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September 16, 2011

I am posting some Q&A from a site I just joined. They really are great questions, and I hope my answers help people shop around for the right designer for them.

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Make sure you work out a contract that works for both parties. Build a relationship with them and always be honest with your feelings, a good designer works to make sure the design works for you. But also take in their advice, you are paying them for it after all. You also don’t need to take their portfolio work as an exact example of their style. Designers are always growing with each client and working to get you a unique design that will last forever. So its also nice to give your designer a challenge and let them explore new fields after you’ve built a relationship with them. The best way for them to learn is through experience.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. In the design field artists tend to fall in love with their work. Customers see this and sometimes believe the designers will work practically for free just because they love their work this much. This isn’t necessarily true. After a certain stage in a designer’s life they realize that they can’t keep giving away the things they do well. Be fair when looking at prices and keep in mind that design services are like any other and the designers have bills to pay as well. Think about it, they are giving you you’re entire branding sometimes, they give you the things people will remember about you business.

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

A. Prices, hourly or flat rates for one. Ask about any additional costs for revisions as well. You are not only paying for the design but their time. Ask if the designer would mind uploading your design to any printing services you are using. This works out for the designer, because they can find out the exact size specifications you need a head of time. Also ask them to submit a few design variations for you to look at. If you need a site updated after they’ve built ask about the costs for that as well, and if you’d like them to link your social networking sites together, I’m sure they have experience. I just ask my clients to set up temporary passwords and then I do the work for them.

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?

A. Buyers should do sketches of their own, even small doodles can help. Figure out if you have favorite colors. Its also a great idea to google for inspiration and pass them onto a designer. They won’t rip off your inspiration or examples if they are good designers. It just helps to give the designer as much information about what you want so they can create it for you. Also think through your time line. Leave enough time for revisions and printing or testing, this is extremely important. Even though designers are used to being rushed, you don’t always want a rushed design do you? It is also a great idea to think of some milestones for your designer. If you pay them an agreed upon amount along the process of the design then you are more likely to have a happy relationship and both parties always win.

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