All too often, designers give the creative process priority over everything else, even things such as budget, deadlines and communication. The end product might be solid, but if a client feels frustrated and exasperated with the whole experience, was the project really a success?
At Chalkbox Creative, we believe the client experience is just as important as the designs we create. And while we’ve talked before about how to evaluate a designer—including questions that will help you choose the right one—there are several things you should expect after you make that choice:
- A process you can understand. With any graphic designer, you should know exactly how the process will work—and ideally, you should be involved in it. What are the goals of the project? What are the deliverables and deadlines? What is the production schedule? How often will you receive updates from the designer? When will you have an opportunity to provide feedback, and how many revisions are included in the proposal? That may sound like a lot, but all of these should be addressed before the work begins, so both you and the designer have a clear path forward.
- A defined budget (or at least a range). There should be no surprises when it comes to budgeting for design. We recommend asking for a proposal that outlines both the deliverables of the project and the pricing associated with completing them. Every designer has their own pricing approach, so it is important to understand it—before the project begins. Our goal is always to provide excellent design and be communicative about your budget, from the start and throughout the project, so you can accomplish what you are setting out to do.
- Designs customized for you. One of the benefits of working with an individual designer or firm (rather than crowdsourcing something) is the custom design you’ll receive. This means more than just ensuring your new logo or brand identity won’t be a repurposed version or copy of something else—it means the design will be crafted specifically to appeal to the audience you want to attract, and to help reach your goals.
- Everything you need to get the most out of your new design. Where are you going to use your new design? On letterhead and brochures? Your website? Social media? Different needs often require different files and formats, and your designer should provide you with the ones best suited for your intended applications.
- Good people and great results. In the end, you want to receive high-quality work—while feeling good about the experience you went through to get it. This includes your interactions with the designer and anyone else at the firm. You should feel respected, not just because you’re a client, but because you’re working with quality people who believe that treating others well is the right thing to do.