“The hourly rate depends on the speed at which you work ” – about how to talk to a graphic designer about working on a project

Cooperation with a graphic designer is an inseparable stage in the development of many companies. Logo, new website, online store, social media… well designed visual identity of the brand influences its reception by the customers, helps to find new recipients and is undoubtedly the key to a marketing success. How to start working with a graphic designer so that the effects of his work will allow you to achieve your goals?

1.    Determine the exact scope of the order with the graphic designer

This initial stage of work may seem trivial. “I would like to create a website for my company, I am enclosing mock-ups.” –  a simple message seems to be an obvious order for the graphic designer. And yet, to prepare a full valuation and estimate the time needed to complete the project, even the simplest order requires clarification. It is worth spending more time at this stage to write down all the actions to be taken by the graphic designer, e.g. whether you also expect the content to be transferred as part of the design, whether you will also provide the photos to the website , or are they to be  found by the designer etc. When you  commission the website, it is also important to precisely list the number of subpages and the content that should be on them. Before starting cooperation determine whether you are open to the graphic artist’s suggestions or whether you want to faithfully reproduce your assumptions. (“I initially chose such graphics for my website, but if you could find something better, I am open to change”)

Specifying the scope of the project is often omitted at the stage of order description which results in an  extension of  the  working time and underestimation of  the valuation.

2.    Take time to divide the work into steps

It is easier to control the effects of work when it is divided into stages. This allows you to avoid the situation, in which, for example, after a month of waiting for the implementation of the project, the client receives the project that differs significantly from his vision. The division of the order into smaller tasks allows the client to participate in the design process and track work progress on an ongoing basis. In turn, the graphic designer will save time devoted to making corrections or preparing  a new project  from scratch. It is worth noting that when creating a work schedule, two important stages of the designing process are often overlooked. The first is the introductory stage i.e. looking for inspiration. If you want your website, logo or advertising material to be fresh, original and creative, give the graphic designer time to gather materials, look for ideas and trace the solutions used so far. The second stage is the time of your verification. Give yourself as much time as you need to review carefully  the project prepared for you. Capture the elements you like or those you want to change. This way you will avoid the need to rashly accept the material.

3.    Determine, together with the graphic designer, the time that you give yourself  for each stage of the project

It is obvious that the clients want the project to be completed quickly. It is easier to estimate the working time of each stage  than to answer the question repeated like a  mantra: “How long will it take?”. It is important to set the completion date in consultation  with the graphic designer. If it is possible, it is worth assuming at least a minimum time margin in the event of delays. At this point the client can also ask for details. If the working time devoted to one stage seems to long for you, do not hesitate to ask for clarification of the activities that the graphic designer takes as part of the task. However, do this before accepting the schedule in order to avoid later misunderstandings. (“why does it take so long to replace the font in the template?”, “It looks like a trivial task does it really take that long ?”). At this point it is also worth talking about priorities. Which stage of the project  is the most important for you ? Which elements of the project are  key for you and which could you possibly give up in case of delays? Also, ask for information in case there are changes in the schedule before having to introduce them.
























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