7 Questions to Ask Your Graphic Design Client Before You Start Working

As a graphic designer, you’ll need to constantly nurture and grow your skills. And in the process, the artist in you will eventually develop your own unique style that will show in your work.

This is the reason why designers need to do some research first when they’re about to begin a project with a new client. Conducting an interview of them will ensure that your design skills and creative style, can deliver and meet their expectations.

Below are 7 questions to ask your design client. These can serve as guide in knowing more about them and their business. These will also help you understand their mindset and make it easier for you to see how your design style can fulfill their requirements.

1. Who is your target audience?
It’s important to know who exactly will see your design, particularly the target market of your client’s business. Their demographics and psychographics have great influence on whether your design will appeal to them or not.

For example, a poster design that hopes to invite young urban professionals to an event needs to appear hip and modern. For the poster to be effective, it’s style, content, and message must catch the attention and resonate with these yuppies.

2. What is the message?
Getting the attention of the target audience is just the beginning. The next and more important step is to get your message across through the design. Beyond the text, ask your client the emotion that they want the visuals to convey.

If you’re creating a new logo for a business that sells premium products, then your design should convey a feeling of exclusivity and unique quality.

3. What are the specifications?
Ask as much detail as possible on the output. Clients cannot just say that they want you to design a product brochure. They’d have to say how many pages and the size of the brochure.

Clearing these things up before you even accept the project will help you determine the time involved in the project, and therefore the cost.

4. Where will it be used?
If you’re designing a product graphic, ask where it will be used. Are they planning to use on on their website, business cards, promotional items, and so on?

This way, you can create a design that will do well when placed on these locations. Graphics intended solely for web use can have gradients and a wide color palette; while embroidery calls for simpler logos, with up to 3 colors.

5. Is there a hard deadline?
Find out if the design needs to be submitted by a specific date. If there is none, you will want to create a timeframe for completing the project and present it to the client.

More importantly, if there is a deadline and you feel it is not reasonable, then it’s normal to charge a rush fee to finish it in time. All of these variables should be discussed prior to the start of the work, so everyone involved is on the same page and there are no surprises.

6. What are your design preferences?
Ask the client for some creative direction. See if there are any designs, design elements, or other cues they can give you such as preferred color scheme, typefaces, and other factors.

You can also ask the opposite and see if there are colors that they don’t want to see, fonts that they don’t like, or styles that they detest.

7. Who are your competition?
Of course, you don’t want your design to look similar to their competition. Unless of course, that’s exactly what your client wants and they give you an explicit directive to do so.

On the other hand, you can check out the client’s competition and see how you can produce a design that will appeal more, or get the message across stronger, to their customers.

How about you? Any other questions that you think a graphic designer should ask their clients prior to accepting and working on a project? Do share them below in the comments section.