Choosing the Right Designer for your Project
Unfortunately this happens more times than I like to admit. A potential client contacts me because they have worked with another designer, and they are “extremely disappointed with the time and money they’ve wasted.” This breaks my heart. I love what I do, and the thing I love most is making people happy with their design. So when I hear that a design relationship has failed, it makes me think about where it went wrong? Working with a designer should be an amazing process, full of fun and interest, and ultimately rewarding for both sides. It is important to choose someone that you connect with, not just because you want to throw a friend a bone.
Here are my tips on choosing the right designer for your project so there are no bad breakups and no need for rebounds (though I’m here if you need me.)
PINPOINT YOUR NEEDS
The first thing you should do when you are ready to bite the bullet is to figure out exactly what you need. Where will you be using your new branding? What elements does your business need? Branding isn’t just about a pretty, shiny new logo. Determining where you will be using your new designs and how it will communicate your message is important. So figure out what your message is first so you can share it with your new designer when you find one.
DO YOUR BACKGROUND CHECKS
These days with the internet, your choice of designers is unlimited. We are no longer bound by the limits of our local phone book. This also gives you the opportunity to do a little bit of research. Background checks in the form of portfolios.
It is your responsibility to carefully look over the previous work of a designer you’re interested in working with to ensure you have similar styles. If you like feminine, and the designers portfolio is more edgy modern, then they may not be able to give you the design your business needs or deserves. Every designer wants to give you an amazing finished product. A product that makes you happy and showcases their talent. And the talent really shines through when the designer and client share a similar style.
MAKE SURE YOU CAN PLAY WELL WITH EACH OTHER
Once you’ve determined you have a similar design aesthetic, make sure you have a similar work ethic. Do you like schedules, or are you more relaxed? If you like to have a timeline, and the designer is more laid back, then you might feel like they’re ignoring you. Or worse, not giving you the attention you deserve when it takes them a day to respond. Figure out what your work style is and then be sure to communicate it with your potential designer. They should be able to let you know if you will work well together.
FIND A BFF
I like to say that by the end of a project, I hope to call you a friend. I have many clients that I stay in touch with because we have a connection outside of the designer-client relationship. This relationship is like any other. You should have chemistry. Not only a shared design style, but personality, interests and passions.
If you think of your last job, who were you most productive with? The people you got along with and shared your personal life with on coffee breaks? Or the person that was your complete opposite that you barely shared glances at across the break room? I think you know where this is going. Find your people and the work will be amazing!
DETERMINE THE COSTS OF THE PROJECT
This is a fine point of the process. You’ll need to determine the costs of your project, both financial and otherwise. There are many amazing designers out there that will be completely out of your budget. But this isn’t designer branding, and the designer doesn’t make your business any more (or less) successful just because you have their stamp on your brand board. The important thing is that you are happy with the final product
Also think about what you’re going to get for your money. It’s not just about the final deliverables. What is the process? Do they have the knowledge and experience to guide you through, and point out things you may have never considered? Can they help you build your brand through design?
Choosing the right designer for your project may seem difficult. But if you follow these tips, you will find someone that matches your style, work ethic, personality and budget, then you can move forward into design bliss.
Above all, you should feel good about your choice. Remember, brand development is a collaborative labor of love, and if you choose the wrong designer, then you ultimately won’t be happy with your designs.