Hiring a designer can seem a little confusing, and you may feel a little lost. But that is ok; a good designer should be able to take your hand and lead you down the design path till you both end up at a perfect design. Then you both can go out for some ice cream because ice cream is delicious.

So getting back to the task at hand. You need a designer. You need to get ready.

Come Prepared

Design a Mood Board

This one should be a no-brainer, or not but I’m here to tell you coming prepared will help you out in so many ways.  Getting ready with the correct material and ideas in mind will not only help the designer to create something that you both are happier with but also will eliviate much of the back and forth that will go on at first.

Some Things to start thinking about:

  • Colors
  • What other art inspires you?
  • (For logo) What does your company identify with?
  • (For logo) Do you want a Symbol or Wordmark or Both?
  • Where will this be used?

One of the best ways to get your idea across is with a mood board. (as seen in the image above)

No matter if you need a poster design or logo design these can help. Let’s say you need a logo design. Some things you should get ready before hand are some images of logos that you like. You can find these on websites like LogoFavs or Logo Pond. Find 3-5 that you just love. It will help if they are all similar in style to what you have in mind.

The color is another thing you may want to start thinking about ahead of time. Does your company already have a set of colors? If not a designer can help with that. Like with the logo examples, it is a good idea to find some color pallets that you think relate to you and your company. Color theory is a big part of being a designer. The colors that you use in design will greatly affect how the public sees your company.

Some of these colors and their significations are

  • Red: Importance, Passion & Aggression
  • Blue: Serenity & Trust
  • Yellow: Happiness, Friendliness & warmth
  • Green: Natural, Stable & Prosperous

One great place to find color swatches to get ideas from is coolors.com

For a more detailed article on colors and how they make you feel check out this article by CreativeBloq.com

Another aspect of coming prepared is getting all the info ready ahead of time. If this is for a logo, then you should think about what makes your company unique. Do you see yourself as Traditional or Modern, Laid back or Professional, All of these aspects of your company will help the designer create a logo that truly captures your brand.

Along with colors, it’s a good idea to figure out what you will be using this design on. This way the designer will know what files types to provide you.

Things to keep in mind

  1. Will this be printed?
  2. If printed what will it be printed on?
  3. Do you need this to be on the web?


Be ready to be Wrong

Yes, I know no one wants to be wrong. We are all wrong at times. But you wouldn’t go to your doctor and tell him what the best way to do a heart transplant would you? Ok, that may be a little extreme, but you get my point. Designers are the experts at this stuff. They do it for a living. A good designer will try to help your company the best that he/she can and even if that means telling you that the logo idea you have will not work, you don’t have to do what they say but at least consider they know what they ae talking about.

With that said it is your company, and you truly have a final word but try to stay open minded and flexible. Sometimes that is how the best designs are created.

Stay away from Contest based website

You may not be aware, but there are a few websites that make the artist submit the logo into a contest to get accepted. Again who knows how many other artists have entered. And with all the other artists that enter the chances of yours being the winner is slim to none. 99% of the artists never get paid for what they submit.

Now as someone who needs design work, this may sound great. But not exactly. Many of the designs entered into these contests are clipart or straight up stolen from other artists. If not used over and over every time they enter a contest. So you don’t know what you are getting. The fonts may be stolen; it’s just not the best route to save a few bucks.

Respect the artists and the time they spend making your design. A good artist will look into what makes you, you. Not just crap out a design and say it’s for your company.  You will get much higher quality work when you work directly with the artist/designer.

Ask for references

Yes, references are great to find out how things went in the past. Sure any reference you will be given will naturally be someone that the designer feels went well but you will still get a good idea how things will go. If they are not able to give you any at all then that is a red flag and you should think twice.

Have a realistic Budget

A logo design can range from $80 – $10,000 and above, a basic website with 5-10 pages can cost anywhere from 2-5,000 depending on who is doing the work and what all is needed and in what kind of time frame. Designers work hard for what they do and should at least be able to feed themselves. So have the money or at least have access to it ahead of time. A good design can bring in so much more money for you and make you that much more credible to the customer.

Make sure everyone knows what they need to do.

Communication is so important to a good outcome. You need to make it very clear and make sure everyone knows what they are getting paid for and what they do not need to do.

For instance, let’s say you have a website that is in need of design work. You already have one but are updating. You need someone to create the website but don’t need any of your content migrated over. You also have someone to do the copywriting. You need to tell the designer what they need to do and what they don’t.

In another example, you have an in-house designer but need a professional to come in a make the logo. You don’t need all of the extra files because your designer can take care of that. This is something you need to communicate to the designer. These are the little things that will save everyone time and money and a load of confusion.