You’re just about ready to launch a new endeavor and you’re thinking of hiring a professional graphic designer to enhance your visual brand. Whether you’re in the market for a single item such as a flyer, or something more complex like an entire series of branded elements, knowing how the process will flow will help you to avoid foreseeable challenges and enable your designer to come up with creatives that are most reflective of your vision. From the creative brief to submitting your copy, this article outlines each step of the pre-design phase to ensure that you start off on the right foot.
Combined, your style, technical and proofing goals comprise what design professionals call a creative brief. It’s a document that summarizes your vision and serves as a blueprint for how you would like your final design to look.
In this case, style has to do with the important aspects of your design, such as your vision or how you foresee your design in its finished form. It also has to do with copy writing. Ensuring that your copy is final and already written in the tone you prefer before it reaches your graphic designer’s inbox will likely prevent costly editing at the tail end of your project.
You should also be able to provide technical details on your project like the deadline, project dimensions (width and height), whether the project will be for print or digital use (or both) and exactly what file formats you’ll need.
Knowing about how many rounds of revisions you think you’ll need beforehand is equally important. We usually provide three rounds of revisions into a quote for projects with eight or fewer pages; however, with any designer, as the number of pages or level of complexity increases, the number of editorial rounds needed can increase as well.
With a finalized creative brief in hand, your designer is equipped to calculate your estimate. While each designer’s formula may vary, it’s likely that he or she uses a standardized pricing resource for guidance. We use the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook Pricing Ethical Guidelines in conjunction with rate scales for our state and past audits. Once you’ve had an opportunity to review your estimate, you can decide whether or not to move on to the next step. Be prepared to pay a deposit up front. Most designers require it unless you’ve agreed on other terms.
Make a payment and submit your project assets
Project assets you’ll be asked to send include items like finalized copy, images (photos, vector illustrations or logos), and a style guide or listing of any design rules your designer should adhere to for brand consistency. If you didn’t do so when you submitted your creative brief, this is also a good time to send links to examples of designs you admire and any additional unique items that you feel will assist the designer in achieving your vision.
Once the pre-design phase is done, your designer will be prepared to start creating your new design.