You have a project that needs to be done, and you want to hire a graphic designer. That’s super easy, right? Just look at their work and see what you like, then hire someone. Well, that method will most likely end up with you not being happy with your finished product, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever worked with one. A relationship between designer and client needs to be one of trust, understanding, transparency, and honesty. You should always have an initial consultation meeting with your designer to make sure that you will work well together. Yes, they “do” all the work, but if you don’t understand their process and what is expected of you, then your relationship will be off to a rocky start. Here are some questions that you can ask your graphic designer during your consultation call to ensure you’re both on the same page.
- Do you have experience designing for my type of company/industry before?
This question will help start your conversation, and it opens the door for you to talk about your company and your vision. When you have your call with Design Spinners, we do a lot of information sharing. The more we know about you and your company, the better our ideas will be. That’s true for any designer.
- How long have you been designing, and what is your design experience?
Although how long someone has been designing and their experience doesn’t always make them a good or bad designer, this is still important for you as a client to know. This is also a great way to let them know what you want from the design. Are you looking for 100% original work, or are you ok if they use a template? This is also where you can plan your project. The more experience a graphic designer has, there’s a larger chance that they’ve done some very similar projects to what you’re asking for. It’s also good to remember you get what you pay for. So a designer with more experience will most likely come at a higher price.
- How much will this project cost, and what is the contract process?
This might not be something that your designer can answer right away. The designer might tell you they will send you a proposal in a certain time frame—the more detailed the proposal, the longer it can take to put it together. Pricing will also depend on the project. Designing a logo will differ from creating a large format banner or an e-booklet. You should have a budget in mind, too; if you’re asking for a massive project but don’t have the budget for it, that needs to be communicated sooner rather than later. If your designer knows you’re working with a lower budget, they can advise you to start with a smaller project or refer you to someone else.
Another important thing to ask about is the process. How many revisions do you get, how will we communicate? We include you in every step of the process and always provide you with mutual expectations. If the design you talk to doesn’t have procedures in place, they might not be the designer for you.
- What is the timeline for this kind of project?
Every project is different. Asking for a logo design might take anywhere from a few weeks to a month. Depending on its complexity, something more extensive like a website or entire brand design can take anywhere from a month to six months. That’s why you also need to have a good idea of what you want. Just walking in and saying you want a website designed is a very vague request. What do you want the website to do? Do you need to book appointments, take payments, host a portfolio of work? If you’re not 100% sure about what you want, that’s ok. The designer will ask you questions during the meeting and let you know what can and can’t be done. However, for the sake of a timeline, the more you ask for, the longer it could take. Keep in mind that you’re most likely not their only client. This can also affect how long a project will take. Keeping your line of communication open and replying quickly is also essential. If a draft is sent over and takes either side a week to respond, the completion date pushes back.
- What do I (the client) need to have prepared?
Now that you know what you want for your project, especially if it’s something like a presentation or website, what do you as a client need to provide? Many designers, including our team, often have questionnaires to fill out before you begin working together. This questionnaire will provide your designer with further insight and help them create a successful start to your brand. Questions might include things like “Do you have a tagline? If so, shall we include it in the logo?”, “Who are your main competitors?” and “What message do you want to give to your audience?” Whatever project you need to be created, you want to be ready to take an active role with your designer. At the end of the day, you need to be happy with the result.
It’s always good to be prepared for anything when you go into your meeting. But, if you find yourself more prepared than the designer, you might want to cut the meeting short and try to find someone that will be a better fit for you. When you’re looking for a graphic designer, the first place you want to go is their website. You’re sure to find a portfolio of their work, testimonials, and even what their process is. You can also check out their social media pages if you want to see how they handle customer service. Pinterest is another excellent place to find designers’ work and ideas for what you want. Remember, if you bring something to the designer from a competitor’s website or something from Pinterest, the designer won’t be able to use that. It’s most likely copyrighted, and you want to be different from what’s out there. Only use social media, competitor websites, and Pinterest to spark ideas. Contact us today if you’re ready to tackle your next graphic design project! We can’t wait to elevate your brand!