Advice for Graphic Designers
For a Graphic Designer, the first meeting with a new client is one of the most important moments. It is the first impression you get to make on the prospective business. In turn, it is also the first impression the prospective business gets to make on you.
However, it can be a little overwhelming at in the beginning. There are a few steps you, as the designer, should take in order to ensure a quality product in the end for your client.
First, do research! Before you meet with the prospective client, learn about their company by visiting their website (if they have one), looking at previous branding tools (again, if they have any), and looking at other company’s branding elements within the same industry.
Next, when you meet with the client, have a list of questions ready to ask them about their company, industry and about their competitors. You also want to ask them several questions about what they like for design elements, color, typography, etc. Here are a list of questions to get you started:
- What does your company do?
- Who are your biggest competitors? Can you show me their branding elements?
- What other logos, colors, typography, graphic elements have you seen other companies use that you like? or Dislike?
- Do you have any previous printed or web based graphic elements, logos, ect that you have used and want to continue using?
- What is the attitude of your company?
- what is the personality of your company?
- What exactly are you looking for? Logo/branding identity, brochure, website, business card, letterhead, envelope, announcement, book/catalog, or something else?
- Are there restrictions with size, color, or anything else I should know about?
- When does the project need to be completed?
- What is your budget? (this one is very important!)
There are several other questions that can be asked within the meeting as well. If you think it is relevant, than ask the client! Nothing is worse than working hours on a project only to be notified later that they cannot use it because of some restrictions you were not aware of.
Lastly, make sure you and the client both sign a contract agreeing on when the project will be complete, payment specifications, project specifications, and anything else you think is necessary.
For more information on contracts please see http://www.creativelatitude.com/articles/articles_gee_contracts.html