Questions_CoverStarting a new company or revamping an existing brand typically requires the help of a graphic designer. This may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have no prior experience working with creative professionals. The process is actually pretty simple. There are a few things you can do ahead of time to prepare yourself before the big kick-off meeting.

If you want to give your designer a good place to start and make sure they fully understand the project, be prepared to answer these four questions:

What are your business goals?

It’s important to have a good grasp on your business goals before going into a design meeting. If you don’t understand the concept for your brand, your designer won’t either. Be as clear as possible in the first meeting and provide as much information as you can. Obviously if you’re at the point of hiring a designer, you know what product or services your business provides, but what makes you unique? What is it about your business that will create a connection with people and turn them into customers?

Who is your target audience?

This may sound similar to knowing your business goals, but it’s important to remember you are not your client. Business owners often make the mistake of marketing their services in a way they like, without considering the actual target audience. The more research you do on your target audience the better. A good designer will be able to take that information and create a brand that speaks to the right clients, and will  help you stay on course if you start to go on a tangent.DesignQuestions_PullQuote

What is your design vision?

Unlike the first two questions, this doesn’t necessarily need to be answered before a kick-off meeting. Not having a full fledged design plan is perfectly acceptable, and your designer will be more than happy to help develop your brand’s aesthetic style. It’s what we’re trained to do after all!

On the other hand, if you have very specific design specifications you’d like the designer to create for you, that’s fine. Either way works as long as you’re clear about your vision right from the start.

Where do you see your brand?

Not “where do you see your brand in ten years?” (this should be addressed in the business goals section), but where are you physically putting your logo and other marketing materials? A well-designed logo is versatile and looks great on everything from smartphones to billboards. Knowing in advance where your brand is going gives your designer the opportunity to plan ahead.

Being able to answer these important questions right off the bat will set your business up for a successful design experience and allow you to give control to your designer. It may seem like extra work, but in the long run it’s worth it if you’ve spent that time considering facets of your brand you may not have previously thought of. Your hard work gives the designer the information they need in order to bring your awesome ideas to life.