- Expect to pay at least 25% of the total cost prior to the designer starting the project.
From what I have read on many design blogs and through first-hand experience, the industry standard is to charge 50% upfront for graphics work. With 50% of the total cost paid upfront it helps motivate everyone to stay on task and keep deadlines. This will not only motivate you to keep up and respond in a timely manner to the designers requests, but it will also provide insurance for the designer in case the project doesn’t reach an accomplished state with that designer. Problems will arise in any job, this one is no different, and thus 50% payment upfront gives a little insurance for both parties and shows they are interested in seeing the project reach completion in a timely manner.
- Most designers will require you to have your content pre-written.
Website designers and graphic artists are usually not experts in journalism, there are some exceptions out there though. There is a reason why designers are in the field that they are it’s the talent and passion for design. If the designer does not have the content of the website beforehand it is hard to design around it and know how to present it best. There is only so much design work that can be done prior to adding the content to it, sure designers have work-around methods of generating text, but it doesn’t work as well if it’s not your actual site text. Have your content ready by the time you meet with the designer or have it close to completion so they can have it as early as possible.
- Do your research on a designer before hiring them.
Look at their website, is there website professionally designed; does it have the same quality you would like to see for your website? The designer’s website is the best glimpse you can get into their skills and quality. Designers have total artistic freedom on their own portfolio sites, so if it isn’t designed well, don’t expect better from them on your site. Scope out the designer’s clients, are these sites quality, could you be satisfied with the type of design work done on those designs? Lastly, search for them online and see if they are being talked about. This can be done by checking their social media accounts or by simply plugging their names into Google; Twitter is great for seeing people talk about designers.
- Expect a logo to cost more than $50 and a website to be more than $500.
There are many reasons that designers charge so much for their work. First of all, designers spent time, effort and energy to come up with your unique design. They didn’t just pull a design out of thin air, create it in Photoshop and then send it your way in 15 minutes. Second, designers charge based on work experience and background. Classes, software, and time spent honing their skills are worth something and you are not paying simply for one logo, you are paying for the knowledge and expertise of their years of training. There are always friends or someone’s neighbor’s son who can design an inexpensive logo or website, but most times it won’t be the same quality as what you will receive when you put more money into the project and work with an experienced designer.
- If it seems like the price is cheap, expect a poorly designed product in return.
This point ties in very closely with the previous point. Designers that are worth their salt will charge you accurately according to their skills, experience and expenses. Quality web sites come from qualified designers. Anything less than professional price will return less than professional quality. Also remember that your logo and website are the face of your company. This is what the world sees more than any individual in the company. Logos and brands are remembered far longer than the name recognition of the company’s owner or top executive. Brands have the potential to live on and create a legacy that far surpasses the lifespan of a company’s founder. Don’t cheap out on a design or you will receive a cheap design.
- Know why you are designing/redesigning your image.
This point is the most crucial of the ten, without it you can end up with wasted resources and disappointing results. If your brand looks old and outdated, specify what you think would change your image, make notes about other brands, websites, and logos that are more up to date. Be sure to include these notes for the designer, the more they know about what you are looking for the better they can be at designing a logo to suit your needs. Another thing to keep in mind is also relay the target audience information to the designer, what appeals to female college students is not the same as what appeals to 40 year old business men. A brand that focuses on the target audience can exponentially bring brand recognition.
- Simply having a website does not guarantee web traffic.
According to the Netcraft Web Server Survey, as of December 2009 there are around 233,848,493 websites online. That statistic is now over 6 months old, imagine how many more have been added since. When there are over 233 million websites online not every one of them receives the same amount of web traffic. In order to best receive traffic to your site you need to advertise it. There are all sort of ways to bring in more traffic, print advertising, online ads, fliers, include the link in your email signatures, displaying it on business cards and posting it on social media profiles (Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc).
- Having a website does not guarantee more profit.
Most times having a website does not hurt your company unless it is outdated or poorly-designed. Therefore, more often than not having a website will serve as a positive tool about your company, which is the point. Traffic does not guarantee profit, but it helps. You have to do more than simply put up a website in order to turn your company’s online profile into a profitable resource.
So there you have it, eight things to keep in mind before you design or redesign your company’s logo, brand, or website.