the experience

The definitive guide for choosing the right Brand Designer for your small business

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect designer to sprinkle some magic on your brand, you’re in the right place.

As a brand designer with over 15 years of experience working with small businesses, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of a well-crafted brand but that sounds a little biased.

I am always open and honest with any new enquiry I receive about whether or not we are the right match so in this guide, I’m thrilled to share my insights on how to choose the right brand designer for your business…

Define your brand’s aesthetic glow-up

Before you start browsing through designer profiles, nail down your brand’s aesthetic. Is it sleek and chic, or perhaps bold and vibrant? This is the first step to finding a designer who can vibe with your brand’s unique personality.

A lot of independent Designers opt for having a signature style, their work is unique but distinctive to their style. They opt for working this way because they not only love this particular design style or aesthetic but because they thrive within it.

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a minimal and refined brand identity and you’ve received loads of recommendations for one Designer yet, their style is bold, decorative and colourful so it’s unlikely they are right for you. Whilst recommendations are great, you should be looking to work with a Designer whose vibe aligns with your visions.

If you’re on the fence about what or how you think the visuals for your brand should look, my top recommendation is to work with a Designer who doesn’t stick with a signature style, and trust me, there are many of them!

Whether or not you’re looking for a specific style or you’re open to ideas, check for consistency, originality, quality of work and the ability to tell a unique story through their designs.

Industry awareness & instant connection

Seek a designer who not only knows your industry ropes but also adds a modern, fresh twist. We live in a world where trends change as fast as your favourite meme goes viral, so having the benefit of a Designer who gets the inner workings of your industry is a huge advantage for your brand. You want someone who can ride the waves without wiping out.

Outside of industry specialism, look for a Designer who’s not just an artist but a collaborator. Collaboration isn’t just a buzzword – it’s the secret sauce for remarkable outcomes. Look for a designer who values your input, understands your brand narrative, and is dedicated to co-creating a visual identity that resonates with your audience.

Through the copy on their website to their enquiry process, how your potential Designer makes you feel is just as imperative as how their work makes you feel.

Money, honey

In the small business world, budgets are important.

Discussing finances might not be the glitziest part of the process, but it’s essential.

You have two approaches to this:

  1. Seek a Designer who can create impactful visuals within your budget constraints, emphasising value and craftsmanship over unnecessary extravagance.
  2. Invest in a higher-charging Designer, emphasising a proven return on investment (ROI). Despite the upfront cost, this approach relies on the track record of the Designer’s ability to elevate a brand, aiming for long-term gains that justify the initial financial commitment.

Ultimately, the decision hinges on striking a balance between immediate budget considerations and the anticipated long-term benefits of a well-crafted brand identity.

Don’t forget to ask about payment plans if it’s not obvious upfront; often most Designers will provide payment instalments as standard.

Choosing your preferred way or working

Before searching for a Designer, consider what type of working relationship you want. Every Designer has a different approach to their client relationships, so it’s important you also align with their core values.

Are you looking for a designer who’s in it for the long haul – a design soulmate who understands the evolution of your brand and can grow with you? This type of Designer is the kind which will be on hand to help guide you as your business grows and adapts; from website changes to design of marketing materials, view them like an extension of your business.

Or are you looking for a quick brand & website project and then prefer to handle everything else yourself or with your team?

Consider what you may need from them in the future and how their availability may or may not impact this.

Don’t be afraid of waitlists

I know you want everything now but trust me when I tell you waiting for the right Designer is going to cost you less in the long run.

Designers with waitlists often have a higher demand for their services, which is typically a testament to their exceptional skills and reputation. Remember you have a lot of prep-work to do, particularly if you’re planning to have a full website built too which you’ll need to fit in alongside running the business itself – give yourself time and give your brand the dedication is deserves but choosing a Designer with a two+ month waitlist to give yourself flexibility with the prep work.

To wrap up

Choosing the right brand designer is like finding your style soulmate. Don’t rush in without researching and whilst recommendations are great, remember it’s important to find a Designer who aligns with your brand, visions and goals.

Just like when dealing with your own clients, not every designer may be the perfect fit for your needs. Despite glowing testimonials and an impressive portfolio, there may be instances where the chemistry simply isn’t there, and that’s completely acceptable.

The strength of a personal connection serves as a crucial indicator for a successful partnership. It’s imperative that you feel at ease with your choice, considering the substantial amount of time you’ll be collaborating.

From bijou event planners to luxe florists, stationery artisans, and fine art photographers, my experience spans across various small businesses. However, it’s the charm of collaborating with independent enterprises that I cherish the most. If you’re in search of a designer who excels within your industry, I would be delighted to connect with you!

Becky x
Welcome to the BLD Blog

Hello! I’m Becky. A brand identity & website designer for passionate & ambitious small businesses. This little corner of my website is dedicated to sharing the 15 years of experience I have with brands, websites and of course running a small business.

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