When you want something to look great, you turn to a graphic designer-someone with the talent to transform text and images into a design that makes a statement. Once you know you need a graphic designer, however, how do you budget for your project?
THE SECRET TO A GREAT DESIGN PROCESS? A SOLID CREATIVE BRIEF
Design projects start with a creative brief (aka a design brief), a document often written in collaboration with the graphic designer, which captures all the information necessary for them to get a home run with the work they do for you. This document may include:
- Background information about who you are and what you do, including your industry, products, and services.
- Your business goals as well as the objectives for this particular project.
- The scope of the project, which outlines the parameters for the work to be done—including how you plan to use the final product—and any deliverables the project will create.
- An overview of your competitors, including trends that may impact your campaign.
- Your target audience(s) for this project.
- Brand guidelines the designer should be aware of, including tone, color pallette, overall messaging, and style.
- A list of any copy (i.e. text) and images to be included in the project—including who will provide it and when.
- The project timeline, including any milestones.
- The project budget-which will be shaped by the information included in the rest of this document.
If your project has a tight timeline, you may pay a premium (i.e. a rush fee) so be sure to start work as early possible. There are three simple ways to cut down on the time involved in your project:
- Be specific about what you want in the creative brief, then give the designer freedom to create. Being too vague about what you have in mind can add time through multiple revisions.
- Prepare any related materials ahead of time. If you want to include copy, have it written and edited to a length that’s appropriate for the product you want—and make sure it’s finalized before work begins, or the time involved can balloon as the design shifts to accommodate changing copy. If you’re including photos or other images, check to ensure they have a high enough resolution.
- Keep the review and approval process as simple as possible. Having more people involved typically means a longer timeline if not also additional round of revisions, and a designer may factor that into their pricing.
Here are some general time estimates for popular projects, including variables that may have an impact on how long it will take—and ultimately, how much you pay for the work.
|PROJECT||TIME ESTIMATE||VARIABLES INCLUDE|
|Flyer||One hour to 10+ hours||
|Logo||Five hours to 20+ hours, possibly over several weeks||
|Infographic||Four hours to 20+ hours||