Charmellow : Graphic Design & Letterpress Studio
Real design from a real designer.


5 Questions to Ask in a Free Consult

5 Things to Ask A Designer on a Free Consult Call



Hiring a graphic designer can start to feel like uncharted territory if you have never worked with one. There are things like price and timing that are maybe obvious questions, but you may think, how do I ask about design services without knowing much about it? You may want to know you can trust them, you want to make sure they are credible and maybe make sure you understand what happens during a logo design process. 

Here are five questions you can ask your designer that will get you talking the same language. 

1. Have you ever designed for my type of company before?

This question will help get the ball rolling and hopefully open up the conversation for you to explain about your company. It might not matter if they haven’t done specific design for your industry yet. For me, it's part of the process to hear as much about your business as possible. I draw inspiration from the niches of your business. 

2. How long have you been designing, what is your design experience? 

It's always good to ask a designer what their experience is. This is important to feel someone out if they are experienced enough to give you what you are looking for. You can get more specific with the question as you know more about your project. If you are looking for a poster design, and you want it to be an original illustration, you need to ask if the designer can provide that type of service. I do illustration and could offer that service, but its a specific thing you need to ask me for.

3. How much does the graphic design I want cost? Is there an estimate and contract process?

Lets address the first question. 

Graphic design is a broad term for many specialized services. So you should expect the cost of a logo to differ from the cost of a 24 page e-booklet. Their purposes, timelines and files are totally different. Graphic design by a professional is a service like any other. The graphic designer is charged with finding a unique solution to your specific problem. I am well trained for a wide range of services, and they all start from a basis of $75 per hour. I also offer project pricing for larger projects. 

Second question, is there an estimate and contract? You should ask this because if there isn't a process in place, they might not be the designer you are looking for. In short, an estimate makes sure you are on the same page for deliverables, pricing and timelines. A contract protects both of you in the rare time that a project relationship goes south. 

4. What is the timeline for this kind of project?

Every project is different. A small website could take 2 weeks or three months. There are outside variables always, feedback gets held up on one side or the other. Still, get an idea of a timeline. This also lets you know how busy your designer already is, because they will likely have to work you into their schedule. 

5. Will I need to prepare anything?

So you’ve worked out a bunch of the fine details, but where does the content for a website or e-book come from? The designer makes the words and images look gorgeous on the page. If you are working on a website, the words and images are typically supplied by you, the client. You’ve had photos taken professionally or are working on it, and you’ve had someone work on copy (because you’re way too busy for that!). If it's a logo project, you may not need to supply anything but feedback. But definitely no matter the project, be prepared to take an active role in the creation of your project!

It's always a good idea to be prepared, and if you find yourself more prepared than the designer on the other end of the phone - you may want to run the other way. Here are a few more tips to making sure you are a perfect client before you get on the phone. 

  • Check out the designers website and dig into their projects. You may love what you see and you may also find that their style isn’t a good match. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and a designer's site should be full of nice ones. 
  • If you want an idea of their customer service style, check out their social media. If they are responsive and nice you may find a winner. If they never answer any Facebook posts or Instagram comments, it may be an indication of how they will interact with you. 
  • Go on Pinterest and start collecting what you like. Its never a bad idea to show a designer what you like or dislike. Never expect a designer to copy anything you’ve found, it's likely protected by an artist's copyright. Pinterest can offer some visuals to talk about, but it shouldn’t go further than an idea sparker! 

If you found this helpful and are ready to start your project today, use my contact form and let's get started! 

What are your experiences as a freelancer or client? What would your 5 questions be? Comment below!