So you’ve finally decided that it’s time to level up your business’s visuals, but you’ve found yourself stressing out about decisions and the process of working with a designer. Outsourcing your business’s website design and the process of working with a designer can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of designers to choose from with varying processes and investment costs.
Do you need to hire a copywriter before investing in the design of your site? Do you need brand photography? Are you going to have to manage website edits on your own post-project? The list of questions you’ll be asking yourself before you invest is never ending, trust me.
But let me put you at ease a little. As a designer with years of experience, I’ve found a process that has been proven to work. My clients fall in love with their brands and websites and feel confident to make edits to their sites on their own after working together.
To create a web home that will attract your ideal clientele, it’s important to start with your business’s branding. Brand Strategy and Identity Design is included in every one of my website design packages. Without branding, your business lacks the consistency and strategies that create a professional brand.
Before you invest, let’s dive into the process of working together in detail to leave you ready to say “YES” with absolutely no hesitation.
I like to start every project with a complimentary discovery call. It gives us the chance to get to know one another and set expectations before ever committing. You can schedule your discovery call by filling out the contact form on my website.
Once you fill out the form, I’ll set aside time to review your inquiry. On our call, we’ll discuss the packages that best fits your business needs. You’ll then receive a custom proposal detailing what’s included with each package, an estimated timeline, and custom quote for your project.
Once you review the proposal and decide what package you’re ready to invest in (along with any add-ons!) I’ll send over a contract that outlines nitty-gritty details about our time working together, along with an invoice to pay your deposit to secure your spot on my project calendar.
When you’ve signed your contract and paid the deposit, you’ll receive onboarding materials including a custom project dashboard in Notion, one of my absolute favorite business tools. In your Notion dashboard, you’ll find a video tutorial that outlines how to use it during our time working together. This dashboard was created to make the process of working together as streamlined as possible. And as part of the onboarding process, you’ll complete a few action items in the dashboard that will help set us up for success.
The Pre-Project Assignments might seem like a lot at a first glance, but they’re essential to the success of our project. You’ll answer questions about your business, your audience, and your aesthetic tastes to give me a better idea of how to create a project that you’ll love without sacrificing strategic design choices.
To kick off the project, we’ll meet for a strategy call on the first day of your project timeline. During this call, we’ll review your answers to the pre-project assignments and dive deeper into the “why” behind your business. I’ll use our findings from the call to conduct further research on my own, which includes taking a look at competitors in your marketplace to brainstorm how we can make your business stand out from the competition. All of these findings will be added to a strategy proposal and presented to you before we ever start looking at the designs for your business’s branding. It’s my job to not only make sure that you love what we create but to make sure the designs are backed with real reasoning and intentional design decisions.
As part of the strategy proposal, you’ll also be presented with a curated mood board. One of the pre-work assignments asks you to create a mood board (with an instructional video of course!) to help me get to know you and your aesthetic preferences. After working through the strategy, I’ll take a look at your mood board and fine-tune it to create a visual direction that matches you and your style, but still allows you to differentiate yourself and attract ideal clientele.
The final part of the Strategy + Visual Concepts Proposal is the color palette and typography curation. Based on the package you choose, your brand will include anywhere from 5 to 8 brand colors. It’s important to not go over that amount, as things can start to get a bit, well, chaotic. When creating color palettes for brands, I first like to consider color theory and the emotions that certain colors evoke. I’ll sometimes use an eyedropper tool to pull from the mood board, but always end up refining it and comparing the colors to my beloved Pantone swatch books. I’ll fine-tune the colors until I find a set that works well together and matches the direction of the project.
To create your typography collection, I use a fun little template I’ve created for myself behind the scenes to try out a bunch of different font combinations. With most projects, I present a font choice for headings, subheadings, and body copy, but will sometimes find an accent font depending on the extent of your project. Both the colors and font decisions will be presented to you in an easily digestible mockup so you can start to envision the direction your brand is headed before heading into the fun part.
With every logo design project, I always start out by sketching with good-old pencil and paper. Sketching gives me a way to get all of my ideas out of my head before ever touching the computer and assures you that the concepts I present are the best of my ideas. After sketching and deciding on a direction, I’ll either pull the sketch into my iPad to refine it or start brainstorming and refining it on my computer.
With every concept I present, I’ll show you all the logomarks and different colorways mocked up on collateral or stock photo backgrounds to help you grasp the feeling of what your brand will look like in a real-world setting. You need to spend time taking all of this in because as your designer, I want you to love your brand, but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to forget about the designs through the eyes of your customers, they are the most important people to consider after all.
After you leave feedback on the feedback form, I’ll spend some time making any refinements as necessary. Typically, every client gets to rounds of refinements, but that doesn’t mean they’re always needed, in fact, I’ve had plenty of projects where the design is approved right away!
When you leave feedback and your brand gets close to finalization, I’ll start finalizing your brand collateral as well. With every full brand project, you’ll get the choice of up to two collateral pieces, which makes the value even better. Most clients choose a business card and email signature, but the choice is up to you!
Once this phase is wrapped up, the branding is complete! With every branding project, you’ll receive the project files in PNG, .JPG, .PDF, and .SVG formats. You’ll also get a comprehensive Brand Style and Strategy Doc that outlines colors, fonts, logo usage, and more. If we’re working together on your website, you’ll also receive the Content Writing Guide around this time. Read more about that here.
It’s my hope that you’ll find the process of working with a designer to be easy and streamlined, no matter who you work with. My goal is to set you up for success throughout our time working together. I want to give you the tools you need to feel confident and ready to chase your biggest business dreams.
If you feel ready to invest in your brand and/or website design, head to my contact page to get started.