Hiring a design professional is a process – and it should be. You will need to be able to work closely with whoever you hire, and this cannot be done if you are unable to establish a basic rapport with the person or company who will be creating your professional image.

Below are some questions you can ask a designer or design company before hiring them to work on your project.

Do they have an understanding of your industry and customer base?
Obviously, designers cannot be all-knowing, so do not dismiss someone offhand if they do not have in-depth knowledge your particular industry. However, if someone lacks such understanding, they should express a desire to do research and learn about who you are and what your customers are looking for.

Just because a designer has done websites or logos does not mean they have done the type of site or logo you are looking for. Within each area of design there are different specialties – one might be an expert in font creation but have little experience in abstract illustration. Make sure your designer’s strengths match your project needs.

Do they have advice for you?
You can learn a lot about a designer if you ask them for their take on your current branding/design situation.

Do they have a system for communication and project completion?
Good communication is critical to a successful design project. As is a history of meeting deadlines.

Do they offer reasonable estimates in terms of price and delivery?
Good design is like any other professional product. You get what you pay for. However, some designers will high-ball estimates if they think you have a big budget. If you think this is an issue, you can ask how they have arrived at their estimate. An ethical designer will have an answer for you. Also, look out for designers who offer the moon for delivery in less than a week. Too often a rushed delivery schedule will deliver a sloppy final product.