It was delightful compliment to design custom wedding stationery for Caroline and Jimmy this past year. From our coffee dates to plan out the projects to her very sweet emails, Caroline was a dream client. Save the Dates, Thank You cards, programs, place cards and even a custom trivia game (so cute!!) were some of the pieces designed to compliment Caroline’s DIY style and bright bouquets.
Here are some of the pieces created just for Caroline’s big day.
A big thank you to Caroline + Jimmy for letting me share a few of their beautiful photos, and to Rachael Stableford for taking such lovely shots of the details.
Being on the same page, or “getting each other” from the start is key to my success with clients. There have been a few times when I’ve started to discuss a project before I realized the client clearly hadn’t looked at my work. I cannot stress enough how important it is to find someone who is already creating the type of end product you are looking for. I don’t go to a barber for highlights, and you shouldn’t come to me for them either. But if you want a clean, contemporary website that features cheerful colours and a well organized navigation, I’m your girl. When I start looking at an inspiration board (see Step 1) I’m not just looking to see what you are looking for, I’m looking to see if we’re going to be a good fit. If I can clearly see our aesthetics don’t match I know not to move forward with the project. Did I just tell you to take your business elsewhere? Well I hope not, but if we’re not a perfect match, it’s okay to go in different directions. We’ll save us both a lot of headaches, and you’ll be much happier with someone who really gets you.
Step 2: Research the Designer
The websites a designer showcases should be the ones they are most proud of, and will likely represent the type of work they are interested in creating for you. If what you find has no resemblance to design of the websites you loved while you were cruising around and making notes, keep cruising and find a designer whose portfolio does. I hope that didn’t sounds like “piss off”, because what I really mean is I want you to L. O. V. E. me. Here are some tips for finding a designer
Do take a close look at the designers portfolio. Do you get a fuzzy warm, “I’m in love” feeling?
Do go to the websites they’ve built and see what they are capable of. Do you like the galleries, how the navigation works, the font choices and layouts?
Do read their testimonials. Are they from mom and dad? or from that website you adore?
Do make sure you’re budget is in line with the designers fees. If they don’t list them, ask!
Do ask for a list of what and when deliverables will be provided to you by the web designer
Do ask for a project timeline outlining key milestone and final release dates
Don’t ask for a website mock-up for you as a free pitch to get the contract. A quality designer will never spend the time to develop a custom design without getting paid.
Have you ever asked someone to build you a website? Did you expect to hand them some money and have a website you love magically appear? Reality check, you’re going to do a bit a more than write a check. It won’t be that bad though, I promise.
I’ve broken the process into a five step plan, so you can tackle one step at a time and avoid the dreaded overwhelm.
Step 1: Get Inspired
To get what you want, you have to know what you want, AND you need to be able to clearly communicate this with the person making your vision a reality. Create a document, or even better a Pinterest Board, you can use to document your likes and inspire your new design.
Here’s one of my web design Pinterest boards to get you started.
Spend some time cruising the web and take notes of websites you like.
Do take screenshots and add notes on your likes and dislikes.
Do include a list of top competitors. You don’t want to look like any of them.
Do make notes on the layout, functionality and messaging of site that stand out to you.
Do include notes on colours, photos, and textures.
Do curate your inspiration board to present a cohesive vision you’ll love for a long time.
Don’t stick to websites just in your industry.
When you hand over your inspiration board, not only will you be able to provide your designer with a clear idea of what you expect, you’ll have a checklist of the features you’re looking for. Bonus!
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming next week!
Do you have any inspiration tips? I’d love to hear about them! Comment below or tweet me @kaitcreative.