5 things to consider before working with a graphic designer
I did everything the way it should be; from college to art school and straight into my first job at a design studio and I learnt so much in those years. Yet the more I worked in the industry, the more I lost a little of what I loved about design. Working in the industry means designing for others and not yourself (a huge lesson I had to learn) and I found myself losing passion. Whilst on maternity with Jesse, we realised it wasn't financially feasible for me to return to my previous job and so there was the push I needed to embark upon my very own journey, my dream to work freelance and to go it alone.
Two years ago, I had completed exactly 0 freelance jobs and here I am now, regularly working with clients whose projects I am fully passionate about, mamaprenuers who've started their own small business and fellow bloggers who run wonderfully eloquent blogs, who just need a little help injecting their personalities into the look of their themes, and each project allows me free reign to explore my own creativity too.
The majority of clients I've worked with haven't worked with a designer before and aren't sure of where to begin in their hunt for one. I wanted to discuss a few things that are great to do before you decide to work with a graphic designer, things that will help you to gain what you want from the relationship and that will make your designers life a lot easier in the long run, meaning an all-round smoother experience and working partnership.
—Familiarise yourself with their style and make sure you love it!
Always explore a designer's previous work before you contact them. I've had conversations in the past with clients suggesting that they wouldn't pay for the work done if they weren't entirely happy with the final product and this is a situation we all want to avoid happening. Your designer wants the outcome to be just as fantastic as you do, and the best way to eliminate any doubts is to ensure you love the work they've done before. Each designer has their own unique style and as long as you like it, it's highly unlikely you're going to dislike what they create for you. Also, don't assume a designer will leave you high and dry if you're unhappy with the work. A good designer will go above and beyond to ensure you receive something you love, design is a journey and a process and not as simple as I hate or love it, it's up to you both to communicate well and come up with a final product together.
—Create a Pinterest/moodboard of designs that you like.
After agreeing a job with a client, I always ask for a little information around the style of design they like and I also recommend they create a Pinterest board to use as a moodboard. It's a fantastic way of communicating with your designer any visual ideas you might like to use as inspiration for your own project. Whether it's a logo for a hairdressing salon or the typography for a cake business, it simply helps us find what's unique about you and how to inject that into your specific design. Do you like simple and clean or busy? Do you want to use illustrations in your logo or are you leaning more towards a wordmark? A mood/Pinterest board can help us uncover the answers to those questions without bombarding and confusing you.
—Make sure you know what you want.
Not every job is going to run smoothly and issues can arise when you hire a graphic designer and aren't really sure what you're hoping to gain from the relationship. I had a client who initially asked for a rebrand in the hope of improving their entire online presence and after two weeks of work, I sent over multiple concepts to be told as much as they loved them, they'd decided against a rebrand and simply wanted their initial logo updated. I had to charge for the hours I'd already worked on and though I continued to help the client improve their current branding, they were reluctant to invest anymore and so the job ended there. Put the planning in before you start and make sure you know exactly what you're hoping to gain from the job. Being unsure and miscommunicating will waste your designer's time and your money.
—Trust your designer.
Remember that the first draft of designs you see isn't the final product, it's a start and a point of discussion. Don't be afraid to admit you don't like something, after all this is the time to do it. I've sent over designs looking a particular way because I've tried lots of other option and feel it's the one that works best. We know how important it is to include you in your design (and that's what we'll strive to do), just remember to trust us to know what will work for you and your business.
—Ensure you're 100% into the project.
Allow yourself to be excited! Once the project starts rolling, make sure you're around to get back to your designer when they need your input. When I've put together the first initial concepts of a logo and have sent them over to a client, and then two weeks pass with no reply, it can be very frustrating. Of course, we understand you need time to mull over and discuss your options, but try not to abandon the project in your inbox.