Joel Stone is the man at the helm of Shrewsbury based design company Salop Creative.
Choosing a designer is not an everyday task. There are so many things to consider and so many questions you will forget to ask. The following is a brief guide on how to know if the designer you have chosen, is the right designer for you and your business. Joel says we should be asking the following questions to get it right:
Tell me about yourself?
It is quite likely you will be in communication with your designer over a long period of time. Get to know them. How did they become a designer? What business acumen do they have? Is this somebody you feel you could work with on an ongoing basis? Are they passionate about their work? Choosing the right person on a personal and a professional level can often mean better results and more effective communication further down the line.
How will this make me money?
Seems like a strange question. Surely the designers job is to follow your brief and design something aesthetically pleasing? I don't think so. With each of my clients I talk to them in depth about what they want to achieve with their new project. I have never met a business owner yet whose objective for a rebrand was to make their business look nice. Talk to your designer about how their work will add value to your business. If they talk back to you in terms of attracting new customers, gaining more from retained customers and adding goodwill value to your business then you know they are talking on your terms.
Do you need anything from me?
What content, photos and feedback does the designer need and when do they need it. Once a quote has been accepted I write a detailed brief outlining the dates my clients can expect to receive things from me, and the dates I expect to receive things from them in order for the job to stick to deadline. This structured approach lets both parties know exactly what is expected of them and when.
Who owns the design once its finished and paid for?
Most people assume that once they have their printed brochures in hand, or their website live online, that the design is theirs to keep. In my case, every design I do is passed to the client on completion of a project. However, be aware that many designers retain the rights to their designs. What you have actually purchased is the printed brochures, or a years use of your website. Talk to your prospective designer about ownership and access to print/web ready files after the project is complete.
How much does it cost?
My pricing is transparent and I quote upfront so that my clients know exactly what they will pay. I always tell my clients that they should see their projects as an investment and not a cost. Its definitely a good thing to be conversing with your designer about “return-on-investment” rather than “cost”.