As an independent graphic designer, you want to make the most out of your time and complete design projects as quickly and efficiently as possible. But sometimes this is challenging, especially when dealing with clients who don't know what they want. If you're having trouble getting the right answers, and struggle to open up the conversation about what your client prefers, you may be asking the wrong questions.
Luckily, you can implement a graphic design client questionnaire as part of your onboarding process to learn about the client's project in detail and upfront. This is a great graphic design tool to help gather the information you need and build a better relationship with your clients. But what are the golden questions you must include in your questionnaire? Read on to find out.
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Questions to Ask Your Client Before You Start a Graphic Design Project
A good graphic design questionnaire should help you fully understand your client's needs, prevent needless revisions, develop trust and help you generate ideas to polish your creative output. While the specific questions you include may vary depending on your specific niche, there are a few elements that you must cover to get the most valuable information while creating a sense of involvement in the design process among your clients.
Let's go over these must-have elements and provide some example questions to put you on the right path.
Brand Message & Competitors
Getting you to know your client's business, as well as their main competitors, will help you come up with something distinctive that clearly represents your client's vision. You can make a design that highlights your client's advantages by being aware of their strengths and emphasizing their key selling features. Plus, your client might not even be aware of their own abilities, so asking the right questions can help them dig deeper and even provide more solid project goals.
Try including the following questions in your questionnaire.
- Give a one or two sentence summary of the work your organization does. What goods and services do you provide?
- What distinguishes your company from your competitors?
- What are your company's weaknesses and strengths?
- What draws people to you most?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What is your company's mission statement?
- What values does your brand stand for?
- Which phrases could you use to define your brand?
- What impression do your clients currently have of your business?
- Is your industry being affected by any trends right now?
Learning about your client's target audience is key to making this project a success. When you know exactly who the graphic design should appeal to, you can create something that is truly relevant and beneficial for your client. Make sure to inquire about as many aspects as you can think of because this will give you more valuable design elements to include, especially if your design will be used in marketing projects.
Here are some example questions you can include in your client questionnaire.
- Who is your target market? (provide age, gender, location, lifestyle, income, and other target demographics.)
- What impression do you want your audience to have of your company?
- When people interact with your brand, what are the top 3 things you want them to consider or feel?
- What drives their utilization of the goods or services you provide? (need vs. want)
- How does your target market decide which products to buy?
This section will help you fully understand the project objectives, timelines and budget. It's important to learn more about the final product and how it will be used as this can entail specific design considerations. Think about covering the what, why and when of the project.
Here are some questions to help you gather all the information you need.
- What is the specific project you need assistance with? (Website design, logo design, print design, etc...)
- What is the objective of this design project?
- What will you use the project's ultimate product for? (internet, print, other)
- Please list the design deliverables that the project requires.
- By when do you need to have the design ready? Are there any deadlines to meet in between?
- What is the budget for this project?
- Is your budget fixed or flexible?
- How will this design project fit in with your existing marketing campaigns?
- How would you define project success?
Design Process & Requirements
You'll want to find out about your client's peculiarities and requirements. These questions will make sure you don't overlook any copy, graphics, or themes that might be crucial to keep in mind during the design process. Avoid back and forth calls, misunderstandings and complaints by asking the following questions.
- Do you currently have any design and style standards or materials you'd want to provide in order to ensure brand consistency? (Fonts, logos, color schemes, or additional design components)
- Do you have a color scheme in mind if you don't intend to use the existing brand colours? Do you have a color you don't like?
- What essential components of graphic design must there be?
- Do you have any fresh ideas for this design project that you'd want to try out?
- Are there any design motifs you particularly like or dislike?
- What do you like or dislike about your competitor’s branding? If possible, give an example URL and explain what you like and don't like about it.
- What features of your existing branding do you like?
- What about your existing branding do you dislike?
To make this a smooth graphic design collaboration, check with your clients about what they expect from you during the process, and how they would like to work with you. Additionally, asking your client about previous experiences will give you a good insight into what you should and shouldn't do in order to deliver a quality product.
- Have you ever collaborated with a graphic designer? What about your experiences did you like or dislike?
- How do you prefer to communicate during the project? (Telephone, email, zoom, face-to-face meetings, etc...)
- Are there any additional details you would like for us to know?
- What documents and file types will you require?
- How would you want to offer feedback?
- How frequently will you require design process updates?
Create the Perfect Graphic Design Client Questionnaire With Bonsai
Ready to create your own questionnaire? Use Bonsai's client form builder to create a professional and branded document that you can share with all of your clients via email or URL link. You can also have your questionnaire embedded into your business website to help you collect leads and get more clients. Our forms are fully customizable so you can incorporate your own branding elements, add as many questions as you need, and choose your preferred answer format (multiple choice, single choice or text).
Bonsai also offers a wide variety of administrative tools to help you with client onboarding, invoicing, payment processing, taxes and accounting. Plus, you can apply for our fuss-free checking account and keep all of your business finances under control. Start your 7-day free trial today and join the thousands of independent professionals who are already enjoying all of these benefits!