We’re well underway with the new year now, and it seems that people are getting back into the swing of things. Now that everyone is back at work, it is the perfect time to get working on those projects that you put off towards the end of last year. If you’ve read our article on planning your design needs for the new year, you should have a good idea of what you’re after, so the question then is, now what? We’re here to answer that question for you.
Firstly, you’re going to need to find a designer or a team of designers to fulfil your needs. You might already have someone in mind; maybe you’ve been given some recommendations in the past or you know someone who knows someone. It can be helpful to follow those leads first because it gives you a place to start and if they come highly recommended from a friend or a colleague, then chances are you’re on the right track. If you don’t have any in mind yet, try asking some people you know if they have any recommendations and can send you in the right direction. Otherwise, a simple Google search will serve you fine. Look for local agencies or freelancers and take note of the size of their business, the work that they have done already, how experienced they are, their values, their process and if they do the type of design that you are after. Check them out and if you’re impressed, send them an email or give them a quick call to get things started.
You’re going to need to have a vague idea of what it is that you need in order to find a designer who can do that thing, and then to get that thing done. You don’t need to have all the answers or know exactly what you want done, you might just know that you need a website, social media graphics, or some work done to revamp your brand. That’s enough of a starting point to get the conversation going, and hopefully your designer will help things along from there.
A good parameter to have in mind when you talk to potential designers is how quickly you need the work done. Do you need it before the next quarter, before a conference you’re attending or just as soon as possible? Or are you more flexible? These things are really valuable to have thought about before you chat to your designer so that they can understand your needs and can see where you’ll fit in alongside their other clients if they have them.
After you reviewed your design work last year, hopefully you came out with a list of where the problem areas are and the things that need to be improved. Identifying where the most input is needed will help you and your designer prioritise the work going forward. Take this list with you when you talk to your designer because it will also help them understand the scope of the work involved.
Once you know what it is that you need doing, it’s helpful to have an understanding of why. What is it that you’re hoping to achieve with this design? Are you wanting to boost sales, to reach more people on social media, to change your brand’s perception? Having goals like this helps the designer to work towards something and you can then set measurable goals to analyse how successful the work is in achieving your main goals.
Before talking to the designer, you might want to have a look at how other people have done similar work to what you’re hoping to do. You can look at your competitors and think about how you could stand out from them, or look at other examples of design to see what you do and don’t like. This will give the designer a good base to work from and also help you to have an understanding of the type of thing you might end up with. This isn’t so you can tell the designer what to do, or get them to replicate something that already exists, it’s to help you get an idea of what you’re looking for and help the designer get a feel for your style. Don’t get too hung up on it either or panic if you’re not sure what you like or don’t like, the designer will help you along with these things too.
So now you have the who, what, when, where, why and how of starting the design process. Let us know if you have any questions about getting the ball rolling, we’re happy to help. Otherwise, watch this space for an upcoming article about working with designers throughout the creative process. 6
Hollie & Jared