Studio Ostendo operates in multiple creative fields including photography, design, and education.
Starting a new branding identity project can be daunting. There are costs, timelines, working with an outside brand designer, implementing, and questions of value of services. For many companies, these barriers are overwhelming enough to stop the branding process before it even begins. In this article, we’ll cover how to effortlessly book a brand designer by covering five simple steps things:
Designers are known for sharing images of their work—it’s what they enjoy most about their chosen discipline. Many designers gather in common places like Instagram because of the visual nature of the platform. Other brand designers join social sites like Behance or Dribbble which were created specifically for designers. All of these social hang-out spots, however, don’t tell the full story of a designer’s prowess.
The best place to get an understanding of a designer’s style (if they have one) is on their website. Many designers put their style at the forefront of their portfolio sites, and their style oftentimes seeps into their client work. Now, if you know what style you want, it’s easy to choose a designer that works in that style. For many clients (and the work of the best designers, if you ask me) the brand should be predetermined before choosing a designer. That’s like me telling a lawyer how to fight my case before hiring them—I’d rather trust their expertise.
The best place to get an understanding of a designer’s style (if they have one) is on their website.
Find a brand designer who makes quality work, then move on to the second step in this process: Ask Questions Early and Often.
Once you’ve found a brand identity designer with a strong portfolio, making the kind of work you’re interested in, give them a call, fill out their form, or request a quote. Not sure if they work with clients like you? Ask them! Not sure if they’re able to do what you’d like done? Ask them—the worst they can say is no, but if the answer is going to be ‘no’, then odds are they’ll refer you to someone qualified and trusted to get your work done.
Don’t be afraid to ask designers more questions too. When I visit the hardware store, I like to wander around the aisles, while my wife finds the closest worker and asks them where to find what we’re looking for. Guess who gets the result faster and with less effort—that’s right, my wife. So ask questions of designers you’re interested in no matter how small. This will get the conversation going and will give you a sneak peak into what your working relationship might be if you work together.
Looking at the results can be something you do when looking at a brand designer portfolio, or when asking clarifying questions. Rather than ask a designer about design work (which is an oxymoron because you’re looking for a designer to develop good design in the first place!), ask them about the results they’ve recently gotten for clients. For example, a designer might say something like:
“The last client we worked with to develop a brand and website gained 2–3x the amount of clients they expected to after their brand launch.”
“After designing a new brand identity at the start of the pandemic in 2019, our client has seen 8% growth in enrollment year over year.”
Rather than ask a designer about design work [...] ask them about the results they’ve recently gotten for clients.
As business goes, it’s much easier to communicate in these kinds of terms than in design terms. Plus, the mark of the best brand design agencies is that they track this information and cheer for their clients’ success. This leads right into the next section: Compare Value Gain, not Price.
When trying to book a brand designer, businesses can be weary of prices. Websites like Fiverr and 99Designs prey on this fear and drive prices of design as low as they can go, which is fine for some. For others, it’s a trap. Instead of trying to get a deal and price shopping through great designers until you hit rock bottom, compare the results of the best brand designers.
Let’s look at a quick example and some simple math using an average K–12 Private School as the example.
On average, tuition for a private school student is $5,000—some rates are higher and that’s not all gross profit, but we’ll imagine it is for this example. If a new brand identity costs $5,000, then the school only has to enroll one more student than it would have otherwise as a result of its new branding to break even. If it enrolls two more students, it’s a 2x investment. Three more students, a 3x investment, and so on. For a school like Central Wisconsin Christian who went from 350 students in 2019–2020 to 422 students in 2022–23, that’s a 72x investment! That means that even a $50,000 branding cost would have been well worth the value it brought to the school.
These kinds of results are achievable for any business looking for a new brand or a rebrand. For that reason, it’s important to look at the results and then compare value gain. No $15 logo is going to add that much value to your business.
Once you’ve reached out to a designer, asked them questions, heard about their results, and weighed the value of their services, booking will be a breeze. With a clear understanding of what results you want to achieve and what the brand designer or branding agency is able to offer you, you’ll be able to sign contracts and get started right away.
Generally, designers and design agencies will ask for a retainer payment up front before getting started. Again, you can use these last few steps to make sure you’re working with a professional, but there shouldn’t be any hesitations left.
In just 5 simple steps, and by changing the way business owners interact with brand designers, booking a brand designer can be effortless.
Be sure to share this article with someone who’s been thinking about a new brand design project or a brand identity redesign project to give them the information they need to effortlessly book a brand designer!