Learning as much as you can about your clients’ goals, expectations and resources will help make you a better graphic designer. Understanding your clients means you can craft designs they’ll love, thereby adding stock to your reputation via their word-of-mouth testimonials. To better understand your clients so you can be a better designer, always ask the following 10 questions.
1. What Is Your Business Focus? – La Distributice Identity by Gabriel LaFevbre
Does your client sell coffee and snacks on the corner, or do they manage mergers with international conglomerates? It’s important to get a grasp on what your client does and understand exactly how their business works.
2. What Are Your Marketing Goals? – Premium Lighting by Organ Studio
Does your client want to expand their business to include new franchises and spur nationwide growth, or do they want to simply be the best at what they do in one city?
3. Who Are Your Main Competitors? – ‘Wich by Ken Lo
In the restaurant business, a client could be competing with every other restaurant in town, while other clients in different avenues could have only one or two competitors. Look at their competitors and see how they market themselves with design.
4. What Makes You Stand Out? – Evobike by Peter Olnar
Your client should know exactly how their product or service differs from their competitors. Focus on the benefits of your client’s unique selling points.
5. Who Is Your Target Demographic? – Natural Salads by Jose Ignacio Alvarez
Who is the client trying to reach? Vegetarian women with children? Single men in their 30s who own canoes? Know your client’s audience so you can design for their needs.
6. What Colors Do You Like or Not Like? – Daffodil Cottage Café by Thomas Butler
You may think a color is perfect for a client, but if they don’t like the color, they’re not going to like the design. Ask up front if there’s a color preference before you start working.
7. What Is Your Design Budget? – Vanessa Gate by Jonathan Finch
You may have grandiose ideas for your client, but you need to make sure they have the budget for die cuts, elaborate folders and exotic paper. Stay within the budget and everyone will be happy in the end.
8. Are There Design Examples You Like? – Flower Garden by Milena Wlodarczyk
If your client likes minimalist packaging, for example, then be sure to take that in mind before you start putting together samples.
9. What Is Your Mission Statement? – CEU Institute by Akos Polgardi
Most business-minded clients will have a mission statement. It’s important for your design to reflect that mission as much as possible – and not work against it.
10. Where Will You Be Advertising? – Happy Molar by Shahrokh Moeini
Will your client be working mostly in print or will they be doing television and Internet, too? Some designs do well on the page but not in other types of media. Be sure your designs can easily transfer to other media.