May 23, 2020
3 top tips for finding a surface designer

You are a new brand looking to launch your very first range of beautiful products, but you need a print design to bring your collection to life. Here are a few helpful hints to those of you looking for the perfect designer to complete your creative project!

Check their handwriting style.

This does not mean getting them to write lines on a page!

A designer's “handwriting” can also give insight into how they illustrate, the themes that they enjoy drawing, and what media they like to create with (pens, pencils, and watercolours, etc. ) This is where your Instagram-stalking skills will actually come in handy! Do your research and scroll away through their online portfolios and Instagram pages.

They will show you what they love working on and what they excel at. You can then compare this with what you have in mind for your print brief. If you really love what they do, but perhaps aren’t sure if they would be able to create the kind of design you have in mind, there is no harm in asking.

Personally, I will always be open if I don’t think I can deliver what my client is asking for in the style requested. This way both you and the designer are more likely to be happy with the end result and hopefully achieve it much quicker too. Bonus!

Do they know how to prepare a file for printing?

To save yourself time and your chosen factory any confusion later on in the production, always check with your chosen designer on how they will deliver your files.

Layered PSD or AI files are usually preferred by factories, these should be accompanied by Pantone references (if you are not specifying the colours to the designer).

Lastly, if possible, a clear print specification document outlining how the artwork will be printed. Having this information from your designer ensures more accurate samples and strike off’s before bulk production starts. Having to re-sample because of an incorrect print can prove very costly!

Agree on your budget and cost before they begin working.

So, you’ve found your perfect designer & they can provide everything you need. Now to agree on the cost!

Surface design can involve a lot of back and forth, to ensure you are 100% happy with the work. Some designers may charge for amendments on-top of the basic print price (so check this beforehand).

Personally, I prefer to offer my clients an all amends included price (within reason of course!). If there are lots of amends it usually means that either myself or my client has bypassed point 2 of this post...

I hope these tips are helpful to those of you looking for the perfect designer to complete your creative project!

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