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FreeLantz Design

Beginning a New Design

For a designer to get a good snapshot of your business, and to help the design process of any piece, there are a few questions to answer that are helpful to think about before beginning a new design:

  • What does your business do?
  • What are your goals – for the business and for this particular design piece?
  • What is your target market?
  • What copy/text and elements are needed for this piece?  Do I have access to them? (logos, colors, taglines, etc.)
  • What specifications are there for this design piece?   Will it be printed or just digital?
  • What is your budget for this piece?
  • What is your timeline/deadline for completion on this piece?
  • Are there any things you want to avoid?
  • Will this design piece fuel other pieces in the future?  Ex: If we design a logo and business card now, will you eventually need a brochure, website or some other piece?

Taking a few moments to collect your thoughts and the pieces of the puzzle needed to begin a new project will save time for both you and your designer, and in the long run, save cost for you. Some designers would rather begin work without knowing your previous styles so the creativity won’t be influenced in a design direction that you are wanting to get rid of. On the other hand, some designers want as much information as they can get in order to be very clear on what you want/don’t want. In either case, it is helpful to answer the questions listed above in order to gain a better understanding of what you, the client, are needing.

The conversation could go something like this:

Client: Hi there. I own a plumbing business and I need to have a business card designed.

Designer: Great! Tell me about your business.

Client: Well, I’m a one-man show, so I do all the work myself, and I pride myself on the fact that every client gets to speak and deal with me directly in person.

Designer: Okay, so how will the majority of your business cards be used?

Client: I usually just hand them out to friends or folks that I meet. Everybody needs a plumber at some point, so I want my business card to be there to remind them to call me first.

Designer: Great. Do you have any design ideas in mind, or do you already have a company logo and style?

Client: I have a logo, but other than that, I don’t have any ideas. I just don’t want it to look like I stuck a piece of clipart on a white piece of paper. That’s what my last card looked like…I designed them myself.

Designer: Okay, no problem. That’s what we’re here for! Tell me, do you have a set budget for what you want to spend on these cards? This will help us determine how fancy we want to get, or what kind of features we can get you and stay within your budget.

Client: Well, I don’t have a lot to spend on them, so they can just be standard cards. I just need to get my basic info out there, and I’d love to have them as soon as I can.

Designer:  Sure. Are you talking in the next couple months, or you want something next week?

Client: Uh, maybe within 2 weeks?

Designer: Okay, I think that’s doable. So to sum up, I hear you saying that you’d like to have something in hand in the next couple of weeks, you have a logo that you can provide for us, you want to emphasize the personal care that each of your clients will receive, and you want something a little more flashy than what you currently have.  Does that sound right?

Client: That sounds great.

Designer: Okay! Then we’ll proceed from here and get some design options going, then we can talk about your ordering options and quantities. Is a business card all you’re going to need at this point?

Client: Yeah, I don’t really need brochures or anything. People know what plumbers do – pretty self-explanatory.

Designer: Great! Then I’ll get started…

There. Simple. All the questions were answered and yet it didn’t stifle the creativity of the designer. He’s well informed on what the client’s needs are, but can feel free to create anything he wants within those boundaries.

You’ll save your designer some time by having this info fresh in your mind when you approach him with a new design project. That way he won’t have to spend his time (and your money!) working on something that you know you wouldn’t like.

Hope this helps get your next design project off to a good start and saves some time in the long run!