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I often get asked the same questions about ordering products, and I guess that it’s common to have queries when every designer works differently. And whilst none of us go round with a training manual (and until ESP becomes the norm), we’re stuck with old-fashioned communication!
We offer a handy ordering process page to help, but sometimes something more is needed – an explanation into ‘why’ things are done a certain way, and I guess that if you’re not a designer, these things may not make immediate sense like they do to someone who has more experience with hiring designers.
So here goes… the first post in my ‘ordering invitations 101′ series! And if you still have any questions, feel free to write them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them!
Today I’m going to answer the biggest query of them all….
Why do I pay for the design work upfront?
This would have to be the main bug-bear for any designer and any client. A client feels a little uneasy about putting up their hard-earned money (especially for custom work) without the benefit of seeing what the end result could be. The best explanation is to think of a carpenter you hire to build a treehouse. Would you expect him to buy all the supplies himself? Should he spend hours working away at dimensions and plans for free?
This is the same as a designer – we spend hours on proofs and designs, and whilst that’s our job and we’re very happy to be doing it, without the locked-in commitment of the client putting up their money, we run the risk of someone pulling out and then all that hard work has been for free (and not to mention that we are now stuck with some 100 copies of cardstock in an odd honey-wheat colour that is so infrequently used that it will be bound to sit at the back of the supply shelves until self-decomposition!)
That does make it a little bit tricky for both sides, but the best advice would be to look at the designer’s portfolio and make sure you like their previous work. That is the best indication that you’re going to like what they come up with.
Check their ordering process – what happens if you don’t like their work – are there changes allowed within the price you paid? Do major changes cost extra?
The other reason we ask for monies to be paid upfront is a reason that may have been less clear… to protect our work.
Too many designers work for free providing proofs for clients only to find that the client has a free copy of the design that they can now print on their own home machines without paying a cent! When the money has been received however, it is security to the designer to know that the client respects the time and dedication the artist has put into the work.
The cardinal rule is that if the designer is honourable, then they have as much to fear from a bad design as you do – not only does their business look bad, but the design will be forever linked to their portfolio, coming up throughout cyberspace like the proverbial ghost that won’t go away. In this age of social media, any design business that has embraced facebook runs the risk of bad publicity, especially those that like to showcase their work. Try running with a business like this, usually the ones who are open and honest online will be the ones who will also give you great service and design.
Hope that’s helped to answer this problem. Please feel free to leave your comments!