Let’s say you’ve been searching for a designer to do your new logo or website. You might ask a fellow business owner for recommendations or make a Google search. But before just choosing any random graphic or web designer to do some work for your business it is vital that you do these four things first:
1. Check out their portfolio
Before contacting a graphic designer you have to make sure your styles match. If you are looking for something ornate, decorative and vintage-looking, don’t contact a designer that specialises in a modern, minimalist and clean look. Designers have different styles and we each have our own unique talents. Chances are if you choose a designer that can do “everything” and work in any style they won’t be as good as someone that specialises in a specific style. That’s why it’s important to view their portfolio and see what type of work they have done before.
2. Make sure you’re comfortable with their process
Designers sometimes outline their design process on their website for potential clients to read. If you can’t find that on their website, contact the designer and ask them to explain their process to you. A professional designer will probably send you a PDF that explains their process in detail. Read through it and determine if you can work with this designer. How many concepts will you get? How will the designer communicate with you? When do they expect payment? It’s good to know what to expect before starting work on the project.
3. Do you have time?
When working with a designer you will need to be readily available to give feedback on drafts. Do you have enough time to do this? Some designers expect to receive feedback from you within a certain time frame. This ensures that the project stays on track, you are able to meet deadlines, and everyone stays motivated.
4. Know your target customers well
If you don’t know who your own business’ target customer is, how will you explain this to your designer? We need to know what your business does, who your market is, and who your competitors are so that we can design something appropriate. A logo for a business whose target is teenage girls will look very different from a logo aimed at older women.
There are many other things I could mention but doing at least these four things will save YOU time, and save the designer’s time. It will take some time to find the perfect designer, but once you have them, you hopefully won’t have to find a new one again.
Here’s a tip: if you have contacted a designer and it turns out that you aren’t a good fit for each other, ask them if they know of anyone else that can help you. This way you won’t have to waste a lot of time searching for another one.
What other things do you think people need to know before hiring a designer?