (XD) + 0 more

MacedoniaToptal Member Since June 27, 2017

Miki is a multi-disciplined designer, with a focus on typography, clarity, and efficiency. His services include branding, print, and digital design. As a former art director at Saatchi & Saatchi, he has had the chance to work on big brands such as Volkswagen, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Cisco, and Nestle, and learned how to combine business with visual thinking. Self-taught, passionate, and a perfectionist, Miki loves purity, simplicity, and beauty.

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Igor Savelev

Graphic DesignerSketchiOSRapid PrototypingAndroidUser Interface (UI)User Experience (UX)Mobile App DesignInterface DesignInformation Architecture (IA)UI AnimationMobile App UXMobile Prototypes + 0 more

RussiaToptal Member Since December 23, 2016

Igor is a UX and UI designer with a passion for inclusive user-centered design and more than ten years of experience in digital design. He can apply his expertise and make the product stand out on the market or improve important numbers. Using a research approach, he partners with his clients to collect data to create evidence-based, proven solutions that support the outcomes they seek.

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Jenna Law

Graphic DesignerSketchiOSWireframingUser ResearchVisual DesignUI DesignUX DesignAdobe CCProduct DesignBrand DesignUser Experience (UX)Web Design + 0 more

United StatesToptal Member Since April 20, 2017

Jenna is an award-winning director of design. She has partnered with clients such as Microsoft, Jaguar, UK Government, GSK, Jack Daniels, and more for over 13 years. Her unique hybrid of skills—of UI, UX, brand, and product design—has seen her exceed business and user expectations time and again. Jenna's process for success is to be always user-focused, experience-driven, and design-led.

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A Hiring Guide

Guide to Hiring a Great Graphic Designer

Working with a graphic designer is a great way to ensure that your business promotes itself with high-end visuals that will resonate with your target market. But hiring a graphic designer requires some basic knowledge about the profession, and it’s a good idea to learn how finding the right designer relates to the success of your project.

Read Hiring Guide

Graphic Hiring Resources

More Resources to Hire Graphic Designers

Job Description Template

Interview Questions

Trustpilot
Toptal in the press

... allows corporations to quickly assemble teams that have the right skills for specific projects.

Despite accelerating demand for coders, Toptal prides itself on almost Ivy League-level vetting.

Our clients
Building a cross-platform app to be used worldwide
Thierry Jakicevic
Building a cross-platform app to be used worldwide
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3
Creating an app for the game
Conor Kenney
Creating an app for the game
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2
3
Leading a digital transformation
Elmar Platzer
Leading a digital transformation
1
2
3
Testimonials

Michael is an incredible designer, and has been a great fit for our project. He just gets it in a way that can’t be taught. My goal was to pay Toptal to find me a high quality designer for my project, and that is exactly what happened. It was easy. Being able to see the portfolio work on Toptal’s platform is what gave me the infomation I needed to choose Michael. I have nothing but good things to say about Toptal and am looking forward to using Toptal for other projects in the future.

Edward Daniel, Co-Founder

improvemygun.com

I've worked very closely with Martina for over a year and have to say she is one of the best people I have ever worked with. Instead of simply following instructions blindly, she thinks through the task at hand, becoming a thought partner to help with whatever the project may be. Besides being super talented at design, she possesses specific qualities that make her exceptional to work with given the fast paced nature of being a startup. I would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a talented, professional designer who doesn't need much direction to hit the ground running.

Sahil Khanna, Sr. Manager, Marketing

LeanTaaS, Inc.

Darko did a great job figuring out the user architecture for our concept, which led him to produce terrific wireframes. His knowledge of usability and design was a perfect match for the outside voice we needed to help jumpstart our project. We would certainly recommend him and work with him again in the future.

Rich Danker, Founder

Prose Market

Carlos has the unique talent of blending both quantitative and qualitative research to keenly identify UX challenges and opportunities. He thinks methodically, emphatically, and holistically to produce data-driven strategies and well-executed designs. Over the past 8 years of working with fully or partially distributed teams, Carlos manages working remotely far better than anyone I've encountered because of his strong communication and presentation skills. He is the first on my list the next time I need a UX designer.

Michelle Krogmeier, Project Manager

Union Station

Rafael is an amazing designer. His aesthetic sense is spot on, and he seems to be able to anticipate our needs before we even know what they are. He's taken the time to understand both our company and our clientele, and his solutions are consistently in-line with our values, interests, and our customers' needs. He delivers on time (if not earlier), works quickly, is well organized, and very effective. He's a pleasure to work with, and we're very happy to have found him through Toptal.

Ethan Brooks, CTO

Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works, Inc.

Toptal gave us access to the best designers out there. They’re not easy to find. Those designers integrated very quickly with our existing teams. They very quickly understood our business case and the value of our solution. Toptal really allowed us to focus on building the best possible product and save a lot of time on the typical administrative pains that goes with it -- specifically, finding the best talent. Toptal designers were very responsive, always online -- and that made life very easy for us. We have ambitious goals on how to grow the application and already Toptal has been a key contributor to that success.

Thierry Jakircevic, General Manager, Digital Solutions, Bridgestone Head Office, Tokyo

Bridgestone Corporation

We had an amazing experience working with our Toptal designer. In only two weeks, we accomplished what would've taken most companies 3 months to complete. We also enjoyed working with the Toptal team to make sure we were paired up with the right designer that would fit both our company culture and working style.

Ted Blosser, Head of Sales and Customer Success

WorkRamp

Dean blew us away. He ranks right up there as one of the top five designers of the hundreds I have worked with in the past. He listened, was totally professional, and came up with a 3D rotating cube design completely on his own. We didn't even ask for it, and yet it has become the centerpiece of our app and how users engage with it right off the bat. What he produced inspired all of us at Votify, and put us on track for launch and investor funding.

Michael Lawrence, Founder & CEO

Votify LLC

How to Hire Graphic Designers through Toptal

1

Talk to One of Our Industry Experts

A Toptal director of design will work you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
2

Work With Hand-Selected Talent

Within days, we'll introduce you to the right graphic designer for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
3

The Right Fit, Guaranteed

Work with your new graphic designer for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.

FAQs

  • How are Toptal graphic designers different?

    At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our graphic designers to ensure we only match you with talent of the highest caliber. Of the more than 100,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, fewer than 3% make the cut. You'll work with design experts (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. The end result: expert vetted talent from our network, custom matched to fit your business needs. Start now.

  • Can I hire graphic designers in less than 48 hours through Toptal?

    Depending on availability and how fast you can progress, you could start working with a graphic designer within 48 hours of signing up. Start now.

  • What is the no-risk trial period for Toptal graphic designers?

    We make sure that each engagement between you and your graphic designer begins with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to confirm the engagement will be successful. If you're completely satisfied with the results, we'll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you'd like. If you're not completely satisfied, you won't be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial. Start now.

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How to Hire a Great Graphic Designer

Creating Visual Messages that People Recognize

We live in a world where the communication of ideas relies heavily on visual messages. From billboards to banner ads and the bombardment of brand images on social media, businesses and organizations are hiring graphic designers to craft visual messages they hope people will recognize and remember.

Working with a graphic designer is a great way to ensure that your business promotes itself with high-end visuals that will resonate with your target market. But hiring a graphic designer requires some basic knowledge about the profession, and it’s a good idea to learn how finding the right designer relates to the success of your project.

Campaign billboard graphic design

Campaign billboard design by Bob Galmarini

What Is a Graphic Designer?

When someone says they are a graphic designer, this can mean a number of things. The title “graphic designer” is often used as an umbrella term for creative professionals that employ visual elements like visual layout and hierarchy, fonts, colors, and images to solve problems and communicate ideas.

This is crucial: Graphic designers don’t have a standardized skillset, and each individual designer will have their own strengths and weaknesses. It should also be noted that the title of visual designer has gained traction in recent years as a way of classifying designers working primarily with digital products and interfaces.

As time, tastes, and technology move forward, the skills listed under the graphic design umbrella change. Here’s a quick look at the most relevant disciplines graphic designers are practicing today.

  • Art Direction: Defining and managing the overall visual mood and style that a design project will embody
  • Typography: Arranging fonts and written words to communicate ideas in a readable and appealing way
  • Print Design: Visual messages designed specifically for physical, printed surfaces rather than digital interfaces
  • Color Design: Creating visually compelling color schemes based on color theory, market trends, and human psychology
  • UI Design: Design focused on making human interactions with machine and software interfaces as clear as possible
  • Image Editing: Manipulating images like photographs and illustrations to enhance or diminish certain features
  • Icon Design: Developing graphic icons that symbolize ideas, emotions, actions, places, etc.
  • Illustration: Stylized image-making with the intent of visually interpreting or clarifying complex concepts and processes
  • Presentation Design: Arranging text, images, ideas, and slides in a way that maximizes a presentation’s effectiveness
  • Brand Design: Visually embodying a company’s core promise with graphics, color, typography, and images

Define the Graphic Design Project Needs

A sure path to design project success starts with understanding project goals and the resources at your disposal. A good graphic designer can help add clarity and enhance the vision of a project, but it’s up to you to hire someone with the right skills, experience, availability, and rate.

Having answers to the following questions is good indicator of hiring readiness.

  1. What is the scope of the project?
  2. Does the project have specific goals it must meet in order to be considered a success?
  3. What are the project deliverables that will be expected from the designer?
  4. Are there expectations that the project should be completed within a specific timeline?
  5. How often will you and/or other decision makers be available to offer feedback?
  6. Has a project budget been established?

How to Find the Best Graphic Designer

Graphic designer website portfolio

Design portfolio of Emrich Office

With project goals clearly defined, it’s time to begin searching for a potential match. Viable candidates will have a well executed portfolio website that showcases exceptional taste and demonstrates an ability to communicate as a professional designer. Look for designers with an aesthetic and work examples that are relevant to the project goals and audience expectations of your business or organization.

Interview Questions

After making contact with a handful of candidates, it’s wise to schedule a time to have an actual conversation. Email works for initial inquiries and introductions, but for an interview, a phone call or video chat gives the opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, voice concerns, and begin forming a relationship of trust.

An experienced designer will have participated in multiple client interviews, so don’t worry about asking for one. The interview is an important part of the designer’s discovery process, a chance for each party involved to share and begin syncing vision for the project. Here’s a list of five helpful questions that a seasoned graphic designer should be able to answer with clarity and authority.

  1. Do you have any past experience designing for a similar project or client?
  2. What are your strengths as a designer, and how do you see those relating to the goals of this project?
  3. Are there any areas of the project brief that cause concern or give you pause?
  4. How will you oversee communication during the project?
  5. What is your current availability? Are you currently loaded down with projects?

How Does the Graphic Design Process Work?

Graphic design process ideation sketching

Once a hire has been made, there may be some uncertainty about how the project will unfold. Each designer will have his own way of doing things, but in general, the graphic design process has identifiable milestones to look for.

Work Agreement

  • For the protection of client and designer, it’s strongly recommended that a work agreement or service contract be signed by both parties before a project begins.

Research & Discovery

  • In this phase, the graphic designer will learn more about the project, your business, and the target audience. He may also familiarize himself with trends that others designers are using successfully and begin compiling a collection of reference material for art direction.

Art Direction

  • During art direction, the graphic designer may create a style board and a written document that outlines his vision for the project. Depending on the designer, art direction can be very detailed and granular, or it can be quite broad, consisting of only a few mood images and a handful of keywords.

Ideation & Thumbnail Sketching

  • For some projects, the graphic designer may choose to start with rough sketches to communicate how information will be presented and allow an opportunity to provide feedback while the design is still malleable.

Digital Proofs & Refinement

  • At some point, the graphic designer will present a version of their digital work and ask for feedback on specific elements of the design.

Delivery of Design Files

  • When the project is finished, the graphic designer will organize the appropriately formatted design files and deliver via email, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

Payment

  • There are several different ways that graphic designers handle billing. Some send out weekly or monthly invoices, some bill at pre-established project milestones, and others require a 50% deposit at the start and end of an engagement.

Maintaining the Relationship

Hand lettering typography design

Hand lettering by Jenna Bresnahan

If the project goes well and a good rapport is established, don’t hesitate to mention the possibility of working together in the future. That said, there are a few simple things you can do to keep the client/designer relationship strong.

Ask if they would be willing to work on future projects with your business.

Thank them for the work they did and how they managed the project.

Update them on the success of the project or any positive feedback it has received.

Follow up at least 2-3 weeks before your next project to see if they are available.

Maintaining an ongoing relationship a graphic designer will save time and prevent the hassle of arranging interviews whenever a new project comes along. Perhaps equally as important, it will provide future design campaigns and marketing efforts with visual and brand consistency.

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