Attributes to look for in a designer

 

Choosing a designer can be intimidating. As with choosing any freelance professional, how do you decide to entrust a certain part of your business to someone else? But there’s something about creating, something about art that makes it far less objective than other professions.

When choosing an accountant, you’d like them to be great at their job: to know their industry and how it applies to your business and then use that knowledge it to the best of their ability.

This, I have found, is a lot less the case when hiring someone to provide a creative service. So let’s talk about attributes you should be looking for in a designer before you hand them your heart on a silver platter and ask them to create a visual language it understands.

Click through to get the 6 attributes you should be looking for in a designer.

Organisation and Systems

The designers you’re interviewing should have thorough systems in place and ooze a sense of organisation. This is key in having full trust that they know what they’re doing and also means that you know what to expect at every step.

What this could look like:

  • A set timeline for a project with a definitive start and end date
  • Their creative process shared on their website or in a consultation
  • A project management tool that will help you both keep track of the project’s progress
  • Clear and timely communication
  • Actively guiding you with worksheets/workbooks and video/voice calls

Analytical

This is where research & data + creativity = results. While the chances are pretty high you’re looking for something beautiful, you’ll most likely also want them to be a working part of you achieving your business goals. Form should meet function in building a creating solutions to problems.

What this could look like:

  • Sharing the goals behind portfolio pieces and how the final designs have met them
  • A preference for holistically looking after your whole brand rather than superficial design
  • Researching your industry, competition and the trends leading your product/service development
  • A proposal of strategy to propel your brand forward

Consistency

Consistency in communication, output, level of work, requirements from you - overall consistency. Understanding that consistency is what build brand recognition and increases the emotional connection with clients means that they’ll put this into practice when designing your brand’s visual identity and marketing touchpoints.  

What this could look like:

  • Same brand voice used in all communication
  • Consistent use of their own visual identity
  • Working to the supplied timeline (or sooner)

Listening

A designer who doesn’t listen to your needs is not going to give you a valuable solution to your problem. You should be working with someone who is wholly interested in you, your business and how they can help you reach your goals. Someone who is invested in your journey, actively digging and giving you tools to get to the very heart of your brand.

What this could look like:

  • A thorough workbook, questionnaire and set of exercises that guide you in identifying your goals
  • An active interest in you, your business and how you’d like to see your business growing
  • Allowing you to set your own definition of success and being interested in what success means for your business

Precision

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways. Designers should be precise. They should live in the detail because the detail is where it all comes alive. Yes, finished is better than perfect. But ideas, designs and solutions should be refined to a mathematical precision. Okay, maybe not mathematical. But a meticulous eye (and hand) go a long way in delivering damn-near-perfect and also finished.

What this could look like:

  • Detail oriented design
  • Great at discerning your emotions and needs
  • Applied critical thinking

Generous with information

A good designer is going to be invested in the success of your brand. And that may mean sharing (or oversharing) tips, tricks and general information relevant to their services. I’m not suggesting that your designer should also be your business coach at no extra charge. But they should be willing to share enough information to build trust and to show you that they really do know what they’re talking about.

What this could look like:

  • High quality content blog posts
  • Answering any and all questions you have pertaining to their packages or services
  • A willingness to go above and beyond in their communications with you - referrals, links and ideas

 


What qualities would you look for in a designer?