What to expect when meeting with a designer.

March 14, 2021

When meeting with a designer, these tips can help steer the conversation to see if this will be a great partnership.

Come with a budget in mind. Even if we aren't sure what a product will cost, we should still have a budget in mind as to what we want to spend. The designer will provide an accurate estimate and may suggest a few price alternatives.

Designers' rates can vary based on the experience and the level of value they bring to a project. They may charge an hourly rate or a fixed rate per project, each having its benefits. If the estimate is above your budget, try interviewing other designers for comparison.

When requesting multiple estimates, consider the designer's level of experience, their knowledge of the industry, their process, and how they arrive at design solutions (for example, do they research before designing?). The primary goal is to have a design solution that captures your target audience's attention and answers your call to action. An experienced designer can anticipate possible roadblocks resulting in a smoother process, less time spent on a project, and less headaches and confusion.

Describe your business. Give a brief overview of what your company does and who your target audience is. Discuss your competitors and how your business approach sets you apart.

Define your needs. What is the problem you want to solve? What is the call to action? Explain what you are looking for, what you are hoping to achieve, your timeline, and who the decision makers will be. Based on that information, the designer may propose a different solution that may be more effective. 

Ask about the designer's experience. Refer to the designer's portfolio and ask them to describe 1-2 of their favorite projects to gain some insight as to how they solve problems and how they are to work with. Ask: What was your role in this project? What was most challenging about this project? How did you arrive at this solution? This will also give you a sense of how they work under pressure, how organized they are, and how collaborative the process will be.

Ask about their process. What are the major milestones from start to finish? What is the best way to communicate with each other? A typical process involves a kick-off meeting, a presentation, and 2-3 rounds of edits.

A logo design may include a few additional meetings before the presentation. At Scouter Design, we have a discovery meeting (where we discuss your current brand and company philosophy) and a vision meeting (use vision boards to hone in on logo aesthetics and brand direction) prior to the logo presentation.

Steps to getting the project started. The designer should provide a contract and guidance on how they prefer to get paid. The contract is meant to protect all parties and will include the scope of the project, the fee to complete it, and any licensing and usage agreements. Usually, the project will start when the contract is signed and an initial deposit is paid.

The meeting should be friendly and conversational and the designer will provide guidance on the next steps. At the end of the day, we want to partner with a designer that will not only bring value and results to our project but will also be fun to work with!

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