7 Important Questions to Ask Your Designer …
There is a variety of talented creatives out there, no matter what your project or price point is. I cannot stress how very important it is for you to know what you are getting into when you start a new project. Especially if you have never used a graphic designer before or are migrating to a new one. From living this designer dream pretty much all my life I understand the point of view from both the designer and the client’s perspective. So, to make things stress-free on your end, here is a handful of questions I would suggest asking before you get started:
- Who are you and what’s your availability?
This very important questions will help your find out a bit of background … how experienced they are, how long have they been in business, do they have a home office or work in an office space, do they have references. If the designer happens to be a beginner, this gives you an opportunity to see if they have the skills and talent needed for your project(s). Or perhaps they are in a different time zone, is that compatible with your workflow? Another good addition to this question would be to ask why you should hire them.
Availability is often an overlooked question, this is important and can be a deal breaker so don’t’ forget to include this in your conversation.
- What is your estimated time for project completion? Revision turnaround?
There is honestly no right or wrong answer to this question. If you have certain expectation or perhaps even an event or launch coming up, be sure to discuss this with your designer so they can structure your project(s) accordingly or leave them the opportunity to warn you that your timelines may not be feasible. Timelines are in most cases almost always feasible but there have been occasions (speaking personally here) where the back end of things are not fully understood, it’s not just a few clicks and then done. So, also be mindful of your requests and understand that the designer isn’t telling you it cannot be done because they are not “feeling creative today” or perhaps being lazy. There is usually a technical explanation. If they don’t give you one, ask.
- How many rounds of revisions are included in my project? What happens if I need more?
With each designer this can be different but it is usually labelled in the contract. If you are not working with a signed contract then … YIKES, better find a new designer. If you are working together with a fixed-price package with a set number of revisions, make sure to find out ahead of time if your designer will charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for additional revisions. If your project happens to be based on an hourly rate then ask your designer to keep you updated on hours worked and to let you know when you are close to the amount agreed upon in the estimate.
However, many companies, including myself, allow from some grace (small or constructive) when it comes to revisions because we want you to be completely satisfied with the end result, no matter the project/task at hand.
- What formats will you deliver and will they be editable?
This answer will truly depend on the type of project(s) your working on together. When it comes to logo design formats to be supplied by your designer should usually be an editable EPS (vectorized format which allows you to resize without losing quality), a PNG with a transparent background (great for uploading to your website or onto document with coloured backgrounds) and a high-resolution JPEG (can be used on most print items).
Now if you will be acquiring any print items, please let your designer know ahead of time so that they can match the printer’s specifications (such as colour space, bleeds and quality of output). We don’t want any disappointment or wasted funds in the end.
- Do you have experience designing with different platforms and mediums?
Many graphic designers specialize in one type of design but there are exceptions to every situation because most can adapt to different platforms/mediums as needed. Think about all your design needs before getting started and make sure your choice of designer is fully qualified (or willing to learn) to fit the needs of your business.
- Do you have a portfolio, blog or social media presence?
Graphics designers who answer “yes” to any or all the above show promise because they have confidence in what they do and are knowledgeable in marketing their own work. They will be more likely to bring this kind of expertise to the table and offer advice in order to better your brand. Designer’s who understand their own brand are way more likely to be able to ask the right questions to understand their client’s brand.
- What motivated you to apply for this position/project?
This will help you better understand the designer’s motivations to how they will relate to your business. You want a graphic designer who understands your company’s vision, goals and is able to demonstrate such through the graphics and designs they choose to emulate your company. If by some forsaken chance they haven’t done the research on your company, they will struggle to offer you exclusive and original content. This is not something you need … we are aiming for stress-free here!
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