Most designers might not jump into this topic, but I feel like any client deserves this inside peek at what can make their brand design experience the best it can be. I mean, if you're paying for something, the best thing you can do is go into it with some knowledge, right?
This post is not meant to pin point any client at all or complain, but it's more of an appreciation of my amazing clients and how they made their journey worth while and enjoyable without even knowing that they were contributing to so positively to their experience for the both of us!
1. Study your designer. Browse the ins and outs of the designer's site, portfolio and process to know for sure that you are a great fit. Of course I could cheat here and tell you that I'm the best match for you no matter what, but that wouldn't be fair to you or me. When you don't fit, you just don't and that's ok. But when you fit, you just know it and the results will show it!
2. Do your research. Take the time to really research what your goals are for your brand. Browse your industry competitors. What are they doing right and what can you do differently to stand out tastefully. Come ready to express what you're looking for. I usually provide a Brand Questionnaire that helps get you thinking if this initial process is a little overwhelming. And I always request a mood board that gives some direction of what appeals to you visually. Browse sites that appeal to you. Do your homework. You'll be glad you did.
3. TRUST your designer. So you've made the leap and hired your designer. You're certain they're your best fit. So, now it's time to jump in and trust him/her. They are experts in this and usually the more trusting you are, the more amazing work you can get out of that designer. Great results come from this essence of creative freedom that you have given them through your trust to explore your brand.
4. Be honest, but be nice. Personalities vary. We all know that. But here's an insider tip: Designers are usually pretty emotional/sensitive people (at least the nice ones are, lol). We put up a front, but in reality, we are passionate people who's ultimate goal is to please our clients. So, when you don't like something, by all means be honest, but know that the way we communicate can make or break your brand…and in the end, could be the beginnings of a great working relationship, or a bumpy one. No one likes bumpy. :)
5. Be open. You've already done your research and provided your inspiration! So now, let the fun begin. A great designer will usually take your direction and run with it and make it your own, but when an alternate idea is proposed as well, be open to it. A good designer knows when you might just need a different perspective because they've studied you enough to know what really makes you tick, even when you didn't know it.
6. Be patient. Your project is probably one of many. And of course, that's a good sign if your designer is busy. It means others have seen value in that designer. In my case, I only allow 2 to 3 a month to make sure you get the best service. But there is a schedule and their is a time for everyone on that schedule. Good designers know how to balance that. So don't worry, unless it's been like a month…that's probably not a good sign.
7. And more importantly, have fun! Allow
the process to be a pleasant one. Don't stress. Don't give up. When you
receive a proof and it gives you that yucky feeling in the pit of your
stomach that you may have made a ginormous mistake hiring a designer,
know that the process is all about trial and error. For a bad designer,
that bad proof might mean they didn't do their research, but most of the
time, with such amazing designers out there, it just means we're
jumping into a journey of trial and error with you, and that's ok. In
the end, the polishing and editing will birth your breathtaking brand
and it will all be worth it in the end!