First and foremost, let me begin by saying you shouldn’t always choose on price. There are multiple aspects to take into consideration before committing to a designer, but make sure you do your research. In saying that, I get it, we all have budgets and we all want to stick to them. So below are 3 ways you can reduce your costs when it comes to design.
1. Know what you want
When it comes to design it’s subjective, so it’s really important that you have an idea of what you want before you begin the design process. It’s like going to a builder and saying build my house without the plans. It can take a lot of time, and time is money. This doesn’t mean that you have to have everything pinpointed to a tee, it just means that you should start collating references to pass on to your designer, think mood boards and Pinterest. Although a lot of people think we’re magicians when it comes to creativity (I mean guys, just photoshop it), a lot of it depends on how clearly you articulate your needs. Font treatments, layouts, iconography and trends all come into play. So the more information you have to give us, especially in terms of the audience you’re communicating to, the better the outcome, especially in terms of time.
2. Write a brief
Which brings me to my next point, the brief. Having a brief helps to keep both parties accountable:
- If you go off brief, expect to pay the difference
- If the designer goes off brief, well they cop it on the chin
By that I mean discuss and plan what you want to communicate with your design before beginning the execution. Understand the steps in the creative process and try to keep communication as clear as possible. If you don’t understand an email, and this goes for the designers out there too, pick up the damn phone! So much time can be wasted going back and forth in emails that make no sense, not to mention the agitation it can cause due to the misunderstanding of text and tone.
The brief will clearly outline the ideas, the objective, the target and the strategy. So make sure you ALWAYS have a brief.
3. Hire someone with experience
I’m not a designer based on cost, I’m a designer based on value. I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. So if you’re going for the cheapest rate, expect the cheapest design work. Good designers cost money, and there’s more to the pie than the dollar value (read my previous blog Justifying your spend on a professional). Time is hugely important here, a skilled designer will be able to spend more time in the conceptual thinking stage and less in the execution, which will inevitably give you a better product, with more thought and strategy behind the concept.
So how can you find someone good?
- Look at their reviews (and how recent they are)
- Check out their work on their website
- Look at their Instagram account (that’s basically a real-time portfolio)
- See how long they’ve been in the game
- Previous clients, they’ve worked with
- Or simply, ask people you know
To summarise, there’s a reason I’m always reiterating for people to have a plan and strategy when it comes to their branding and that’s because it eliminates problems. Communication is key, we all know this, we just need to apply it.