WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN WORKING WITH A DESIGNER
Most people get a little anxious when doing something for the first time. The fear of the unknown can stop you from taking steps forward, even if you know they will benefit you in the long run.
Working with a web/brand/logo designer is one of these mysterious unknowns that you might have some reservations about. So here I’m going to run through what you can expect when you hire a designer to work with you to redesign your business branding and online spaces.
I promise, it’s not scary and daunting and it will launch your baking business to new heights!
Before you start working with a designer you’ll want to make sure you chose someone to work with who will completely understand your vision and who will be easy to work with. So it’s time to do a little online stalking and the first port of call will be their website and portfolio. Are there designs here that stand out to you or do they convey the same feeling that you want from your new brand? If you like what you see here, do a little more digging and check out the designers blog, if they have one, and their social media accounts. Here you will start to understand their personality a bit more and if you find yourself warming to the designer then it’s time to reach out and make an enquiry about working together.
If you’ve not yet come across a designer you want to work with have a look at your favourite websites and check out who the designer was for these - they will usually be credited in the footer down at the bottom of the page. If you don’t see anything send the website owner a quick message asking about their gorgeous website and if they can share the details of their designer.
The first step will be to make an initial enquiry, usually by email, or some designers will have a specific contact form on their web page.
Be as clear as possible in this message about what you are after. Of course it may change through discussions with your designer over the course of the project, but if you can be very descriptive about the elements you are after the designer will be in the best position possible to respond, determine if your project will be a good fit and hopefully get you a spot booked in their calendar.
Things to mention in your initial enquiry:
- What you need - website, logo, full brand?
- If you have an existing website, and what platform this is on?
- Any websites or brands that you love and would like something similar to?
- Specific features you will need in your website, that are not ‘the norm’.
It’s important that you have an agreement in writing with your designer outlining what you should expect from each other. Hopefully it won’t be a long and complicated contract but it should cover:
- What exactly you will be getting at the end of the project
- What’s expected from you
- Costs and payment schedule
This is where the fun really starts! Seeing your new brand come to life is such an exciting process that you should really enjoy and a good designer will help make that a reality. To ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible be sure to respond your designer as soon as you can, or within the timescales that you have both arranged.
If you’re getting a website put together this is the time when you’ll start collating the content for your web designer to include in your site. They will have given you a list of what’s needed, and when, so be sure to get everything together. This will include:
- Text for each page (intro, about, contact)
- Price list
- Flavours (including a list of allergens)
REVIEWING YOUR OPTIONS
It’s likely that you’ll have quite a bit of back and forth looking at options and OK-ing designs so it’s important that you’ve given some thought to your schedule around the time your design project will be taking place so you can give yourself plenty time to think about your options and give thorough feedback to your designer.
All designers work differently but there will be a similar train of development we all follow. My process looks like this:
- I will create a Pinterest board for you to share all of your inspiration, be it colours, websites, images etc, to give me a feel of the appropriate design direction. Using all of the information gathered I will put together some sketches and mood boards for your comment and feedback.
- Next, if you have the branding packages I will send you three logos in black and white for you to chose from and comment on before developing one into the colour design. If you have the web design package I will send you a mock-up of the homepage for your for comment and I will make up to three rounds of revisions on the layout until you're completely happy with the design.
- This is where I get busy and set out all of your pages and block out your content. During this phase you will gather together and send me all of the content you wish to include on the site.
- The final draft of your site will be emailed to you for final comments and revisions.
- A Skype call or meeting to cover how to use your new website and then go live!
It’s important for you to give honest feedback to your designer, they can’t read your mind so if there is something major that just doesn’t sit right with you, speak out. Try to explain why the element doesn’t work, rather that just saying you don’t like it. If, for example, you don’t think the colour of your logo would appear to your target market explain it in those terms, rather than simply asking for purple instead of green. This will give your designer the best opportunity to put it right in a way you may not have even considered.