How to choose and work with a graphic designer, web designer or creative firm/design studio

As you start the process of working with web designer or creative firm/design studio), as with any business decision, you want to ensure that it is a good fit for both parties.  Every designer or studio is different and has different processes and outcomes. Ensure the designer or studio with whom you work with is focused on more than aesthetics and understands the objectives of your business with every step of the design. 

Below are a few tips to confirm that you choose the designer that matches your criteria, and that you are prepared for the process.

    1. Know your budget –Have a realistic budget – and know what you can expect to pay.

As with any project, the cost of the project may vary. You see online “We can build your website for $495.” The requirements of the design, hosting, multiple pages, complexity and intricacies of the project drive the costs. $495, will likely get you a landing page, where as a 5 to 10 page basic website with SEO will be in the range of $4500. And that is typical.  (Although, nothing is standard in design). Conversely, to the $495 landing page, effective sites that drive business usually start in the $10,000 range and upwards to $100,000’s of dollars depending on the scope and complexity (commerce and other add-ons) of a project.

The old adage is true, you get what you pay for. If you sacrifice quality and experience, is that value?

    1. Know the questions to ask
    • Do you do this full-time?  How long have you been in operation?
    • What is your process?
    • What is the characteristic timeline for your projects?
    • How many projects do you have in the works? When can we start?
    • What do you need from me before we start? Do you have a project manager?
    • Do you offer maintenance post-launch support?
    • Who is the contact person and who is doing the work?
    • Do you monitor the backend or will you teach my team?

Like any other interview, having a list of questions is important to finding the correct candidate. Finding the correct match is important.

    1. A mix of creative freedom, design and company knowledge is a key to success. Allow the designer to design the best team provides a keen understanding of the project and trusts their designer to support its mission. Thus, if you provide an accurate description of your needs, the right designer / design team is an interpreter. They understand the needs of the project and the organization. They will design proper the page that is the right fit for you.

After you have completed a well-crafted survey that helps the design firm conceptualize your design requirements and you have asked the proper set of questions to gain a better understanding regarding the team, you should have more confidence in your decision and the team you selected.

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