Business decisions you make are often personal. The products you sell, the hours you work, and the employees you hire are just a few of the choices that directly effect your life. When it comes to hiring a designer it can be challenging to know who is the right fit for your project.
Three questions I've learned to ask (early on) to better align myself with the client's needs are: what is your background, what is your vision, and what more can you tell me about the specifics of your project? As your designer, it's my role to uncover the answers to these questions as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What is your background?
Understanding who you're working with is important. As an independent designer I need to be agile and capable of working with people in any environment. Whether you are starting your first business or have ten years experience under your belt, I need to understand where you have been so that I can help direct you to where you are going. In my opinion, a skilled designer asking the right questions can reveal more about your business to you than simply what color palettes best represent your product.
What is your vision?
Designers are not magicians, we cannot make you successful simply by giving you a compelling brand identity. Just as David Ogilvy, the advertising god of the twentieth century said, "great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster". As your designer, I will never value your product or service as much as you do, but if I can align myself with your vision and understand what it is you're trying to create, I can assist you in telling a captivating and compelling story.
Note: Sometimes your vision needs time to work itself out, an effective designer will help draw that out of you.
What more can you tell me about the specifics of your project?
Once you've clearly communicated your background and your vision, it's time to talk details. Feelings are subjective and design decisions should not be left up to emotional biases. Make sure that you and your designer have clear expectations for what is to be delivered—write them down. In the end you should be able to understand what you paid for and how it fits with your overall vision and goals.
Your business is your life and you want to ensure that the person you work with has your best intentions in mind. I know that each of us have a lot we want to accomplish, but remember to take it slow. Spend the necessary time going over these questions yourself, and ensure that any designer you work with understands you, your vision, and the specifics of what it is you need. Once you get this out of the way, the fun begins!
If you have questions or comments about hiring the right designer, email me firstname.lastname@example.org—I'd love to chat!