Important factors regarding bidding out to designers or design firms:
1. The creative level may be VERY different from one designer or design firm to the next.
2. It's helpful for the designer/design firm to know who the competition is in order to size up comparable creative talent and skills if bidding to other potential candidates.
3. The saying "you get what you pay for" couldn't be more accurate when working with different levels of designers. Pricing should carefully be evaluated by the potential client and understand that the LOWEST price certainly doesn't dictate the HIGHEST quality of work the client is hoping to achieve with this creative investment.
4. Established designers/design firms know that the design estimate is just that, "an estimate," and the final price may or may not be the exact price of the design proposal but instead a way to gauge the client's projected budget for the professional quality and scope of design work requested. Once the designer has a better understanding of the client's budget, he will be able to inform the client of what can or can't be achieved based on this budget.
5. If any of the other candidates are NOT asking very similar questions to the ones mentioned above, that is a very good sign they do not understand the business or creative process as clearly, resulting in a very high probability of miscommunication for the future working relationship with the client... making for a bumpy road ahead and should be avoided at all costs.
6. A designer/design firm that IS asking the right questions such as these is much more likely to see the same vision as the client is as far as reaching their goals within their projected budget, message/branding needed to achieve such work with the creative services requested, etc... making for a very smooth road ahead.
As we all know, finding a good qualified designer to perform a task which they claim to be a "professional" at, is becoming increasingly more difficult. Including and verifying these details whenever contracting someone for a design project will increase your chances of receiving a professional product that will give you the credibility and confidence you need in this competitive business world.
And Remember: Great Design is an investment - not an expense.
Working with the right designer is essential to building a strong working relationship and getting the most out of your marketing needs.
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