Small Business Tips Blog
Are you looking to bump up the creativity in your office? Are your promotional materials lacking spark, but you don’t have the budget to hire an agency? Why not hire a student designer?
Fresh out of school, student designers have up-to-date technical skills. But unlike an established designer, they lack experience. But, this is not the disadvantage it may seem to be. Student designers are looking to build their portfolios, and gain experience needed to land that covenanted agency job, and you can provide that experience.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to successfully work with a student designer.
Go where the talent is learning. If you want a qualified and well-trained student, go back to school. Most university/college programs have listservs that send email updates to their students. Get in touch with the program coordinator for the local design program in your area and ask for an email to be sent to their listserv with your posting. You can also check for student design organizations at www.studentdesigners.com, an international online community of students and new designers.
The difference between “on spec” and “pro bono” work. On spec is work that is contracted to a designer with no promise of pay until the final design is complete. Many student designers see these types of offers in design contests, but they are often frowned upon in the design community. In pro bono work, a designer collaborates with an organization for free, or in-kind. Many companies that hire student designers for experience allow them to use the project in their portfolio, and typically pay a small honorarium.
A strong creative brief is necessary. Student designers are becoming familiar with industry standards and expectations. A strong creative brief is an integral piece that can help you communicate what you want the student to deliver. The creative brief should contain an outline of your vision and goals for the project, your company’s values, and visual identity.
Patience is a must. Hiring a student designer may require more of your direction, guidance and time than if you were to hire an agency. Though learning curves can be steep in some cases, you might find that you also learn something along the way, and your time ensures you are vested in the project outcome.
A student designer can introduce new perspectives, ingenuity, and bring new creativity to your business, and in the meantime, you give someone the opportunity to prove their abilities and deliver you a product that might surprise you.