What they won’t tell you about hiring a brand designer

October 21, 2022
By Claire Xue

*DIYed your brand in the past, or *Not yet decided whether to DIY or outsource, yet, or *Wondered whether the financial investment into a brand design package would be worth your while. We’ve all been there. Whether you’re enjoying the infancy stages of your brand’s evolutionary process, or you’re a few years in, brand design is a big decision, and an even bigger investment of your time and money. So, should you keep on DIYing your own brand design, or should you outsource instead?

" it’s important to optimize the timing of that investment, as much as possible. "

When you should DIY

Truthfully, we believe everyone should invest in an incredible brand designer at some stage of their business. That said, it’s important to optimize the timing of that investment, as much as possible.

If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, just getting your feet wet in the world of running your own brand or business, stick with DIYing things for a bit. If you’re a side hustler, or someone who is just now taking the time to test an idea, invention, product or vision out, DIYing your brand is a fantastic way to allow a bit of flexibility in the creative process, and in your operational expenses. 

Case in point: good brand design requires a fairly hefty investment. Once you’ve decided to take the leap and book a brand designer, you’re going to want to be *really* sure that this is the final and right brand for you. Getting professionally branded too early in the process could mean that you’re branded for an audience you don’t yet know or feel comfortable with - so, get to know your audience and their needs, and then invest. Until the time is right, there’s nothing wrong with a little DIY.

At the end of the day (or month or year), getting started is far more important than being perfect. Don’t let a full brand design, or lack thereof, hold you back from launching.

(and if you are DIYing your brand… you’ll want to scroll to the bottom of this blog post)

When you should hire a brand designer

Now, if you have a brand that is deeply rooted in visuals and visual marketing, prioritizing an investment in brand design is crucial. For some businesses who do not rely heavily on branding and visuals (say, a lawyer, accountant, business consultant, financial planner, etsy store owner), a full brand design package might not be immediately necessary. Those brand owners tend to be trusted and respected for their work that exists outside of the visual world, and likely don’t heavily rely on vivid or vibrant graphics, packaging or experiential websites. 

If you’re a brand owner with a visually-focused business, you might immediately be wondering, “okay, but when do I make the actual investment?” Truthfully, our advice would be to wait until you have a good nest egg in your savings - there’s nothing worse than making an investment that feels too big to be comfortable. 

Many brand designers will offer payment plans, which are great. That said, we’d recommend holding off on the investment until you do have the full amount ready and able to spend. From there, you’ll have flexibility to sign up for a payment plan (why not, right?), and have the peace of mind of knowing that the money is already there, ready to be spent. Brand designers are people and business owners, too. They get it - be open and honest with your brand designer, share your goals and needs, as well as your budget. Ask them what their thoughts are, and if they’d be able to create a proposal based on what you’ve shared - ask about their policy on payment plans and installments. 

Ultimately, it’s up to your brand designer’s discretion to decide when, how and where to collect payment from you. But, it can never hurt to be candid about your situation and needs, and politely ask if that’s something that they can accommodate. If not, no harm, no foul - it just wasn’t the right time yet. 

“okay, but when do I make the actual investment?”

Finding a brand designer

We figure you likely had a brand designer in mind, before even opening this blog. That’s the power of social media, and the benefit to learning and loving others’ style, far before booking.

However, if you’re on the hunt for a brand designer that fits your brand’s vibe, style and mood, try checking out hashtags on Instagram, or using brand-specific keywords in Pinterest. This is a super easy way to locate brand designers you love, and get in direct touch with them.

Try perusing platforms like Behance, Visual Journal, Mindsparkle Mag and The Brand Identity. All three are a great place to source and search for up and coming brand designers.

Now, once you’ve gotten a handful of brand designers whose work you enjoy, try to speak to at least 3-5 of them. Schedule a phone call to get to know them, and see if you two connect well. You’ll want to ask questions like:

  • How many people would work on the project?
  • Who’s the main point of contact?
  • What would deliverables look like, based on my budget of ___?

Just to name a few! Of course, deliverables on any project will look completely different, according to that specific brand designer’s style and workflow, and your budget. That said, there are a few non-negotiables when it comes to your brand design investment, and we’ve created a guide to help you make sure you get every single one. Click here to download our guide - you’ll get access to insider tips on brand design pricing tiers and deliverables.

Our informal advice? Before you even schedule a call, sit down and write out a few of your must-have items. These might change or grow a bit after speaking with your brand designer, but it’s important to remember that this is an investment coming from your hard earned money - you deserve to make sure that the brand you finally end up with, is exactly what you need. 

                                      Access our Brand Design Deliverables Guide

Moodelier’s experience

In our experience, it was important to invest in beautiful, scroll-stopping branding, as soon as possible. As you know, we’re a brand entirely built around visuals and content creation, and we knew that a unique brand would be integral to our growth and success.

We took the time to research our favorite brand designers, and ultimately landed on the one that we constantly said, “it’d be a dream to work with them.” It was a 5-figure investment with a small to mid-sized brand design agency, and the process took roughly 2-3 months in total. It was worth every minute, and every penny. 

Ultimately, it all comes down to timing. If now is the right time for you to take the financial leap and invest in a brand designer, we’re here to cheer you on. If you’re in a growth phase and want to save up some funds to make sure your investment is the perfect one, we completely understand. DIYing things takes a level of self-taught skill that you’ll hold with you, forever. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

Speaking of DIYing your brand… if you’d like a few tips or tricks on building out beautifully  branded content, you’re going to want to join the waitlist below. We’ve got a new course coming out that includes a couple of graphic designers who have dedicated their time to teaching you and I how to create branded content and social media templates. It’s a good one 👀

DIYing your brand? Join our course waitlist 👇


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