Diet and Exercise

Are you trying to skim off some extra dollars from your budget? Try doing some exercise before getting a quote! One of the biggest pitfalls is expecting the designer to come up with "everything". You can save money by doing some minor legwork yourself. Sometimes there are clients that want a website but don't have a logo or copy. I can make a logo, sure, but it's going to cost you. I can put in copy, sure, but it's going to cost you.

Here are some bits of advice.

  1. Ideally you want to start from the bottom up. Work out your marketing plan and available budget before even trying to go and get a quote from a designer. Plan on getting your logo first rather than at the same time as another project. It will save you in the long run because while I'm working on the website and logo, you could already be handing out business cards with the logo on them. A web presence is good, but your whole company "brand" is going to revolve around the logo, not the website.
  2. When getting a budget put together, realize that anything you don't have (photos, text, existing collateral) is going to make the design process longer and more expensive. I have to scout photos that you have to approve and purchase. I do check out micro-stock sites (more semi-pro level at cheaper costs). If I do writing, I have to do research and you have to approve it. If you have existing collateral you want the design to reflect, it speeds up the design process as I can mimic style and keep your brand consistent.
  3. If you are wanting design done, have examples of other styles and designs you like ready to show me. This will get me an idea of your design style and also keeps my concepts in line with what you would approve of.
  4. It's not always good to jump ahead and purchase a website domain before anything else. Sometimes, web hosts offer free domains within their hosting packages (like 1and1 which I use). Keep that in mind when you are getting ready to have web design done.
  5. When thinking about your website, keep in mind that additional pages cost more money to quote so think ahead. When you want a product page, do you also want subpages for different product categories?
  6. Make sure your designer is proficient on the spot and keep with that same designer (why ditch someone that works well with you and produces results that work?). The designer should be someone you feel comfortable working with and can trust. The designer should be good at what they do. So many times I get a client that had a previous designer work on the project and they were unfamiliar with proper design techniques in that medium. A logo created in Photoshop is going to looked pixelated and blurry on a billboard. Make sure your designer knows what they are doing. Look into their clients, references, educational background, etc. Your design is an investment, and you want to make sure the most able person is working on it. You don't want to invest into a designer that can't do the job and then have to pay someone else to recreate it.
So you may notice that even through all your exercise, you are still gaining weight. Remember, muscle is heaver than fat so it might take a while to notice results but it's going to make your company stronger, more attractive, and will cost less for design in the future!

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