Working with a graphic designer can be a rewarding experience that produces excellent results. However, as with any working relationship, there are some risks involved, especially if you are not familiar with the graphic design process or don’t have experience working with designers. In this article, we will share some tips on how to stay safe when working with graphic designers, to ensure a successful and stress-free collaboration.
If you’re on a tight budget
Firstly, it is important to understand that not all designers are created equal. If you’re on a budget, your best resource is Fiverr or Upworks. These come with their own challenges, as more than half of the freelancers on these sites are of incredibly poor quality, and take massive shortcuts.
As we were developing this programme, we worked with a logo designer on Fiverr who passed herself off as a Canadian, graduate of a design college, based in Toronto. A very believable profile. However after a short conversation and a severe lack of English from her side, alarm bells were ringing. Out of curiousity we proceeded with the project.
The designer did deliver the logos we asked for, and at first glance – the quality was outstanding. We were impressed. A short Google search later revealed that the logos she provided were stock photos, with the colors slightly adjusted to our color palette. But what can you expect for a $20 logo…
Be wary, many designers will reuse, steal and plaigarise existing logo concepts, often giving the same thing to multiple clients. You may face copyright infringements and more.
Another issue is of course quality. Anybody can list their gig as a freelancer, and if they do create original work – it is likely of poor quality at low price points. Great designers know what they are worth.
In all of our years as entrepreneurs, and consultants – we have yet to find a really really good designer on either of these websites for a low budget.
If you have resources
If you do have resources available, then we recommend working with an agency or independent designers. Most of these will not be advertising on Upworks or Fiverr, but likely on Dribbble or other design-specific sites.
You will get personalized service, higher-quality output, and the care and attention that your startup deserves. After all, your logo and colors are the first things that someone sees.
Get your revisions
Whatever designer you work with, ensure you get multiple revisions and multiple concepts. The initial proposal from the designer should be 3 to 4 concepts, this applies to both brand guidelines/stylesheets and logos.
The usual process then involves either disapproving all of them and requesting more, or focusing on one concept to continue improvements on.
The number of revisions it will take varies on your designer and your brief, but we suggest negotiating no less than 3 revisions into each project.
How much should it cost
This varies wildly based on your brief, your company the logo designer you work with. You can find graphic designers for very little on Fiverr and Upworks, who will provide projects for as little as $20 USD. At the same time, you can pay a couple of thousand for an independent logo designer. Generally, the bigger your brand – the more you will pay.
On average, we suggest spending between £50-£100 USD on brand guidelines, and between $300-$500 USD on your logo from a reputable designer.
Other Tips & Tricks
1. Set clear expectations and goals
Before you begin working with a graphic designer, it’s essential to communicate your goals and expectations for the project. Define the scope of the work and discuss any constraints, such as budget or timeline. Establish a timeline and milestones, and make sure that you and the designer are on the same page.
2. Verify the designer’s credentials
When hiring a graphic designer, it’s important to verify their credentials and experience. Check their portfolio and references to ensure that they have the necessary skills to complete your project. You can also ask to see their certifications or academic qualifications if applicable.
3. Protect your intellectual property
Ensure that your intellectual property rights are protected by having the designer sign a contract that specifies that you own the final design and all of its components. This includes the copyright and any trademarks or patents associated with the design.
4. Provide clear and concise feedback
Feedback is crucial to the success of any design project. However, it’s important to ensure that your feedback is clear, concise, and objective. Avoid making subjective comments, such as “I don’t like this” or “I don’t think it looks good.” Instead, focus on providing specific feedback that relates to the design’s functionality, aesthetics, or intended audience.
5. Use a safe and secure platform for file sharing
When working with a graphic designer, you will need to share files and documents. It’s crucial to use a safe and secure platform that protects your data and intellectual property. Consider using a cloud-based service that offers encryption and two-factor authentication to ensure that your files are safe from unauthorized access.
If you would like to work with Starting Dimensions, our in-house graphic designer Tom is always happy to help. Get in touch using our Contact Page and, if you’re part of one of our Brand Programmes, we’ll happily offer you an additional alumni discount!