This video and blog post is all about you. It is not about my business, it is about how to engage a designer for logos branding and any creative work that you need to help you to avoid bad experiences and enjoy the process and end result.
This post will hopefully save yourself some heartache finding the right designer for you and help you get an outcome and designs that will delight you!
1. What to look out for when choosing the right designer
2. Some ‘doh’ moments to avoid
3. How you are also responsible for the outcome of the project. It’s not just about the designer
4. What to do if you don’t like the designs presented to you. And why that might be.
You often hear frustrating experiences getting creative work to meet the brief, especially online in Facebook groups, people post about horror stories. The initial reaction is usually oh no the designer was terrible, the designer didn’t listen to you; they didn’t care, or just did a terrible job.
What to look out for when choosing the right designer
It is your responsibility also to make sure that you find the right designer. There are hundreds of types of designers, all with different styles, expertise and levels of skill. There is possibly a misconception among non-designers, that if you are a designer you can do anything – like a hand for hire.
Check out the designer’s portfolio – before you start
In my 20 years of experience creating custom designs, I have been approached to colour in someone else’s sketches or copy something, or asked to design like another person. This is not how I create, however when a client shares their likes and dislikes this can help to inspire. If you are looking for a particular design or style you should check out the portfolio of the designer first.
Know the designer’s pricing
This may sound obvious, by ensuring you understand the pricing prior to engaging a designer, this will ensure there are clear expectations and that the creative will be aligned to your budget. It is also important that the price matches the level of design (so make sure you check out that portfolio!)
A detailed brief!
Structure is really important when looking to engage a designer for any creative work. Look for designers that have a briefing process. For example I have a detailed questionnaire. I’d also recommend that the designer is prepared to have a chat and be on the phone for a good half hour minimum to understand your needs such as your likes, dislikes to get a good feel for the direction that you would like for the finished creative.
In my experience these initial qualifying phone calls to on-board a client would also show up if something needed to be flagged.
Structure and the fine print
Make sure you work with a designer that has a structured brief or terms and conditions and some guidance as to how the project will run. If you don’t have that structure behind the creative, it can all go in the wrong direction quickly!
Having the brief written down by the designer, following your discussion or questionnaire, means that you can read/refer to the summary of that chat at any stage during the project.
For example after having usually an hour phone call, a client will receive my welcome guidelines, clearly outlining the deliverable creative, the process and the number of revisions that are included – this all helps to avoid scope creep. By that I mean where by change after change is requested and the project can get out of hand. This kind of scope creep can also lead to a resentful designer if too many changes are demanded outside of the brief.
So how many changes can I have?
By understanding creative review schedules, having a process guide document, licensing agreements for images etc. and terms and conditions clearly outlined this is something that both the designer and client can refer to and ensure a clear understanding. For example clearly identified number of changes within the scope and additional changes that are requested outside of the brief may be billable.
Always look for structure as that will help designers do the best design work for you and will help you keep everything on track and going in the right direction. So you get the design you want at the end.
So that brings to communication. It is really important to communicate with your designer.
From my experience I have found sometimes there is a little bit of resistance from the client accepting a final design when everything is completed and finished.
It can be quite confronting to have your brand and your business out there in pictures in the real world for the first time!
Let me share a recent experience to explain. A client recently received a logo I created and I received a call that they were crying with happiness that this logo was everything they ever wanted! However when the rest of the brand design was delivered, I received a call that they didn’t like it.
It can happen that when you see, what has been in your mind for sometimes years, now visible to the world it can be quite overwhelming. In this example my client had been thinking about their brand and business and now seeing it out there visually in the real world people can feel fronted with thoughts and ideas such as I have to step up and follow through on business, as it is visible now!
By having an open honest dialogue, and sitting with the creative, the client ultimately was happy with the logo and the brand and mentioned that after taking that time they now have clarity and that it was just confronting to see it out there in the world and were really happy with the result! So resistance in the beginning can be normal versus, do I really not like it? Is it not what was promised? More often or not it is all going the right way.
Engaging a designer is a two way street. Designer are of course being paid for a service and you need to have clarity around what is being delivered and the process of how that will happen.
Follow these steps and do your homework at the very beginning to help avoid any heartache.
Since I’ve have set up my business structure with an hour phone call, briefing detailed questionnaire, welcome guidelines, process and t&cs all written in clear language – for most cases it has been seamless process for designer and client!
I hope this has been helpful in educating on how to set about engaging a designer to get the best outcome for your project – after all that what is what every wants!
You want great branding, design, or a backdrop or illustrations – whatever it might be and as designers we really put our heart and souls into the work we do for you. We want you to succeed we want to answer the brief we want to help you grow your business and become more visible in the world.
Creativity does need the backbone of structure. Look for a designer that has structure.
Give me a call if you have any questions, or I am also happy to help with second opinions, or of course if you are interested in contacting me for a backdrop. Perhaps I will be the right designer for you!
Email me at Emma@bespokebackdrops.com or comment in the comments box below or hop on to my website bespokebackdrops.com and have a look around and see all the other visions, that I have made come to life, through backdrops!
Making your business visually resonate with you, your customers and viewers is my priority! If you have any questions, or would like to work with me, please click here to get in touch!