3 Things to Know Before Hiring a Graphic Designer

Illustration of a woman with glasses next to a checkmark

This week I'm tackling some common misconceptions clients have had about designers based on my experience working as a brand designer. These misconceptions have put strain on our client/designer relationship, and caused frustration for both of us. 

These tips will help you get the best work out of your designer, and make the relationship much smoother, resulting in a satisfied client, a happy designer, and a great final design.

 

Speech Bubbles

communicate expectations

You may want to leave the direction for your visual brand, flyer, or website completely up your designer, and may even tell them to "throw something together." This hardly ever works out well.

You have some sort of expectations about how the design is going to look whether you realize it or not. Chances are, if you give your designer no directions, you're going to be disappointed with what they bring back to you because it doesn't match the image you have in your mind.

Expectations should be discussed at the very beginning of every design, or they'll control the entire process from behind the scenes.

 

A venn diagram of a thought bubble and a speech bubble

value their expertise

I've had a few people approach me about polishing a design they've already created. What they almost always mean is they don't know how to use design software and that's the only thing stopping them from designing it themselves. They give very specific directions about how their image should be created and leave no room for creativity.

In truth, if you want to design your images and brand yourself, a better investment would be design software and how to use it. It will take more time upfront, but over time will save you money.

Usually a designer charges for expertise beyond knowing design software, such as marketing, brand strategy, aesthetics, and design principles.

When you hire a designer, you’re paying for our expertise, not just our software. Get the most out of your money by valuing both and asking for your designer’s opinion and perspective.

 

Connected dots

trust the process

Good design is functional, not decorative.

Your project isn't just going to hang on your wall - it's going to communicate with your audience and hopefully convince them to become customers/clients. 

Your designer can't create an effective design until they know what your goals are.

Design brings everything together: your goals, your audience, your copy and your imagery. Good design makes that all work together beautifully - it balances all the pieces, makes the most important parts the most prominent, and brings it all together in an appealing way.

Design is the final step in creating collateral for your brand, so you should try to have all the materials finalized before asking for a design. When you ask us to create a design without final content, you're asking for a template for you to fill in later, instead of a design perfectly crafted to the specific needs and pieces of the project.

Ignoring a designer's process also means more revisions as you fill in the gaps you left out in the beginning. That's fun for no one. You end up spending more as the revisions continue, and no designer likes spending their time changing the copy over and over. 


A designer/client relationship can be a beautiful thing.

I have some clients that I’ve been working with for years, and I’m truly grateful for the great give and take we have in our relationship.

In the end, like every relationship, having a good relationship with your designer comes down to managed expectations, mutual respect, and plenty of communication


FURTHER READING

CREATING A PERSONALITY FOR YOUR VISUAL BRAND

Your visual brand’s personality is how your visual brand makes your audience perceive your business.


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HI THERE!

I'm Sierra Kellermeyer, brand designer.

I work with passion-driven small business owners who feel their visual marketing is disconnected from their core identity and ideals. I get to know them, their business, and their services, and design them a Noteworthy Visual Brand that effortlessly attracts their ideal clients.