Let me guess, you’re thinking of trying an unlimited design subscription by signing up for a free trial to see if you like it or not?
As you may know, unlimited design services are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reasons.
These productised services offer numerous benefits compared to hiring expensive traditional agencies or unreliable freelancers, but there are some things that you will need to keep in mind when evaluating your next design partner.
In this article I will guide you through some key things to consider when starting a free trial and how you can get the most out of it.
Are you ready? Let’s start!
As you may know, most unlimited design services offer all sorts of free trials, ranging from 7 to 14 to 30 days.
Free trials are helpful for testing their design services, allowing you not to make a big commitment upfront.
You can try several agencies to see which one you like the most.
The goal at this point is simple: give them a trial project so that you can evaluate core aspects of the business.
Do keep in mind that sometimes it’s hard to fully evaluate an unlimited design agency from a single one off project, but 1 to 2 weeks should give you a clear idea as to if you like working with them or not.
One important element to consider before starting with your very first assignment is to always schedule an..
Yes, I know that most design agencies work a-synch and don’t include phone calls in their offering - not with designers, at least.
However, it is crucially important to have a first discovery call (which all companies offer, pretty much) with the owner or their HR department in order to talk with a human being about your goals, desires and needs for the type of design projects you’ll be tackling with them.
This is such a huge point and it’s going to really be helpful in picking up initial feedback and data as to how they work, how well can they integrate within your ecosystem and if their company culture aligns with yours.
You should have a clear understanding of things such as how to submit design requests, what design requests are accepted, how you can make the work easier for them and if that provider offers any perks or benefits compared to others.
Keep this in mind: you are likely looking to create a long-term relationship with your design agency, so it’s worth going on a mini-date before jumping right into business ;)
And this brings us to the very next point, which is..
As tempting as it may be to just sign up for a bunch of free trials from several unlimited design agencies, it can be counterproductive if you don’t understand how they operate first.
See, each and every unlimited design service has their own way of operating: this includes different project management tools, team structure and ways of communicating with both clients and their internal team.
These are just some of the questions that you should be able to clearly answer before you sign up with said provider.
I just want to be clear: the goal is not to become an expert with a specific tool or know the ins and outs of a design workflow.
That said, you should have a clear idea as to how that unlimited graphic design service operates and if their processes and SOPs work within your business ecosystem.
When it comes to your very first design request, you should aim to keep it simple.
The reason is that the initial request should help you understand if you work well with that designer or design team. By keeping the project scope small at first, it will be easier to evaluate the working relationship.
For instance, suppose you begin by asking the designer to create a flow to recreate a complex web app redesign. This can be a challenging project to start with due to the numerous variables involved.
The designer might be talented and proficient enough to successfully tackle such project, but it will be easier if they can smooth into it in smaller steps.
On the other side, if you were to assign them a simple project like a logo design, a social media graphic, a simple web page that needs to be designed or anything around these lines, it will be much easier for them to demonstrate their skills and communication style.
There aren’t any set rules, but do consider that sometimes the easiest way to start a relationship with someone is to take it one step at a time.
As the designer starts becoming more familiar with your brand, the better they will be at adjusting accordingly so that you can both create a win-win situation.
When creating your first design brief, it's important to keep it simple.
The more scoped out the work is, the easier it will be for your designer to follow.
Starting with a gradual approach can help the designer become increasingly familiar with your brand and tone of voice, as we mentioned earlier.
Over-communicating can also be crucial.
Another suggestion I have for you is to try out smaller unlimited graphic design services.
While there are big players in the industry such as Design Pickle with large teams of designers, as we say in Italy, sometimes the good wine is found in small shops.
This is not to take away from any of the big players, but rather to highlight that there are unlimited design services available with small teams (or even solo operators) that could be your best bet.
They may have more experience in a particular niche or simply have more agile workflows.
When choosing a design service, keep your options flexible.
If you are looking for a quality unlimited design service, we at Giglio Designs could help you.
We have been working in the design industry for over a decade now and unlike many unlimited design services we don’t outsource to third world countries - we are a very small team of designers with experience working with clients of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to startups that need their first round of funding.
Check out our portfolio and book a discovery call to learn how we can help you bring your business to the next level.
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