7 Questions you must ask before hiring a designer
Updated: May 4
1. Can I see your portfolio?
It sounds obvious, but every designer is going to have a different style, appealing to different people. You may resonate with one person’s work over another’s. To make sure you work with someone who will really be able to represent your business in the best light, it worth taking a bit of time to look through a few portfolios and really get a feel for the sorts of styles you like, and what you don’t. This will also help a bit further down the line when you’re working out what you want from your own brand.
2. Can I read any testimonials?
Word of mouth and referrals are king. A great service speaks for itself, so you should be able to read some testimonials from recent happy customers. Not only will this help to alleviate any worries you may have, but you can really get a feel for the kind of person you’ll be working with, by the comments people write time and time again.
Friendly?Accommodating? Creative? Efficient?
See what others are saying to help you make your choice.
3. How many rounds of amends are included?
This is a key point to double check, as it can vary from designer to designer, with some including unlimited amends (essentially, a guarantee that you will walk out with something you love), and others charging extra for each variation. It is common for 3 rounds of amends to be included, with any extras being charged on top, but it’s always worth making sure so you know exactly what to expect with the process.
4. What files will be supplied to me?
This is very important, but none so much as when it comes to logo design. It is very important to receive a vector version of the logo so that you can scale it up to any size in the future without a loss of quality. (That means a PNG or a JPG will NOT be good enough for all of your needs.)
Most commonly, a vector file will be either an EPS or AI file, but if you're not sure, ask. A good designer will be able to explain the difference to you.
For any marketing materials, you will most likely need a high resolution PDF file, set up to the printer’s specification. It is unusual to be given the original source files of any marketing material that’s created, but these can sometimes be negotiated for a price – useful if you have the professional software and skills to edit it, although most people would never need this.
5. Will I own the copyright?
It’s worth noting whether the full copyright will pass over to you, to use the designs as you please, however many times you wish. In photography, for example, it’s common to only purchase a license to use imagery in certain situations, with the photographer retaining the full copyright of the images.
6. What timescales are you working to?
You need to be on the same page as each other when it comes to timescales, so it’s worth asking how long the project is expected to take. This way there can be no misunderstandings, and noone going AWOL for weeks at a time. Communication is key so if something is needed for a certain date, give as much notice as possible, and be sure to supply all the information that’s required well before this.
7. Can you work within our budget?
Always get a quote before agreeing to any work to make sure it fits within your budget and that everything you are expecting to be included is in there. If the quote comes in higher than expected, perhaps there are elements of the project that can be scaled back in order to bring it more in line with your expectations.
As ever, working with a designer is very much a two way process and as long as you’re armed with all the information you need to make a great choice, your brand and your business will ultimately benefit.