5 Essential Things to Ask a Potential Designer

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you wear a lot of hats. You have to be a salesperson, marketer, accountant, and more. When it comes to your business, chances are you don’t have time for a learning curve. So when it’s time to bring on a designer, how do you know what questions to ask? Here are 5 essential things to ask a potential designer. By knowing what to ask upfront, you can make sure you find the right person for your business – and avoid any headaches down the road!

Process

Designers are often thought of as creative people who have a knack for turning ideas into reality. But what does that process actually look like? Every designer has a different approach to how they get creative tasks done, so the more aligned your working style is with theirs, the painless the project would feel. A few examples of questions you can ask that relate to the creative process are:

  • What is your design process like and how will I be involved throughout the project?
  • How is the project structured?
  • What does the reviewing process look like?

Body of Work

Designers, like most professionals, have different levels of expertise. When you’re hiring a designer, it’s important to make sure their work reflects the level of expertise you’re expecting. Most designers are happy to answer any questions you have about their work. So before making that final decision, be sure to ask them about recent branding and website projects that are similar to your brand/niche. Below are a few examples you can ask when considering hiring a designer:

  • What are some of your previous branding projects, and how did they turn out?
  • Can you kindly show me a recent project that is similar to my industry?
  • What challenges did you face when working on your most recent project? How did you solve them?
  • What was the feedback from your previous client(s) regarding this project?

Communication and feedback

As a business owner, you’re probably used to giving and receiving feedback. It’s an essential part of the creative process, and it can help you improve your products or services. When it comes to working with a brand designer, it’s important to know how to give feedback that will be helpful rather than destructive or confusing. Be sure to clearly articulate your vision and expectations. Communicate what you’re looking for in terms of design, as well as the overall branding strategy you have in mind. Use a few examples below to scope out how the topic of communication can be discussed during the interview process.

  • How are we going to communicate throughout the project?
  • What is your communication availability like?
  • How do you feel about working with feedback throughout the project?
  • How collaborative is your design process? Will I be able to provide feedback as we go along?
  • What is the best way to communicate feedback and reviews? (some people work best with a meeting session, while others prefer written feedback – it’s up to you and your designer to work out the best way for both of you)

Vision & Creative thinking

When interviewing a brand designer, it’s key that we ask questions about their vision for the project and how they plan to execute on that vision. With so many talented designers out there, it’s essential to find one who shares your same level of enthusiasm and some degree of direction for the project. Based on how they answer your questions, it will reflect their work ethics and ability to solve problems through designs. A few questions you may want to ask are:

  • Do you have any questions for me about the project or my vision for it?
  • Could you tell me what you think is the best way to tackle (insert your problem here)?
  • Do you have any options for a sustainable packaging design that you’ve tried before with your previous clients?
  • How did you solve a similar problem to this one before?

Compensation

Ah yes, the topic we’d like to skip over. Some people avoid discussing money because they feel awkward about it. However, it’s important to make sure both you and your designer are on the same page when it comes to expectations and pricing. Discussing rates openly and transparently at the beginning of every project can save a lot of time and headache, so definitely make time to do it. A few questions about rates & pricing you can ask when interviewing your brand designer are:

  • What do you need from me in order to create an accurate quote/proposal for this project?
  • What does the payment plan look like?
  • How do we handle the project if we go out of scope?
  • Are there any potential additional fees that we haven’t discussed that may arise later on?

Asking the right questions is essential when it comes to finding the perfect designer for your business. By taking the time to ask about their process, portfolio, communication style, vision  and compensation expectations upfront, you’ll be able to find someone who is a good fit for both your company and your budget.

April 5, 2022

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