However, when it comes time to hire out your design work to a third party, there are a few things you need to figure out beforehand. The best way to get what you need from a designer is to know exactly what you want to see before you even ask for an estimate.
1. What Do You Need?In legal terms, this would be establishing the scope of the project. Tech Republic once recommended that freelancers help manage client expectations by utilizing a customized project scope document, but this is just as much your own responsibility as it is that of the designer. When establishing the scope of the project, you need to be able to answer the following questions:
- How many different pieces do you need designed? Remember that a logo, business card and brochure are all separate projects and should be treated as such.
- What kind of design work are you looking for? Make it clear whether you’re looking for black and white, color, digital only or work to be printed.
- Which project has priority? If you don’t have a logo, you should always start there
2. What’s Your Budget?Once you know what you need, it’s time to establish a budget for each project. If you have a lump sum allocated to design work in general, break it up according to the difficulty and importance of each project. Don’t forget that your logo is the one piece of graphic design that you’re going to use the most out of anything you could possibly be looking for, which means that by all rights it should be have the highest portion of the budget—unless you’re seeking web design, of course.
3. Who is Your Target Audience?It may not seem relevant to graphic design, but knowing your target audience is actually a key facet to carving out a coherent and appropriate brand identity. According to Entrepreneur.com, if you can’t define your ideal customer, you won’t get very far in the world of business. Graphic design is an aspect of marketing, and that requires an understanding of who exactly you’re selling your product or service to; there’s a big difference between designing a logo for a small-scale daycare and an in-home computer repair service, after all. Your graphic designer needs to know who they’re designing for before they can make the image your small business needs.
4. What Kind of Brand Image Do You Want?This plays into your target audience, but only to a degree. The kind of brand image you want to convey through our company’s design should be appropriate for your demographic, but that still leaves plenty of wiggle room. Decide early on if you’re aiming for elegance, simplicity, playfulness or something else. Remember that your brand image is one part action and two parts visual, so you need to be clear with your designer exactly what kind of image you want to create.
5. What’s the Deadline?Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have a solid deadline for each project before you go seeking out the services of a graphic designer.Creative Bloq reports that graphic designers can assist more “needy” clients by keeping them apprised of milestones in the project, but this isn’t always considered standard. Make sure to communicate clearly when you want each phase of your projects finished; your designer will thank you.
Making the ChoiceDepending on the level of work you need done and the timeframe in which it must be completed, you’ll also need to ask yourself what kind of designer you’re looking for. Whether you opt for a freelancer or seek the varied options of the multitude of graphic designers at crowdsourcing companies like Designhill is contingent entirely upon your company’s needs. Finding a graphic designer at Designhill is generally faster and more economical than locating a trustworthy freelancer, but crowdsourcing often lacks the long one-on-one brainstorming sessions you can get from an individual. If you’re working on a tight budget and a tighter timeframe, however, that could be just what you need.
Understanding your company’s needs is integral to getting a designer that works for you, so many sure you’re ready before you start the search. The more you know, the easier your project will be for everyone.