Freelance Graphic Designer

Hiring Toolkit



Why do you need an RFP?

An RFP will help keep you organized and efficient when hiring a Graphic Designer. You’ll spend less time answering questions and filtering out candidates who don’t fit the bill. While making your decision, a scoring system may be helpful. Basing the contract on the proposal also saves time.

Request For Proposal

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Starting a project with a freelancer? Use Bonsai to automate your proposals collection.



How should you structure your interview?

Begin with the Graphic Designer’s overall job requirements. Then, expand on the skills needed to excel at the position. Move on to company culture, the team makeup, and how the freelancer will fit in that scheme. Finally, address any final questions that have arisen.

Freelance Graphic Designer

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your graphic design approach?
  • What do you think will be the major trends in graphic design next year?
  • What is your design background?
  • What is your approach with colors?
  • What makes good design?
  • What are your strengths?

Interviewing multiple freelancers? Keep track of the process on Bonsai.



How much should you pay your freelancers?

You should estimate how much revenue the project will generate to get started. Next, find the usual in-house and agency rates for the job. Then, head over to the Bonsai rates explorer to see what typical freelancers are charging, and use all these numbers to set a rate.


Why do you need a freelance contract?

Protect yourself and your Graphic Designer with a freelance contract. Set milestones, deadlines, and schedules to avoid late deliverables. Include amounts, timelines, and terms for payments to align payroll expectations. Address the rights and ownership of all intellectual property in order to avoid any legal discrepancies.

Freelance Graphic Designer Contract
This Contract is between Orange Computer Inc. (the "Client") and Jane Smith LLC, a California limited liability company (the "Freelancer").The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Freelance Graphic Designer to do the following: Build and iterate on product mockups with UX team. Convert mockups into fully functional elements to be integrated by front-end developers.

1.2 Schedule. The Designer will begin work on September 10, 2017 and must finish the work by October 15, 2017. 

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Designer a flat fee of $5,500.00 (USD). Of this, the Client will pay the Designer $2500.00 (USD) before work begins. 

1.4 Expenses. The Client will not reimburse the Designer's expenses. 

1.5 Invoices. The Designer will invoice the Client at the end of the project. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 30 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per week on the outstanding amount. 

1.6 Support. The Designer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing. 

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Designer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, 
See the full contract & make your own.


Why is on-boarding important?

Adequate on-boarding will help your Graphic Designer get up and running. They’ll need software, logins, and any other tools and equipment for the job. You’ll want to complete all paperwork, including internal and external compliance documents. Have your freelancer meet their new teammates and get acclimated.

Sign a contract
Sign a non-disclosure agreement
Collect a Form W-9
A W-9 form is required for any US company working with US-based freelancers
Share company vision & culture booklet
Set up the design environment (share invision access, ...)
Share development and design process specificities (interaction with product and developement team, integration process, sprint time, design reviews, ...)
Add to internal communication tools (Slack, ...)

Starting a project with freelancers? Use Bonsai to streamline your on-boarding.



Why is compliance important?

Total compliance compliance for your Graphic Designer is crucial. Since 2016, misclassification has been the Department of Labor’s first and foremost enforcement priority. Errors are extremely expensive in the state of California, carrying a penalty ranging from $5,000-$20,000 for each violation. It’s best to avoid any possible mistakes.

IRS 20-Point Checklist

  • Must the individual take instructions from your management staff regarding when, where, and how work is to be done?
  • Does the individual receive training from your company?
  • Is the success or continuation of your business somewhat dependent on the type of service provided by the individual?
  • Must the individual personally perform the contracted services?
  • Have you hired, supervised, or paid individuals to assist the worker in completing the project stated in the contract?
  • Is there a continuing relationship between your company and the individual?
  • Must the individual work set hours?
  • Is the individual required to work full time at your company?
  • Is the work performed on company premises?
  • Is the individual required to follow a set sequence or routine in the performance of his work?
  • Must the individual give you reports regarding his/her work?
  • Is the individual paid by the hour, week, or month?
  • Do you reimburse the individual for business/travel expenses?
  • Do you supply the individual with needed tools or materials?
  • Have you made a significant investment in facilities used by the individual to perform services?
  • Is the individual free from suffering a loss or realizing a profit based on his work?
  • Does the individual only perform services for your company?
  • Does the individual limit the availability of his services to the general public?
  • Do you have the right to discharge the individual?
  • May the individual terminate his services at any time?

Starting a project with a freelancer? Use a dedicated system to ensure compliance.


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