Are you thinking about hiring a designer for your business? Before you start searching for the perfect fit, there are a few important factors to consider. In this blog post, we’ll discuss five things to keep in mind when looking to hire a branding expert, so you can find a designer that understands your vision and goals, and who will collaborate with you throughout the entire process.

This blog post is part of the conversation I had with the lovely Krista Marie from She Calls Her Shots podcast. If you would like to listen to the full episode, please check out the link below.

Why work with a designer?

Investing in professional design is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your small business in order to create a strong and memorable identity for your brand. A designer can help you define your brand values, goals and personality, and translate them into a visual language that resonates and connects with your customers.

But more importantly, a strategy-driven designer can help you position your brand where you want to be within your industry. As part of my branding process, I research and analyse your customers, competitors and market trends, to help us identify what sets your brand apart and what makes your products unique.

5 things to consider before hiring a designer

1. Your business goals

What is it that you want to achieve in your business? Do you want to have the freedom to work whenever you want, to change the lives of others or to make a positive impact on the planet? No business goal is too big (we like to be ambitious at Kind & Ivy), and understanding your goals can help you narrow down your search for the right designer, the one that’s the perfect fit for your business.

For example, if you have a product-based business and one of your big goals is to sell your beautiful products in all the local shops, you’ll want to look for a designer that specialises in packaging design.

This will also help your potential designer put together a more detailed proposal for your branding project, tailored specifically to help you reach those ambitious goals. This way you can ensure that all the deliverables you receive are exactly what you need for your business, rather than multiple designs and assets you’ve paid for, but will never end up using.

2. The timelines

Good design takes time; for strategising and researching, figuring out the best options or designs, and creating a unique visual identity. This means branding projects usually take a few months to complete, especially if you have a lot of products that need packaging design or you require a custom-built website for your business. A few things to keep in mind before reaching out to a designer:

  • When would you like to launch your new branding? A lot of designers and studios tend to be booked a few months in advance, sometimes even longer. If you want to re-launch your brand in the next 4 to 6 months, the time to reach out to a designer is now.
  • What time of the year is it? Towards the end of each year, most studios tend to be fully booked or close their calendars for the rest of the year, so they can focus on finishing their existing projects.

If you’re in a real hurry to get your business launched, some designers offer brand-intensive packages or VIP days, which allow you to re-brand your business on a much tighter deadline.

3. Your values

While aesthetics can be a good way to choose a designer, I strongly believe that your designer’s values are just as important, if not more. While this is not something that’s talked about much when choosing service providers for your business, it’s becoming more and more important.

People are moving towards buying from brands that share their own values and boycotting businesses that don’t align with them, so partnering with a designer that shares your values is another way to showcase how important they are to your brand.

4. Your budget

It’s the conversation that all small business owners dread, so I hope that what I’m sharing below will help ease the conversation for both you and your potential designer.

Pricing for branding projects varies a lot, based on experience, the number of people involved, the value and deliverables you get and so on. The are numerous factors that influence how a designer or studio prices their services, which is why you can find wildly different price points within the industry.

Working with a designer is an investment in your business, so I highly recommend having an estimated figure in mind for what you can afford or are comfortable spending on branding. Speaking from the designer’s perspective, it helps us tremendously to know your budget because it will allow us to understand how to approach the conversation and whether we can work together or not.

I know how uncomfortable or embarrassing it can be to say that number out loud to your potential designer! We never ask this number to catch you out or judge – we honestly want to know if our numbers align and how we can work together.

5. Your personalities

Working closely with a service provider can be quite a personal experience, especially if you’ve poured so much of yourself into your business, so it’s important to work with someone you can get along with. One of the biggest reasons I always invite potential clients to Welcome Calls before working together is that I want both of us to get a chance to meet each other and see how we connect.

Depending on your designer’s own process, you’ll probably have a few meetings with them, so choose someone that makes you feel relaxed and at ease. During my Brand Strategy Workshop, I ask quite deep questions about the business and it’s so always much easier to be honest and open with someone you trust and like.

If you’d like to read more on the topic of rebranding or whether you should invest in working with a designer or studio, I’ve dedicated an entire blog post to the signs that your branding is ready for an update or you can ask yourself the 5 important questions that tell you it’s time to outsource branding.

5 things to consider before hiring a brand designer for your small business

Brand identity

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