Photo by Karolina Grabowska
If you’ve never worked with a brand or web designer before, the whole design process might feel a little like foreign territory to you. It can be hard to know what to expect if it’s your first time, so I wanted to share some insight into the design process and a few important things that I think every business owner should know before they hire a designer!
01 / It’s going to take time.
Every designer is different, but I would estimate last least 1-2 months for a branding project. So if you have a strict launch date in mind, you want to make sure that you are booking your designer with that timeline in mind. Branding isn’t something that you want to rush. If you want to do it well, you’ve got to allow some time for your designer to fully understand your business values, what you want to convey, who you need to connect with, where you want to position yourself in your industry AND THEN work on creating design concepts that accomplish all of those things.
02 / The goal is to find strategic solutions for your business, not just what looks pretty.
If you already have a specific idea in mind for your logo, that’s ok. But a designer’s job isn’t just to create what you think looks good. Our goal is to design something that connects with your audiences, sets you apart from your competition and will, ultimately, help you grow your business. So during each step of the process, your designer will likely talk about this stuff and explain the strategy behind their design decisions. We truly want your business to thrive, so that’s why we put so much focus on the meaning behind each detail of the brand rather than just following trends.
This can sometimes be difficult because as the client, you likely feel a very personal connection to your business and, therefore, have strong personal preferences for what you want your branding or website to look like! As a business owner myself, I totally understand this! BUT in order to do my job well as a designer, sometimes I need to help my clients recognize when their personal preferences don’t align with what’s actually going to help their brand stand out and connect with their audience. So just be receptive when your designer points these things out to you – I promise that they have your best interests at heart!
03 / Your designer isn’t going to show you endless options.
Every designer is different, but many of us choose to only show a small number of options to our clients and we do this for a few reasons. First, showing a ton of options can often be more overwhelming to clients rather than being helpful. If there are too many different ideas, it can be harder to choose and sometimes it leads clients to ask if they can “frankenstein” concepts – meaning you mix and match different elements from different designs. Sometimes this is fine, but most of the time it gets messy and the original vision for the branding gets lost. As designers, we never want this to happen, so presenting fewer options helps us keep the project more focused.
The second reason is time. When a designer presents one concept, there are likely hours and hours of work that went on behind the scenes for them to come to that final version. We rarely come up the the final concept immediately – there’s always a lot of trial and error that has to happen! By only showing a smaller number of concepts (1-3), that gives the designer more time to really dive into each of those options, explore them fully and as a result, create a stronger design.
And finally, the third reason for only showing a few options is because as designers, we feel confident in our ability to guide our clients to the best option for their business. It’s our job to find the right solution and when we do, we only want to show that option to the client. And that’s a big part of what you are paying the designer for! You’re paying for that level of expertise and ability to test out a wide range of ideas behind the scenes and narrowing it down to the absolute best concepts so that you, the client, don’t have to be overwhelmed with so many options.
So if you’re thinking about working with a brand or web designer sometime soon, I hope that this post has given you a better idea of what to expect! For more branding advice, go check out these posts: