Questions To Ask Your Designer

I’m not good at improvising. I think most of us aren’t. So when I take a call or go to an interview I’m always prepared. I look up the questions that someone will potentially ask me and then I rehearse my answers. Since a consult call is like a short interview, I’ve prepared 5 questions to ask your designer on a free consult call.

The 5 Questions To Ask Your Designer On A Free Consult Call:

These questions aren’t in any particular order.

01. What’s your design process?

You want to know the steps it takes to complete your project. You don’t want to be confused as to what your designer is doing during the time that you hired them. It helps to know what to expect so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

For example, depending on which service package you choose, I follow the same exact design process every time. You know that you’ll have homework due a week before the project is due. After that, we’ll discuss the homework and I’ll start designing the logo. Then I’ll send the designs your way for revisions. To see my complete design process, click here.

When a potential client sends an email inquiry, I send them to my onboarding page which has my complete design process along with answers to other frequently asked questions. After they review the onboarding page they can book a free Skype call to ask any other questions.

After booking my services, the client will also be included in my Asana project. They will know exactly which part of the design process I’m in currently by viewing if the task is checked off or not.

02. Who owns the design once it’s finished and paid for?

This is one of the most important questions to ask your designer. Do you own the final design or does your designer own the design? You want to know because if you don’t own the final design you might be limited in what you can do with that design in the future.

Before I book a client, I make sure to send a contract. In my contract, I give all the copyrights to the client. BUT I make sure to add that I have the right to use the designs in my portfolio. Other than that, everything else is up to the client.

03. What’s the timeline?

Knowing the timeline of the design process is important because you want to know when the project will be complete. This will help you decide on whether the designer can complete the designs by the date that you need them by. If you don’t have a specific date, it will help in deciding when your official launch date will be.

As I stated earlier, when a client emails me an inquiry, I send them a link to my onboarding page. The onboarding page includes the estimated time I will complete each package. This is also included on my services page here. If the timeline fits their needs, they can then book a consult call from the onboarding page.

When I respond to the client inquiry, I also include my next available date. If everything lines up for the client, they have 7 days to book my service until I give that spot to someone else.

Once the client books my service, I send them a pdf of the timeline for the project, Not only that, but I assign them to their project in Asana. Asana will show when each task is due, so the client will know exactly when I will have each design task done. They will also know when things are due on their end too.

04. Who is the designer/person of contact?

You want to know who is designing your project and who you’re supposed to contact about your project. Let’s say you book my services thinking that I’m designing everything. Wouldn’t you be angry if you found out that I outsourced your work to someone else? You wanted a design by Natasha Lane Design Co. or Paigon Davis, but you didn’t get what you wanted.  

Don’t worry, Natasha Lane Design Co. is a one-woman show right now. All designs are designed by me, Paigon Davis, and if that changes in the future, I will definitely let you know.

You also want to know who you’re supposed to contact if you want to make revisions to your design or if an emergency arises.

05. What’s included?

Most designers have collateral items that they include in their design package. Nowadays you aren’t just getting a logo. Do they provide letterheads, business cards, web design, social media icons, blog graphics, video intros and etc.? Make sure you have a list of items that you will definitely need for your project. Then you can ask your designer if those are included in the package.

Most designers will have a list of collateral items included. For example, clients get 3 collateral items for my Logo x Branding package and 4 collateral items with my Branding x Web Design package. If something isn’t on my list, I love it when clients ask me if it’s possible to add another item. For me, if I can design it, I’ll try to create it.

Other questions to ask your designer

How will communication work?

As I said earlier, you want to know who you’re talking to, but you also want to know how you’re going to communicate with them. Are you using emails? Phone calls? Skype?

For my communication I mostly use Asana and for important talks, Skype. Once I add a client to Asana, we can communicate by leaving comments on the tasks in Asana. The client doesn’t even have to log into Asana to respond. Each comment is emailed to the client and the client can then just email the response and it’s sent to Asana. To learn more, click here.

For the final revisions and meetings, I like to use Skype (with or without the camera). I just want to make sure that I understand the revisions the client wants without any misunderstandings. This will help the revision process go by faster.

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How does payment work?

My prices are listed on my services page and my onboarding page, along with payment process. Not everyone lists their prices or how payment works though. If that’s the case, then you want to know what the final cost is. Even though you know the payment process, you should still ask just in case. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

What file formats are my documents in?

You want to know what you’re paying for. For example, all my logo files are in PNG and JPEG file format. If I design a website, I usually upload the site to the host the client chooses. Anything that needs to go to the printer is in PDF format.

Unless it’s a template (blog template, social media template), it’s unusual for me to give out the actual Illustrator or Photoshop file. Some designers will never give those files away and others will add an extra cost to the client to receive them.

How are the final documents delivered?

You want to know how you receive your final files, and how long you have to download them. Most designers deliver the final files through cloud storage and give you an estimated time limit to how long you will have access to the file. I like to use Google Drive and add my client to the file. I don’t have a specific time limit, and I don’t plan on purposely deleting the file. If something does happen in the future, I will definitely email the client about their access. As for the final website, I will upload those files to the host site.

When you’re scheduling a call make sure you write down your 5 most relevant questions because of time restraints. For example, my consult calls are 15-20 minutes long. I like to let the clients ask their questions first and then I’ll ask questions about their business. After the call, I make sure to email them a summary of what we discussed.

Does anyone else jot down questions or notes before they go into a meeting/interview? Let me know in the comments below.

-Paigon | Natasha Lane Design Co.

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