When hiring a graphic designer to complete a digital project for your company, it’s important that they listen first, and design second. How do you know if a designer has your company’s best interest in mind? We asked our Senior Graphic Designer, Kristen Symmank, what questions you should expect from a quality designer at the start of a project.
1. What are the brand guidelines for the project?
Is there an existing brand that need to be matched or does the brand needs to be created from scratch? The designer needs to know in advance of accepting the project. When a company already has a color scheme, typefaces, logos or other elements that need to be incorporated into a project, it changes the creative process, forming a foundation to work from.
2. What is the intended target audience?
This is definitely one of the most important questions a designer should ask a client before beginning any work on a creative project. The direction in which a designer takes their client’s project stems from what audience they are attempting to reach. Demographics and psychographics have a huge influence on whether a design will successfully appeal to the businesses intended target market or not. Overall, the beginning of a design project should always start with the end goal in mind.
3. Who are competitors in the industry and which are preferred from a visual point of view?
Asking about competitors may seem like a juxtaposition but having a business identify direct or indirect competitors will offer additional data points in regards to direction and end goals. By comparing a business to its’ competitors two things are accomplished: Insight is gained on possible key differentiators, and successful marketing/branding techniques can be noted and tracked in the future. By tracking the successes of competitors, businesses can learn what works and what does not without the investment of testing for themselves.
4. What is the brand’s personality?
If a designer doesn’t ask strange questions, be worried. Design work should represent your company’s unique personality. When you think of the company or brand as a person, who do you think of? Are they male, female, polished, laid-back? What do they do on weekends? What would their favorite color be? While none of these questions may seem relevant – they each offer insight into how a company identifies their brand. Having this conversation allows the designer to get to a true feel for who a company is and their true essence.
5. What are the “must haves?”
These are the mandatory elements or specifications that a business should already have in mind (hopefully) by the first meeting. These could range anywhere from specific types of colors or fonts being used to sizes or graphics and materials or legal statements.
6. What assets are owned (i.e. photos or videos)?
If photos or video are to be incorporated into the design work, are they already in existence and owned by the business or do they need to be acquired externally? Designers need to know where and how they will access files necessary to complete a job.
7. Is there a specific deadline?
Is sounds silly, but you would be surprised how many people don’t set a timeline on projects from the beginning. Knowing when work needs to be published or editing and revision timelines from the start is the best way to ensure that a design project runs smoothly.
8. What is the budget?
A designer needs to know the budget for a project in advance of beginning the creative process. The last thing a designer wants to do is present you with options that aren’t in the budget. Inks, paper types, graphics, etc all have different costs. Setting a budget from the start ensures that the designer works within that scope and only presents you with viable options that meet your creative needs and financial boundaries.
9. What design elements are disliked?
Figuring out what a company dislikes should be just as important as knowing what they they love. Going through revisions after design can be tedious and time consuming for designers and businesses. A good designer should take the time to ask what a business hates before even starting the design process.
ODDS Marketing is a full service digital marketing agency that has the experience to get the results you need. Contact us to learn more about our graphic design and creative digital services.