Seven tips on how to choose the right design team

By: Sara Drawwater

Date: 9 February 2010

The benefits of quality design are often lost because it’s so easy to choose the wrong designers to work with. However, if you choose wisely and get your design and marketing team right your business will communicate professionally, consistently and dynamically. The result of such a winning formula is what we all want – increased business. Follow our seven top tips to choose the right designer.

  1. Go for a broad skill base. You need to partner with a designer who understands the many ingredients that come together to make successful communication tools – a designer who is creative AND understands marketing, communication and business principles. You should be looking for skills that include design, copywriting, marketing, ability to produce web and paper based communication tools and project management. For example, there’s no point in having the snazziest website design if the navigation is so poor people never get past the home page or if the word content of the site switches viewers off!
  2. Portfolio’s speak. Look for a range of design solutions for an assortment of clients. A broad portfolio shows a designer can do what they’re meant to do – successfully communicate different messages to varying target audiences.
  3. If a designer asks lots of questions that’s a good sign. To produce good results, a designer needs to fully understand your business. To find out everything they need to know they need to ask you the right questions. So don’t be put off when a designer asks to meet you, clarify things or even comes up with a design questionnaire!
  4. Go for price confidence. Designers that know they provide profitable solutions are price confident. They won’t shy away from a price discussion but neither will they throw a random price at you without assessing what you need. And they won’t offer massive price discounts as soon as they sense any hesitation from you, rather they will be able to explain what value they offer you.
  5. Be impressed with a detailed estimate. There’s nothing worse than a big black hole swallowing your money. Rather, a quality designer will understand that you want to know exactly what your investment is getting you. Before you invest make sure you know what is and isn’t included.
  6. A good designer will stay in touch. It’s difficult to know if a designer will do a good job of keeping you informed during a project if you’ve not worked with them before but you can often tell from the standard of communication during the early stages of the project discussion and proposal submission.
  7. Testimonials serve as a good guide. It shouldn’t come as a shock to a designer for you to ask them for some testimonials. If they’re any good they should have loads! In fact they should be readily available either on the designers website or submitted in their proposal.

Follow these tips and you should be well on your way to finding the right designer to partner with on a long term basis – a designer who will positively affect your profitability. If you’ve got this far then, well, we tick all of the above so you can always choose us!

This blog post by Sara Drawwater originally appeared at

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