No one understands your brand and what it stands for better than you do. But when it comes to translating that into a visual identity, it’s helpful to get some expert input. That’s where a graphic designer comes in. They can help create a logo, color palette, and overall aesthetic that represents your business in the best light possible. So if you’re looking for a little guidance on how to find the perfect graphic designer for your needs, look no further! Below are 10 key questions to ask your designer before making a decision.
1. What design styles do you specialize in and what are your favorite projects to work on?
A lot of designers have their niche, whether it be editorial design, branding, social media, or websites. So if you know what style would best represent your brand, then finding someone who has experience in that field will help get you better results.
2. Do you have any case studies or examples of previous work that I can look at to get an idea of your style and approach to design projects?
This is a great way to see how your aesthetic will fit together and whether or not you’re on the same page. Plus, it shows that you respect your designer’s time and effort and want to get an idea of what they can do before commissioning them for a job.
3. What is your design process like and what can I expect from you during the project?
Not all designers will work in the same way, so it’s important to establish their needs and expectations from you. It also helps when planning a timeline since you’ll know what steps will need to be completed before they can start working on their end.
4. What are your rates and payment terms – how much will this cost me per hour/day or project?
This is a question that should always be asked upfront and in writing. Graphic designers can range from $60 to $150+ an hour, depending on their experience level and area of expertise. So make sure you get a quote from your potential candidates before moving forward.
5. What is included in your fee, and what will I need to provide/source myself (e.g., text, images, fonts)?
Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to provide certain materials, like copy, fonts, or photographs for your designer. So be sure to get a clear answer as to what they’re responsible for and what will need to come from you.
6. How long will the project take to complete, from start to finish?
Designers will quote a time frame of completion for you, but make sure they can work within your timeline. This way if there are any changes along the way, you’ll be able to adjust accordingly without throwing off the project flow.
7. What files types or deliverables will a receive at the completion of the project?
You’ll want to be sure you’re getting the files you need in a format that can be utilized. Things like .jpgs, .pdfs, etc. will vary depending on what your requirements are and how they plan to hand off their work to you (via email, Dropbox, or FTP). So make sure you get an idea of what you’ll receive.
8. How frequently would I need to provide feedback and approve of the project?
Designers can work in a variety of ways, so you’ll want to establish how often you’d like them to check in with you throughout the project timeline. This could be for each design concept or progress update, so make sure you’re getting a clear picture of how often they’ll need to see your feedback and approval before beginning.
9. How long will this project take to complete?
Being proactive and establishing a timeline for your project is ideal since it gives you both a game plan to follow. This way, if any changes come up along the way (which they sometimes do), you’ll be able to react accordingly without throwing off your whole timeline.
10. Do you offer revisions to the design before it’s finalized, and if so what is the cost for each revision?
One of the best ways to judge a designer is how many revisions they include with their offer. Most will include three, but if you have a complicated concept or are working in print, it could be more. To find out upfront so there are no surprises later on!
When working with a graphic designer, it’s important to ask the right questions in order to get the most out of the working relationship. By asking the 10 questions listed above, you’ll be able to establish a clear understanding of their design process, rates, deliverables, and more. This will help to avoid any surprises down the road and ensure that your project runs smoothly from start to finish.
Don’t have the budget to hire a graphic designer yet? No worries! You can create a brand even if you’re on a budget with free online tools. I’ll share my best free, easy-to-use (+ time-saving) tools in my free webinar, “Build a Polished and Professional Brand Even if You’re Design-Challenged.” Every successful business owner watches their bottom-line expenses and there’s no shame in using free tools, especially when you’re first starting out. Register Here!