How to pick a designer in 5 steps
Finding the right designer can be hard to do, but choosing a designer and then finding out you aren’t getting what you wanted can be disappointing, putting a sour note on your whole project.
You want to find a designer that understands what you are after and won’t let their ego get in the way of what you want. But at the same time, the designer is the expert and it’s worth listening to their point of view if they recommend something.
1. Find someone who listens to what you are after
You want someone who understands your vision, but also guides you to the best outcome for your brand. Your designer needs to be on the same page as you. There is no point going through a branding process only to realise you haven’t got what you wanted.
Being on the same wavelength is important. Its as important for the designer that you are clear on your brief and don’t go for a ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ attitude. Designers are people too, not mind-readers!
2. Pick someone who matches your budget - but don’t have an unrealistic budget
If you value design for what it can strategically do for your business, then be realistic about your budget. Your brand and visual identity will be at the forefront of your business, so needs to be polished, on point and targeted towards your market.
Value your designer’s time and skill. They have trained at university level for a long time and then gained valuable experience to get to a point where they are working for you. Smaller design studios can give you more value for your money than the larger ones. But perhaps you are picking a larger studio for their breadth of skills in launching your own big business.
3. Don’t just go with your brother’s wife’s half sister just because you distantly know them
While it’s good to work with someone you know, don’t just choose a designer because a friend said their ‘brother’s wife half sister is a designer you know’.
You may not want anything to sour your relationship with a friend, and you might feel more comfortable having a working relationship with someone you don’t know. Being able to provide clear feedback is important in a designer/client relationship.
Then again if a friend or family member has also worked with someone and they provide glowing feedback on their experience, then by all means work with who you know.
4. Do your research
Ask around other small businesses whose branding you like to see who designed it. Do some research on instagram to see what designers are around in your area. Look at their websites, what do they say about their process and how they worked with other clients?
Meet with a few designers to get a sense if they are on the same wavelength as you. Look at other work they have done: is it something you love; have they worked in your industry category before; or do you like the way they talk about how they go about things. Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting to see whether you like someone. Most designers will also want to meet with you to see if its a good fit!
5. Most of all go with someone whose style you love
Seen their work on Instagram? Then again somewhere else and thought ‘I love that!’. It you love what they already do, chances are you will also love what they can do for you. While most designers can work to any brief and provide you with something appropriate for your business, if they have a consistent style or way of working that resonates with you, it’s a fair bet they are the right fit for you and your business.