5 Things You Really Should Ask Your Designer Before Starting a Project
You’ve been planning for a while. Your business idea is sound and you have all the pieces in place. But you’re still missing a solid logo and website.
You’ve heard about websites like Upwork and looked up a couple local designers, but you have no idea what to look for.
Take a deep breath.
- Do you have design ideas in mind?
- What kind of budget are you working with?
- Do you need a web and graphic designer?
- Would you prefer to work with a local designer or an international one?
- Are you prepared to trust their judgment?
It’s important that you go into the design process with a plan. So, before you hire your next graphic and web designer, you’re going to want to ask the following questions.
What is your design style?
There are many designers that try and advertise themselves as a jack-of-all-trades. I don’t agree with that label at all.
Sure, you may be a pretty good designer, but everyone has a style. If you were to ask me this question, I’d tell you that I favor minimalism, typography focused and grid-based design. Others may prefer loud designs, with lots of colors, darker tones, or something else entirely.
You want to find a designer that fits the culture you envision for your company. When starting out, that means choosing the right colors, themes, and imagery. It’s so much easier to go about the design process when you and your designer think alike.
What is your design process like?
Do not make the mistake of confusing design style and design process. They are two very different things.
Ask your designer how they approach the process of design. Everyone has a different style and will draft ideas in their own way. It’s better to learn early on if you agree with a designers process of design. This will help you avoid surprises and stay in control of a project and its timeline.
What is your revision process?
Revisions are part of the design process. Whether accidental, or intentional, designers should be willing to make changes.
Here at Gridience, I heavily value feedback as it allows me to carry out a design that is mutually beneficial for both parties. Without feedback, I’d never know if you actually like the designs I create and this will lead to further confusion down the road. And remember, I’m not designing this for myself, I’m designing what I think you need for your business.
Designers should offer revisions. That isn’t to say you should expect unlimited revisions. Big or small, changes are to be expected. If a designer pushes back and expects you to be happy with their first draft, move on.
Do you have a portfolio?
Portfolios are the easiest way to weed out bad designers. The best ones will be happy to showcase their portfolios. After all, it highlights all the amazing work they’ve done. Always check a designer’s portfolio to get a feel for their general style, the types of industries they are familiar with, and other intimate details about their design philosophy.
Most designers will make their portfolio publicly available on their website. In the case that you can’t find it, just ask. There’s no reason for them not to send you a few samples of their past work.
How busy are you?
This is one thing that many people overlook. It doesn’t matter how great a designer is if they can’t meet your timelines.
So many designers are eager to take on projects that they often don’t manage their time well. When you’re paying good money for a logo and website, you have the right to expect it to be delivered on time.
Ask your potential graphic and web designer what their schedule looks like. If they can confidently answer, they likely have time to help you. Any sign of hesitation during this step is a hint that they may be too busy.
What is your rate?
Never forget to ask about your designer’s rate. You don’t want to get shocked down the road when you get a massive bill.
Establish budgets early on, communicate your expectations, and make sure your designer is aware of them. If you are worried, look for designers that has a detailed contract. Don’t be afraid to sign one either. They aren’t scary pieces of paper. In fact, they are designed to protect you from any “he-said-she-said” scenarios and they help keep a project organized.
Some designers work on an hourly basis, while others prefer fixed pricing. Today, fixed project pricing tends to be the most popular method for design work. As a business owner, you’ll know the cost of a project upfront, protecting you from designers who may try and pad their hours. You can also determine from the initial quote if a specific price is fair for you and fits your budget.
Personally, I work with a project-based pricing model because it allows me to customize the overall project to the needs of your business.
Don’t be afraid of either model, just understand what you are getting from the price you are paying for the project.
Have Questions? I Have Answers
My name’s Tomoya and I’m a full-service graphic and web designer who helps small and medium-sized businesses just like yours work on their company branding. My packages include everything you’ll need to properly brand your company, whether you need logos, promotional materials, or a dedicated website.
If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to ask me. Questions are an important part of the design process and I’d rather know if we are a good fit.
Have an interesting project you want to discuss?
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