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Hire visual designers

Abe Serrano

Los Angeles, United States
As a designer, Abe is an advocate for the user and considers himself a partner in building your brand experience. Clients hire him for his human-centric approach to design, his creative leadership, and his ability to get things done. Click to continue

Ruaridh Currie

Barcelona, Spain
Ruaridh is an award-winning UI/UX digital designer and creative director with 14 years of experience designing for brands like Channel 4, Procter & Gamble, and Danone. In his spare time, he enjoys photography and writing design articles and tutorials for Designmodo and Digital Arts Online. Click to continue

Diego Aguilar

New York, United States
Born in Bolivia and made in New York. Diego is a creative with 10+ years experience in the digital brand space. His past team and client relationships include R/GA, Razorfish, Google, Nike, Spotify, Motorola, Mars, Ford, AT&T, and Verizon. His passion spans across UI, UX, branding, motion, 3D, prototyping, and music production. He also co-owns a two-man design consultancy called BadProtein. Click to continue

Young Kim

Los Angeles , United States
Young is a thinker and a problem solver. He loves new challenges and fusing good design with a user-experience that is engaging and forward-thinking. He has experience working in both small digital agencies and large global agencies. Young has worked with well-known brands as an interactive art director, visual designer, and UX/UI designer. Recently, his work with PBS has won a 2016 Revere Award from the Association of American Publishers. Click to continue

Jeff Shaw

San Francisco, United States
Jeff is a user experience designer based in Silicon Valley. His approach combines new design and technology trends with research and validation. He is a talented designer, a great communicator, and a reliable freelancer. Click to continue

Steven Miller

Lafayette, United States
Steve is the former senior designer of Grand Creative (NZ) with over 7 years of experience. He now freelances for companies all over the world as a visual and UI/UX designer for websites, web apps, and mobile applications. He has had the pleasure of working for advertising agencies such as; Grand Creative, Colenso BBDO, Creo Design, Jettison, and many others. He communicates extremely well with his clients, and has worked in teams of all sizes. Click to continue

Francesca Gilibert

Berlin, Germany
Passionate about design and entrepreneurship, Francesca is a UX/UI designer and photographer based in Chicago. For the last five years, she has run a print and online magazine on creative business and the makers behind them. She aims to create simple, functional, and aesthetically appealing designs. Click to continue

Muwuso Mkochi

Cape Town, South Africa
Muwuso is a senior interactive art director and multidisciplinary designer with key focuses in digital, brand, and experience design. Over the past 9 years, he’s led UI and integrated experience design in-house and remotely for some of the world's biggest--and smallest--brands and agencies. He is constantly inspired by the evolution of technology, its influence on human behavior, and the resulting impact on environments and micro-cultures. Click to continue

Jim England

New York, United States
Jim is a senior product designer with experience at startups large and small. He has been the product design founder and worked as a designer at two startups (one acquired), and has freelanced for a number of clients including Handy and Bombfell. Click to continue

Tiago Varandas

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tiago is an Amsterdam-based digital product designer with over ten years of experience. He creates and designs delightful and meaningful mobile first experiences with a human-centered approach, a global perspective, and an innovative touch. Click to continue
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A hiring guide
The Vital Guide To Visual Design Interviewing

Visual designers are foremost interdisciplinary experts; their expertise covers both digital and print. Their work focuses on details and their final goal is impeccable visual communication. Function and form are achieved through carefully understanding and dissecting briefs and goals from their clients, copywriters, strategists and creative directors.

Testimonials
“Working with Marcin is a joy, I can't find a better word. He is competent, professional, flexible, and extremely quick to understand what is required -- and to implement it -- even if the source code that's given to him is, shall we say, less than optimally elegant and clear. Oh and he has the same sense of humour as me. ;)”
André Fischer
CTO @ App Promotions
“One of our biggest and most time consuming problems is finding qualified staff. We need to find the correct platform to advertise on, create a proper ad, filter through tons of useless applications to try and find the small gems, interview and test the capabilities of applicants to see if they fit our profile and finally take a risk by hiring. This was the old way of doing things! The new way: describe the job position to our Toptal account manager, interview a few qualified applicants, hire with a risk-free trial! Much faster, a lot easier and with incredible end results.”
Catalin S. Balaci
Owner @ EvoBits Information Technology SRL
“I am more than pleased with the experience with Toptal. It may cost a little more, but because they pre-qualify and hand-pick the professional best suited for the job, it's well worth it. The professional I got to work with was on the phone (Skype) with me within a couple hours. I knew after discussing my project with him that he was the candidate I wanted to do the job, and I hired him immediately... and he wasted no time in getting to my project. He completed the job and went the extra mile to clean up older, messy code and even added some great design elements that enhanced our overall look. I would highly recommend Toptal to anyone needing to hire a professional. Great company. Great service. Thank you, Toptal.”
Paul Fenley
Director @ K Dunn & Associates
“Our Toptal contractor quickly came up to speed on our process and became an integrated part of our team. We look forward to growing together!”
Vitaly M. Golomb
CEO @ Keen Systems
“We had a wonderful experience with our Toptal consultant. He was very reliable and punctual, delivering excellent work on a budget—we will certainly be using him again!”
Barbara Karpf
President @ DecoratorsBest
“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 @ WorkRamp
“Working with Enrique has been a pleasure and a relief. His knowledge in the IT space is broad and in-depth. Zoomedia has been in need of this level of support for some time and I feel confident we are an exponentially stronger team with Enrique on board.”
Justin Bane
Senior Technical Lead @ Zoomedia
“Best talent is here for sure. Toptal hiring and overall working experience has been wonderful. This is way better and faster than any other means of getting top talent.”
Rajesh Nagarajan
Co-Founder & CTO @ maxMantra
“Toptal has helped my business tremendously by finding, vetting, and recruiting the talent I need, at the right time. I’d definitely recommend it to others.”
Xavier Xicay
CEO & Creative Director @ Tuatara Corp
“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 to help jumpstart our project. We would certainly recommend him and work with him again in the future.”
Rich Danker
Founder @ Prose Market
“Getting set up with Toptal and finding a new team member was so easy, I don't know why anyone wouldn't give it a try. Best of all, we no longer have to worry about finding great people to help with our projects!”
Mike Branch
President & CTO @ HarborSI
“I can't say enough about how happy and confident I am in working with Enrique. He brings an enthusiasm to his profession that is very refreshing, constantly surprising us with his depth of knowledge and his capability to not only complete the task, but to surpass our expectations. He presents us with solutions that we would not have thought about ourselves, and sees the problem better than we can explain it.”
Chad Berryman
Senior Technical Lead @ Zoomedia
“With the pressure on and millions watching the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA Playoffs, Toptal delivered the talent and expertise needed to launch a brand new fan engagement platform.”
Conor Kenney
Director of Professional Services @ Cleveland Cavaliers
“I couldn’t have been more pleased with Toptal. These guys are professional, quick, well priced, and fun! I will be using them again for my next project, and the next, and the next, and the next.”
Mac Smith
President @ New Texas Internet MGT
“Toptal has been extremely helpful to us in finding top remote talent. The ratio from interview to hire with Toptal candidates is the highest I've ever experienced in my professional career.”
Philipp Berner
Co-founder and CTO @ KeepSafe
Hire a top visual designer now.
Toptal is a marketplace for top visual designers. Top companies and start-ups choose Toptal Web designers for their mission critical design projects.
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profile
Abe SerranoUnited States
As a designer, Abe is an advocate for the user and considers himself a partner in building your brand experience. Clients hire him for his human-centric approach to design, his creative leadership, and his ability to get things done.
[click to continue…]
VisualPhotoshopMac OSUser Experience (UX)
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Ruaridh CurrieSpain
Ruaridh is an award-winning UI/UX digital designer and creative director with 14 years of experience designing for brands like Channel 4, Procter & Gamble, and Danone. In his spare time, he enjoys photography and writing design articles and tutorials for Designmodo and Digital Arts Online.
[click to continue…]
VisualAdobe PhotoshopApp DesignMobile App DesignResponsive Web
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Diego AguilarUnited States
Born in Bolivia and made in New York. Diego is a creative with 10+ years experience in the digital brand space. His past team and client relationships include R/GA, Razorfish, Google, Nike, Spotify, Motorola, Mars, Ford, AT&T, and Verizon. His passion spans across UI, UX, branding, motion, 3D, prototyping, and music production. He also co-owns a two-man design consultancy called BadProtein.
[click to continue…]
VisualSketchAdobe CCAdobe PhotoshopUser Interface (UI)User Experience (UX)Branding
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Young Kim United States
Young is a thinker and a problem solver. He loves new challenges and fusing good design with a user-experience that is engaging and forward-thinking. He has experience working in both small digital agencies and large global agencies. Young has worked with well-known brands as an interactive art director, visual designer, and UX/UI designer. Recently, his work with PBS has won a 2016 Revere Award from the Association of American Publishers.
[click to continue…]
VisualAdobe PhotoshopAdobe IllustratorAdobe InDesign
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Jeff ShawUnited States
Jeff is a user experience designer based in Silicon Valley. His approach combines new design and technology trends with research and validation. He is a talented designer, a great communicator, and a reliable freelancer.
[click to continue…]
VisualCSSAdobe CCUser Interface (UI)UX Research
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Steven MillerUnited States
Steve is the former senior designer of Grand Creative (NZ) with over 7 years of experience. He now freelances for companies all over the world as a visual and UI/UX designer for websites, web apps, and mobile applications. He has had the pleasure of working for advertising agencies such as; Grand Creative, Colenso BBDO, Creo Design, Jettison, and many others. He communicates extremely well with his clients, and has worked in teams of all sizes.
[click to continue…]
VisualAdobe IllustratorAdobe PhotoshopResponsive DesignWireframing (digital or pen & paper)App DesignAndroid User Interface DesigniOS User Interface DesignBrandingResponsive Web AppsWeb DesignUser Interface (UI)
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Francesca GilibertGermany
Passionate about design and entrepreneurship, Francesca is a UX/UI designer and photographer based in Chicago. For the last five years, she has run a print and online magazine on creative business and the makers behind them. She aims to create simple, functional, and aesthetically appealing designs.
[click to continue…]
VisualSketchiOS User Interface DesignBranding
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profile
Muwuso MkochiSouth Africa
Muwuso is a senior interactive art director and multidisciplinary designer with key focuses in digital, brand, and experience design. Over the past 9 years, he’s led UI and integrated experience design in-house and remotely for some of the world's biggest--and smallest--brands and agencies. He is constantly inspired by the evolution of technology, its influence on human behavior, and the resulting impact on environments and micro-cultures.
[click to continue…]
VisualAdobe Creative SuiteAdobe PhotoshopWeb DesignBrandingUI DesignMobile App DesignBrand StrategyeCommerce UXUser Interface (UI)eCommerce Website DesignResponsive Web
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Jim EnglandUnited States
Jim is a senior product designer with experience at startups large and small. He has been the product design founder and worked as a designer at two startups (one acquired), and has freelanced for a number of clients including Handy and Bombfell.
[click to continue…]
VisualUser Interface (UI)
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Tiago VarandasNetherlands
Tiago is an Amsterdam-based digital product designer with over ten years of experience. He creates and designs delightful and meaningful mobile first experiences with a human-centered approach, a global perspective, and an innovative touch.
[click to continue…]
VisualSketchAdobe Creative SuiteResponsive DesignUser Interface (UI)App Design
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The Vital Guide To Visual Design Interviewing

Visual designers are foremost interdisciplinary experts; their expertise covers both digital and print. Their work focuses on details and their final goal is impeccable visual communication. Function and form are achieved through carefully understanding and dissecting briefs and goals from their clients, copywriters, strategists and creative directors.

They design big and small branding projects from the ground up, create and develop campaigns, lead a team of designers, provide quality art and creative direction, and design apps, websites and onsite digital experiences.

Visual designers create big and small branding projects from the ground up.

Visual designers create big and small branding projects from the ground up.

In-depth knowledge of typography, iconography, color, space and texture are essential for creating a great visual experiences that inspires, engages and excites both offline and online users.

Design is subjective, therefore, when being interviewed, designers need to show insight, courage and their thought process; the reasoning behind the decisions and processes is sometimes more important than the result itself. The result of design work is a combination of many factors: Creative and art directors, clients, public and project goals.

This way we can learn more about, and from, the designer and understand the way s/he works.

When discussing “visual design” in these circumstances, it’s not, and cannot in any way be simply how something looks. Function and form should be questioned during all stages of the design process.

When evaluating a visual designer’s portfolio, it is necessary that context and ideation behind a project is shown and explained. Reviewing a portfolio is just the first step of the screening process and helps us determine a designer’s approach.

The Challenge

Visual design is the process of visual communication and creative problem-solving through the use of type, space, image, shape, line, texture, color, material. A great visual designer is capable of creating a meaningful, effective, attractive and inspiring visual representation of ideas and messages. The design process doesn’t only rely on form, and a given problem or a brief, but the study of the problem, research, and analysis will give the solution and form to the project.

Visual Designers work closely with UX and UI designers, copywriters, strategists and clients. They are capable of translating insights, briefs and data into cohesive, straightforward visual communication that adds value.

Visual designers are interdisciplinary experts. They provide quality art and creative direction.

Visual designers are interdisciplinary experts. They provide quality art and creative direction.

A good visual designer will be an expert in:

Branding:

  • Corporate identity design
  • Logo design
  • Style Guide design and creation
  • Ensuring consistency across design platforms

Visual Design:

  • Applying branding across visual content
  • Collaborating with UI designers to ensure consistent brand application
  • Guiding visual identity throughout a company and product

Execution and Analytics:

  • Coordination with UI/UX Designer(s)
  • Coordination with Developer(s)
  • Coordination with copywriter(s)
  • Coordination with Art and Creative Director
  • Tracking Goals and Integration
  • Analysis and Iteration
  • Print management

These sets of skills can be translated in various mediums and platforms for which they should deliver:

Concept

  • Strategy
  • Naming
  • Copywriting
  • Photography
  • Development

Design

  • Logo
  • Visual identity
  • Web design
  • Illustration
  • Editorial (books, magazines, brochures etc.)
  • Packaging
  • Signage and wayfinding
  • Type design and lettering
  • Information design and visualization

Of course, not every designer will cover all fields, but it’s the understanding of these particular fields, and the ability to direct and guide the design process, that sets apart great designers.

It’s vital to evaluate visual designers’ soft skills and their design process.

It’s vital to evaluate visual designers’ soft skills and their design process.

Specialization among designers is common; they can be pragmatic, rational and minimalist in their approach, but that doesn’t mean their output is necessarily so. Their work can be driven by illustrations, or they can use an organic and free approach to design problems, solving them as they emerge. This is why it is vital to examine a designer’s thought process.

When interviewing senior visual designers, it is important to evaluate their soft skills and their design process. This set of questions will help determine if a designer is a fit.

Q: Can you tell us more about your design background?

There is no correct answer here. Finding out more about the designer’s background can mean from his general introduction can provide us with relevant information about the design school the candidate attended, past/current work positions, design experience, problems and projects that s/he found along the way. The interview can be structured more towards the end, adjusting questions along the way, based on information revealed by the designer.

Q: Why did you become a designer?

When discussing this theme, the energy, and imagination behind the answers will give you an idea of the designer’s character and spirit.

Q: What is your design approach?

The design process is essential to how design candidates develop and create their work. Insight and the way they work can distinguish their quality. As the design process becomes more thorough, the results become more elaborate and detailed.

Also, the design process is often limited by budget and time, and a useful insight would be how s/he and the design teams that s/he has worked with in the past handled various situations and briefs.

Q: How would you describe your design research?

When discussing design research, it is necessary to cover all the angles that the candidate understands, and explain the reasoning why s/he decided to use a particular technique, tool, or way of thinking to achieve a result.

Nevertheless, if a designer received the data via the client, copywriter, strategist, or UX designer, it will be necessary to conduct further research that will confirm the designer’s statements, possibly upgrading the outcome.

Q: What software do you use, and when?

Standard skills are a must, from Adobe to Sketch, but look for the extra during an interview. Processing, illustration, animation, video, art skills, and the like that bring extra potential to specific clients and projects.

Q: What field, industry, type of work do you prefer?

From digital to print, 360 solutions, from social causes to luxury designers, pinpoint the candidate’s interests and preferences, and build up the talk to personal goals, projects goals and things they want to do and create but hadn’t had a chance to do.

Q: What do you think of (x) project?

Suggest a few projects, or ask a designer to select a project and then dissect it. The candidate should be able to pick it apart. Listen for the answers that explain context, goals, references, influences and pure aesthetics as well as identifying problems, solutions, and outcome of the chosen direction. If the candidate can elaborate with quick solutions to a set of specific problems, that’s even better.

Q: What areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?

Discuss areas of personal development, with emphasis on visual design. How would the designer become even better, branch out into different areas and expertise of the design spectrum?

Q: How would you describe your work and your influences?

Look for elaborate and interesting stories, search for passion for design and design thinking. References to history, design history, art, culture, music and architecture are useful when describing choices, intentions and solutions.

Q: Portfolio critique: Please explain three best projects from your portfolio

The candidate needs to explain the entire design process, the decisions, ideation, context, why’s, do’s and dont’s, by describing the production and execution of a specific project. Question the designer’s decisions to discover details of projects and the reasoning behind these decisions. Ask how the designer would have made those projects even better.

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Alvaro Oliveira
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