We’re trying to scale our business and we mainly work with the end product being Personalized Wood and/or Acrylic. For now, I design our products turn them into laser ready SVG’s, then laser cut everything, package our products, and ship.
My goal would be to have someone with the ability and skill to utilize our templates/designs and just send us all the SVG’s ready to go so that I can free up more of my time doing other things the business requires.
We’ve tried hiring “Graphic Designers” with experience in our field on places like Upwork and other freelancing websites but have had minimal success.
So, the question is now, do I continue to find someone who can do this aspect of the business and if so, would anyone have any leads as to where I can find people that can do what we require? We figured we’d start here on the forums, because we feel there’s a bright group of people with either the ability themselves or knowledge of where to find someone to re-produce my work.
If not, then I would need a business to mass produce, package, and ship our products, while I design all the files and would anyone know a reliable source to handle ALL of this, to include our branded packaging, shipping notifications, package inserts, inventory + supply, Q&A?
Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to lend.
What kind of templates/designs are you dealing with?
It sounds to me like you’ve got some templates, but customers can customize in some way? But you need a designer to help prepare the SVG for cutting?
I’m curious exactly what the failure mode has looked like here…
Maybe you’re just not finding the right designers.
In my real job at a software company, I sometimes work with “production designers”, who’s role might be to take an illustration, or an icon, or a product logo, and polish up the design file, tune the pixels, etc. This is a little different than what we need for laser cutting something, but seems like the skills could be similar. So maybe finding a “production designer” might help your search.
Our templates are SVG files we’ve created for our products. Customers can customize when purchasing but then I make the edits while preparing the file to be laser cut. Yes, I need someone who knows how to connect curves, remove nodes, and just ensure the file matches exactly the customer input, utilizing our order form.
Yes, there’s a few gaps in that but yes, in short. We have all the designs/templates ready to go. We just need someone who
A. Has the software needed to create SVGs
B. Has the Fonts installed
C. Can Copy/Paste Customer Input from Order Forms
D. Follow our template instructions utilizing our layers/files, exactly.
E. Comfortable signing a Non-Compete.
F. General Common sense when designing and knowing where to connect nodes(product specific)
Reading over this it sounds like 20-30% of the people right here could do what you want, it would just take specific instructions on layers and such.
The problem I see would be coming up with a per job pay that would both allow you to continue to make money and properly compensate the person /people.
Looking at fiverr and upstart, they both have a “vector tracing” category… while that’s not quite what you need, I’d suspect many of the folks who offer to do that work might be reasonable candidates for what you do need.
What about reaching out to local high schools/colleges for kids/young adults in design programs? This type of work isn’t particularly difficult, but you need someone with a basic understanding of the software and some basic design sense. If you need someone full time, maybe seek out a stay-at-home parent who has a design background.
It seems like it would be worth training someone if they already have basic design skills.
We’ve tried reaching out to “experienced” SVG, Vector, and Graphic Design Artists who applied to our jobs through various sites. We’ve hired 3 people and all of them continue to make the same mistakes after giving them walk-through videos, PDF instructions as well as Layer instructions.
We’ve retained several designers for weeks and the same errors kept cropping up. Maybe we’re just being picky here, but there were a lot of misspelled names/ nodes where they shouldn’t be, sizing issues with the end design sizing based off customer input.
We’ve thought about reaching out to local colleges as we have several in our community but we’re afraid of running into the same problems as we did with “experienced” designers on Upwork.
We’ve used Fiverr in the past with mixed results but, not specifically for this. We may give it a go but I don’t see how it’ll be much different than the experience we’ve already had with Upwork.
We’ve hired 3 people so far and a 4th who just didn’t bother to try and all 3 of the ones we trained, just haven’t worked out.
To be transparent here-
We offered $15-20/hr for 17-Laser Cut SVG Files. In other words, for every 17 Files we paid $15-20/hr work. This is based off my experience doing these and I’m self-taught, no graphical schooling in the least.
I can complete more than 17 but we felt it was fair to reduce that # until we trained that individual and developed a relationship not only with them but become acquainted with their comfort level.
Yeah, I agree, which is why I felt asking here may elicit some sort of arrangement or a motion in the right direction. Instead of spending money on training 10-20 people until we find a good fit, we felt if someone here knew of someone specifically or knew a community perhaps outside of the Glowforge, that will work too.
The thing with “experienced” people is that they may be stuck in their ways or they may be lying about their skills. This is exactly why I suggested someone newer to the game. What you need isn’t brain surgery… anyone who has a basic aptitude, willingness to learn, and attention to detail should be able to do what you need.
Are you asking them to do a simple version of what you’ll be tasking them with during the interview process?
$15-20 is to little to sit on a sofa with a cup of coffee and take my designs/templates, and just make simple edits to them(based off customer input)?
It really isn’t that hard. We make simple products and again, these designs are already done… It literally takes 1-3 minutes per order. We’re not asking them to re-design a product or develop new product lines.
They usually have a portfolio of previous work based off the 3 people we actually hired. They all had, experience making our product and we saw completed designs done within their respective portfolios of products “similar” to ours. Either way, a graphic designer shouldn’t leave misspelled words and nodes where they shouldn’t be. We need anyone with those basic skills, yes.
My sympathies. The problem of finding the right person for a job is one that all business owners struggle with. (And it’s much harder now that certain skills are no longer taught in schools. Like basic spelling and punctuation.)
The type of work you are describing is clerk level, with a skill set required. The problem is a lack of “personal satisfaction” associated with that kind of work…it’s a grind job, for minimum pay, and the person doing it doesn’t get to use any creativity. Most of the people who are professionally trained in graphic design will not want to do that for that pay.
You might have better luck going unskilled, and taking the time to train the person doing it…like an apprenticeship. High school kids looking for summer work or wanting to build experience for a resume might be able to handle it, so check with local school guidance counselors, who might be able to recommend a good candidate. If the school has a program with Glowforges in use, even better.
Come to think of it…there are probably lots of kids out there now who know how to design for these things after a couple of years in the wild. They don’t have to be local to mail files back and forth, put the word out to the teachers using this for STEM classes.
Don’t expect to keep them long though…any good ones will likely move on after a time. (Also part of the gig.)