Completing design projects as quickly and efficiently as possible as a graphic designer is your top priority. But making the most of your time is not always easy, especially when dealing with potential clients who are not sure what they actually need from you. If you find it difficult to gather all the information you need before signing a contract with a new client, you can ask them to fill out a graphic design intake form ahead of time.
This simple request form is a fantastic tool to help you collect information in a professional manner, save time during the onboarding process and improve your relationship with clients. But what is it exactly that you should be asking on this intake form? Read on to find out.
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Questions to Ask Your Client Before You Start a Graphic Design Project
The main purpose of your intake form is to understand your client's needs in full, avoid unnecessary changes, generate ideas to refine your creative work and ultimately develop trust. Aside from collecting the client's basic information such as contact phone number, and billing details, you must focus your intake questionnaire on the following essential elements.
Brand Message & Competitors
Knowing your client's business as well as their primary industry competitors will allow you to create something unique that clearly displays your client's vision. Take the time to understand their strengths, values and target audience so you can design an end product that showcases your client's major selling points.
Here are some questions you can ask in this section of your client intake form.
- Please provide a brief overview of your organization's work.
- What services or products do you offer?
- Who are your biggest competitors?
- What makes your business unique compared to your competitors?
- What are your company's strengths and weaknesses?
- What is it about your company (services or products) that attracts people the most?
- What is your company's vision statement?
- What ideals does your brand represent?
- What is your present client's perception of your company?
- Who is your intended audience? (Include target demographics such as age, gender, geography, lifestyle, income, etc...)
It's critical that you fully understand the new project and the intended use of the final product as different purposes may require particular design considerations. Consider detailing the project's what, why, and when with questions about the project's goals, schedule, and budget. Here are some examples you can include in this section.
- What specific project do you need help with? (Logo design, print design, web design etc.)
- What is the main goal of this project?
- What purpose will the project's final output serve? (Online marketing, in print, elsewhere)
- When should the design be completed? Are there any upcoming deadlines that need to be met?
- What is the project's budget? Is it flexible or fixed?
- How will this design initiative integrate with your current marketing initiatives?
Design Process & Requirements
You don't want to overlook any visuals, copy, or themes that might be important during the design process. So you must include a set of questions to learn about the intricacies of the design request and project requirements. Asking the following questions will help you avoid misunderstandings, back and forth calls or complaints.
- Are there any innovative approaches to this design project that you'd want to try?
- What basic elements of graphic design are must-haves for this project?
- Please provide a list of the design deliverables needed for the project.
- Do you have a favorite or least favorite design motif?
- What aspects of your competitor's branding do you like or dislike?
- Which aspects of your current branding do you like? Which do you dislike?
- Do you presently have any design and style guidelines or resources you'd want to share to guarantee brand consistency?
A good graphic design collaboration starts with clear expectations. You must learn what they want from you during the project and how they would like to collaborate with you. It's a good idea to inquire about their previous experiences with other graphic designers so you can make things better for them this time around.
- Have you worked with a graphic designer before?
- What aspects of your previous experiences did you enjoy or dislike?
- How would you like to communicate during the project? (Phone calls, email, Zoom, in-person meetings, etc.)
- What sorts of documents and file formats will you require?
- How often will you need design process updates?
- Is there any important information you'd like to share with us that we haven't covered in this questionnaire?
Create the Perfect Graphic Design Client Intake Form With Bonsai
Creating polished and branded online forms is a total bliss with Bonsai's client form builder. You can fully customize every aspect of the document, adding your own branding elements, choosing your preferred answer format and including as many questions as you need. Once your intake form is ready to go, you can easily share it with your clients via email, URL link or have it embedded into your business website to collect more leads.
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