What it's Like to Work with a Designer.

A Look inside the Design Process

 A couple weeks ago I shed some light on why you should hire a professional designer versus DIYing it and promised a follow up post on what it’s like to work with a designer once you’ve made the decision to hire one. While I can’t speak for every designer out there, I can walk you through my process and what you can typically except once you find a designer you’d like to work with.


STEP 1. Initial consultation.

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you and your designer are going to be a good fit for each other. Presumably, you already know that you like their style because you have seen their website and portfolio, but you (and your designer) want to make sure that you have similar communication styles and will get along well throughout the process. To do this, you will set up a call, skype session, or just chat through email to meet and talk about your project and expectations. The design process is meant to be fun and exciting for you, and ensuring that you and your new designer have similar communication styles and are on the same page from the get go, should make for a smooth and enjoyable process.


STEP 2. Client questionnaire and mood board set up.

If step 1 goes well, step 2 is where the fun begins. Depending on the type of project, you will fill out a questionairee about your vision. This typically includes questions like “who is your ideal client” or “what are 3 adjectives you want your logo to convey”. If you aren’t sure, just say so and we can work together to figure it out. You will also work with your designer to set up a mood board or inspiration board. I typically like to use Pinterest, but it can be done via a variety of different ways. You and your designer can both add images and ideas to it and continue the discussion of what you like/don’t like, etc.

This time in the process is typically where the boring stuff like signing a contract or letter of agreement and putting down a deposit comes into play. The amount you will need to pay varies widely on the scope of your project and your specific designer, but expect to sign a contract and/or pay a deposit at this point in the design process.


STEP 3. Let the designer run with it.

Now is the time for you to sit back and relax while your designer does all the hard work. Your designer is a professional so it’s best to let them step away for a bit and get the design work done. Micromanaging at this point won’t do anything to help the process and will only slow things down. So sit back, have some wine, watch some Netflix, and be assured that your designer is working the magic!

*A good piece of advice I always like to give to people hiring a designer is to always make sure that you have an agreed upon timeline. You don’t want to feel like your designer just dropped off the face of the earth, which, unfortunately, does happen sometimes. If your designer isn’t clear about when they will be back in touch, just ask them. That way you won’t be feeling like you were just left in the dark.


STEP 4. Revisions, revisions, revisions.

Once your designer has completed some mockups, they will show them to you and you will discuss what’s working, what you love, what you hate, and what you want to see differently. Now’s your time to be brutally honest too. I find that the more honest my clients are with me, the happier they are with their final product. So, don’t hold back! I promise that we don’t take it personally, and we know that it’s just part of our job. Typically, you are allotted a certain number of revisions before you have to pay more, so this back and forth may go on for a bit, or you may be lucky and love the first round!


STEP 5. The final delivery.

Once you arrive at a product you love, you designer will typically ask for the final payment and send you your final files once they’ve received it. You are then set up to start using your new designs wherever you’d like!

And that’s it! Working with a designer should be a relatively painless experience, and most of the time it’s quite enjoyable. Designers are creative people that love to connect with others, and truly care about your vision just as much as you do. Hopefully you and your designer both have fun throughout the process, but the most important thing is that you end up with something you love and are proud of.

Have any other questions about working with designers?  Let me know in the comments and I will answer them the best I can!