Briefing a designer for your creative projects can be tricky.

You may feel you are being taken advantage of because you are in the area of your comfort zone.

Or you feel the designer did not get what you wanted and pricing the project not according to your desired needs.

I’ve personally done many meetings with numerous clients during my career as a self-employed consultant, so speaking from my own personal experience, here are tips you can use to during your first initial meeting with your designer.

1. Avoid Question Like “How Much is a Logo” or “How Much is a Website” or Anything Like it

Be very very worried if a designer throws you a number straight after the question, most likely the service providers are not identifying your needs and it is an “Assumption Price” that he/she gave it to you. The number is not accurate for your situation.

Think of it like this, the question “How Much is a Logo?” is the same as “How much is a House?”. Well to know the real price of a house you will to measure the premise, see what facilities are provided (such as a garage, swimming pool, number of rooms) and where is the house located; good suburb or high crime neighborhood. All of those factors into the price of the house.

Same with Logo Identity project, there are factors that can determine the project fee, such as; Where will the logo be implemented on? How many business cards you will be implementing your new identity on? Do you need assistance with the printing? and many more.

Instead, the question should be more focused and informative like

“I have a restaurant business in Kuningan, Jakarta, and has been operating in the local area for 10 years, we start to realise the benefit of rebranding could be beneficial for us, I was thinking to re-do my logo, menu and business card for a rebranding project, how do you approach such situation?”

Remember the designer is only as good as the information you give him/her.

2. Get a Face-to-Face Meeting, or at least a Video Call

It is always preferred for a client to and the service provider (designer) are to meet in person. With the intention of conducting business, we need to build our trust relationship little by little. A meeting is always a preferred method because it will eliminate any miscommunication. A good designer will not only received a communication through verbal, as we know most of the communication happened together with body language.

Communication through a meeting (verbal and body language) is far more superior to communication through instant messaging (SMS or WhatsApp). As lengthy messages in an instant messaging are prone to misunderstanding.

We as the creative service provider is appreciative towards the client that willing to meet us in person, it’s showing the particular client is serious and channeling his/her attention to the project. Usually, this kind of client qualified for my best pricing.

3. Show What You Have Done to the Project and Get any Related Files Ready

When you first meeting your designer, have your supporting documents and marketing materials (company profile, rough concept, documentation) ready for the meeting. This will communicate the current progression of your business, a designer will pick up a thing or two by seeing all of your materials. Usually, this is the first inspiration spark occurred.

Secondly, get your logo files ready. No, not in JPG format. When we asked for logo files it is preferably served in either PDF, Ai (Adobe Illustrator) or EPS file format. Not having the right logo files will not allow us to use your logo properly or as it intended, we may need to recreate your logo files that can affect your project fee.

It is a standard delivery for any logo to be provided in PDF, Ai or EPS file format. Any competent designer should have delivered this even when the client did not ask for it.

4. Be Prepared to Shift Your Deadline if Necessary

A logo did not take 2-3 day to make, or a website did not take 1 week to finished.

Any experienced designer will have their own unique design process, we are constantly challenged with our client’s problem, therefore, we have our own “successful recipe” to overcome that problem. And a successful solution that can withstand over time, will need time to produce it. (Ironic isn’t?

Therefore limiting us within unrealistic delivery date, will discount our design process and no doubt will discount the quality we are delivering. Does your business deserve the attention and time for the idea to mature? Oftently fast delivery will cost the client more fee but receive a less superior final product.

Every designer will work on a different timeframe, make sure you ask for an estimated delivery time for a given project before working on your deadline.

5. Show Respect, Make the Designer want to Work with You

A genuine honest compliment from the client can go a long way with us. Showing your professionalism, respect, and compliment to your potential designer will leave a good taste in their mouth.

This will give a positive impression to them and no doubt it will leave them wanting to work with you. To make that happened designers are willing to take less profit with a chance of a pleasant client and designer working relationship.

6. Avoid the Use Manipulative Notion of  “There will be More Projects if You do this Project for Cheap or Free”

An experienced designer is trained to detect such client. We encountered this type of manipulation all the time. Because most likely there won’t be next time.

Discounted the fee meaning the service you get will be discounted too.

7. Build a Connected Tissue for Future Communication

Make sure to ask when you can expect a follow-up communication from the designer. Do not leave the project hanging, always build a connective thread towards your communication.

By implementing this you can save time, effort and money.

8. Give as Much Information on the Project

My last tip would be, give as much information on the project as much you give. Remember We are only as good as the information you give us. The more information provided to use the more chance you will spark an inspiration to the designer.

Be very descriptive when briefing your business situation, use visual aid whenever possible.

Final Words

The bottom line a designer only as good as the information you give him/her, this includes maximizing the communication through a face to face meeting, having all of your materials ready (files, logo files, and document), the time your business deserved and making sure that information is communicated with a kind and pleasant mannered.

If a client did at least 50% of those 8 tips above, it is almost a guaranteed that client will get my best price for he/she creative projects

Do you have your own tips you want to share? Please comment below

Write personally to me desgin@edwardaryana.com or visit my portfolio at www.edwardaryana.com to see my creative works