Like with any new relationship, it is important to ask certain questions and learn more about the person prior to making a commitment. Graphic designers are no different and come with various levels of experience, aesthetics and costs. In turn, you will want to ensure that you are hiring the right person or agency before signing on the dotted line.
Sadly, we have had a number of clients retain our services after realizing that they did not ask the right questions. Incidentally, they received a deliverable that was not in-line with their expectations.
Do you possess experience specific to MY needs?
Most likely, the designer or firm possesses some type of experience or you would not be in contact. But, there is a big difference between general experience and experience that is specific to the work that you need done. For example, if you are looking to have your website designed, you will want someone who has experience with web design, not just print. They are two very different worlds that require varied and unique skill sets.
What is the turnaround time?
If you need your project completed by a specific date, be very clear about this upfront. Good designers will be honest with you if they are not able to meet your deadline, allowing you to shop elsewhere for someone who can. Besides asking about the final deliverable date, inquire about milestones. Does the designer have mini-deadlines for first round design and applicable edits? If not, you might want to think twice about working with the designer, as micro-planning is key when working to meet a final deadline.
How much will the project cost?
Obviously, this is an important question! Even if the designer possesses extensive experience related to your project and can meet your deadline, there is no point in moving forward with the conversation if you cannot afford their services. In addition to obtaining a fully-loaded end cost, ensure that you are clear about what the proposal will entail. For example, how many rounds of edits are included? What is the hourly rate if you go past the edits included in the price?
Can I see samples of your work?
It is important to see actual pieces that the designer has created. Given that the finished product may be heavily influenced by the designer’s client, try not to focus on if you like the colors or fonts, but rather the attention to detail that was paid to the piece.
How much time will be required of me?
This is an important one. Design firms all operate in different ways, so it is important to understand what will be expected of you. Is there a timeframe that you will have to provide feedback within to stay on schedule? Are there required calls you need to be on to review the design progress? While you should be required to provide approval and feedback, you should not feel overwhelmed by the amount of time requested of you.
By asking these questions, you will not only get the answers you need to make an informed decision, but you will also have the opportunity to get to know the person or firm you will be working with. Obviously, the last thing you want is to have to interface with someone whose personality does not match yours. Go with your gut on this end! Design projects should be a fun process, so you certainly do not want to end up working with someone who puts you in a foul mood.
If you have any questions about graphic design services, feel free to contact us!