Tags – What to Ask Before Starting a Graphic Design Project
Each design project you work on will come with its own unique goals and potential problems that your client needs solving.
So it wouldn’t make sense to just dive in once you’ve received a brief without asking any questions.
Think about it, how annoyed would you be if you’ve spent hours on a project, to what you believed was your client’s objective only to find out you’ve missed the mark completely?
Short answer – extremely!
Sometimes, there may even be clients who aren’t exactly sure what it is that they want, but by asking the right questions early on, you can ensure you’re both on the same page.
After all, time is limited and by getting all the answers you need as soon as possible can result in a design project being completed quicker and therefore meeting the client’s expectations.
So, here are 5 important questions to ask your clients before starting any graphic design project (no matter how big or small!)
1. Who is Your Target Audience?
Besides understanding the client’s design specs, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the target audience.
One reason being, it can give you a better idea of the colour schemes to use for example; unless this has already been specified.
For instance, if they’re trying to target a younger audience then perhaps they’d respond better to brighter colours as opposed to an older audience who may prefer something a bit more minimal.
Overall, target audiences have an impact on the style, content and theme hence why it’s important to identify who the graphics are for.
2. What is Your Message?
Every graphic design piece you produce carries a specific message, so of course you will need to know what this is beforehand.
For some clients, the message can be as simple as creating a straightforward graphic for celebrating a milestone, and for others, it could be a complete rebranding.
Most of the time, clients will tell you what they want to communicate through the design but if they don’t, you’ll want to ask them what their message is so you can deliver this effectively through your graphics.
3. Who is Your Competition?
Understanding the client’s competition is a good way to brainstorm project ideas that will give them an edge and stand apart from the crowd.
If your client doesn’t mention their competition, ask them.
Doing so will help you to see what your client is up against as well as understanding their business better.
In addition, it can help you to avoid creating something that is similar to a competitor’s branding – it is possible!
4. Are There Any Other Design Specifications?
Of course you will be given a brief to begin with, but sometimes it won’t include all the specific details you need to execute your graphic design project.
Therefore, graphic designers should take the initiative to ask questions based on the information already provided.
For instance, if the brief states a logo design, you’ll want to ask questions based on the colour schemes, if there’s a tagline to go with the logo, what specific symbols or imagery to use or avoid, do they want a simple or abstract design? etc.
Digging deeper into the design specifications will ensure both you and your client have the same vision in mind.
5. What is the Deadline?
We’ve all heard the saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
And neither are graphic design projects.
As obvious as it may seem, you need to know your deadline in order to meet client expectations and create a proper timeline for completion.
Regardless of what the project is, it will without a doubt require careful planning as well as first, second or even third drafts – it takes time to create something of quality.
At the same time, it allows you to be realistic with your timeframe; for example if a client asks you to design a 20 page magazine in just a couple days, you can explain how long you would need.
Lastly, asking a client for their deadline allows you to plan ahead to manage your time more effectively in the long run.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few of the things you will need to be aware of before beginning any graphic design project.
In order to avoid missing the mark, asking these questions will help you get the ball rolling and get a better understanding of your client’s needs – the more you know early on, the more likely you will create high quality designs, which we’re sure your client will appreciate!
Please get in touch for more information.
In the meantime, check our Graphic Design services.