What to Expect When Working With a Graphic Designer
Working with a graphic designer is a great way to invest in your small business. While each graphic designer will be a bit different, the basic expectations will be the same.
Process for Working With a Graphic Designer
The first step is a consultation or questionnaire. This is a get-to-know-you moment. It is important that you know what you are looking for and a basic idea of your needs before this meeting. Your designer will be listening to understand your business and your needs more clearly. This understanding will allow your designer to create the appropriate designs for your small business.
After your initial meeting, your designer will begin researching your company, your competition, and your niche. This research will build on the understanding of your company and make sure they align your designs with your small business and your market.
Your designer will take this new knowledge to begin their brainstorming process. They will take everything they understand and put together a set of design ideas, color options, moods, etc.. This will be the jumping off point for the design itself.
Using the mood board they created, they will now begin the initial designs. The amount of initial designs you are presented with will vary by designer, I tend to do 8-10 initial designs and then work from those. These will be presented to you for feedback. Your designer will use that feedback to work toward your final designs.
This will vary by project and designer. This is where you will receive your final files and any deliverables (printed items, website, etc.). Make sure you are on the same page with your designer about your deliverables, they need to know if they will be handling printing, publishing, etc.. Once you have your final files, they are your property. Your designer should keep a backup copy of those files as well, for future work.
Timeline for Your Design Project
The timeline for each client will be different because their needs will be different. If you are asking for just a logo, your design will take less time than someone asking for a logo, website and advertising materials. The size and scope of your project will determine the time needed for a completed design.
That being said, your designer should work with you on deadlines. If you have an upcoming deadline, your designer may be able to accomodate a quick delivery. Many times this will depend on their workload, as well as if the timeline is attainable. Remember good design takes time and quality control, rushed design has a higher possibility of looking more underdeveloped.
Work with your designer to set specific due dates to hit your deadline. Working backward from your deadline will help to set certain deliverables within the project. Preparing these deadlines at the beginning of the project will allow you to keep your project on schedule.
Cost of the Designs
As with the timeline, every client and project is different when it comes to pricing. Some projects require hourly work or monthly retainers, while others are a set project price. Most designers will give you a proposal of design work and cost after your initial meeting.
Take into consideration, the quality of the designers work. If you are working with a less experienced designer their price may be lower than an experienced designer. You are paying for their expertise and experience. Sure, you could use an online, quick turnaround, cheap design site, but remember your designs will reflect that quality of work. I have worked with multiple clients who went that route and then came to me to completely redesign the work they received.
Remember, the design of your small business is an investment. People will see, remember and associate your business with it's branding. Make sure it's memorable and will stand out from your competition.
Communication With Your Graphic Designer
This is another aspect that will be different for each designer and client. Some designers prefer to communicate via email. Others prefer phone or face-to-face conversations. Talk with your designer about the best way to communicate. I have clients that prefer a zoom call and others that prefer email. Your designer should be willing to work with you on the most efficient communication method for you both.
Delivery of Your Designs
The final step in the process is the deliverables. As with so many of the previous points, this will also vary by designer and project. Your designer should be clear on what you can expect at the end of the process. Be sure you know if you designer will be printing your pieces, hosting your website, etc..
Many times these deliverables will be delivered to you upon receipt of your final payment. At the end of the process you should have all the final files, printed products, website logins, etc.. Your designer should also keep a copy of these files for future work and as a backup.
Knowing what to expect when you make an investment in a graphic designer is important. While there are some things that will change depending on the designer and the project, the basic process will be the same. Being prepared for these steps is important and will allow your designer to create the best designs for your small business.
Are you ready to make the investment in graphic design for your small business? Contact us today to get started!