Choosing the right brand designer can be a big decision! It’s your hard-earned money that you’re handing over, afterall. And it’s not nearly as simple as choosing the designer with the cheapest price. In fact, we completely recommend against that! Although, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank either. However, there are some “due diligence” steps you can follow to help ensure you’re making a wise purchasing decision.
Here are six things you should be doing before you choosing a brand designer for your business.
1.) Check out the designer’s portfolio.
Look at their design aesthetic and abilities. Does all their work have a similar style or are they a versatile designer who can create in many styles? The answer to this can sometimes clue you in to if they’re designing more subjectively (according to their own taste and preferences) or designing more objectively and strategically (to suit the client’s business and industry). That being said, consistency in a designer’s work can provide you confidence in what you will receive from them, so if you’re looking for a very specific style, and confident that that style is exactly what your business needs (and not just what you personally like), then go ahead and choose a designer who only designs in one style.
2.) Look at the designer’s experience and education.
Have they been educated in a correlating field or worked in the industry for awhile? How many years of experience do they have? Not all brand designers have an education specifically in graphic design or marketing, but experience can and often does balance that out. Have they worked with brands similar to yours in the past? Or with your industry before? How knowledgeable do they appear? Do they seem credible? To find the answer to this, check out their social media content. What first-hand information and knowledge are they sharing?
3.) Read the designer’s testimonials.
What are their past clients saying about them? You can even go as far as to speak with their past clients directly to get objective feedback. And this part is key: do their testimonials explain how their client’s business has been positively impacted by their new branding (i.e. are they making more money or has their business grown?). It’s one thing for a testimonial to say “It was so fun to work with her. Her work is amazing.,” and another thing for it to say, “She was extremely insightful and I feel confident that I now have a solid brand strategy to move my business forward and an attractive brand identity that my dream customers can connect with. My inquiries and sales have tripled the past six months!” Although personality is important, it’s good reminder that you’re not looking for a new best friend in a brand designer, but to increase the profits in your own business.
4.) Get to know the designer’s process.
Is the process transparent and clearly defined? Do you have an understanding of what the process entails and what kind of commitment will be required from you (other than financial)? What is the timeline going to be? A clearly defined process and project management system in place can often speak to the designer’s organizational skills, professionalism, experience, and ability to keep promises.
5.) Understand the designer’s pricing and deliverables.
Compare their prices and deliverables with others. Shop around. If they’re charging more, do they have the years of experience, expertise, skills, value and/or are they providing more deliverables to justify their price? Do they apply brand strategy to their design work or are they more of a graphic designer? Branding is often a case of you get what you pay for and people often confuse brand design with graphic design when comparing prices. Learn what the difference is. Be careful if their prices seem too low. It’s very likely they don’t have enough experience, confidence in themself, or enough clients, which can speak to how much experience or success they have. If a designer has low prices and wide open schedule (meaning they can start tomorrow), it could be a red flag that they’re not experienced, not a good designer, or it could be a risky investment. Regardless of price, take the time to understand the value of what they’re selling, whether low or high. Choose a designer, where it’s clear that what you are investing in will bring a return on your investment. Good branding should make you money, not cost you.
6.) Do a personality check.
The easiest way to do this is to book a telephone consultation and talk to them. See how they communicate. Do they sound friendly, easy to communicate with and knowledgeable about what they do? If they have reels on their Instagram, you can watch them to see what kind of personality they appear to have. The bottom line is that this should be a person you think you could easily get along with and/or work through any conflict or disagreement you may have throughout the process. While you’re not looking for a new best friend for happy hour drinks, it’s still important to try to find someone that you click with and can communicate easily with.
Thanks for reading! If you feel like we’d be a good match for you (after doing some research on the above six points of course), please feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation on our contact page.