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A good graphic designer will ask as many questions about a project as possible. The more you know beforehand, the better you’ll be at designing your client’s needs.

It’s also a great way to avoid many revisions, build rapport with the client, and get returning clients. So, which questions should you ask your client before starting a graphic design project?


Why Ask Questions

Before looking at the questions to ask your client, it’s important to understand why this step is necessary:

  • Avoids project failure: Asking questions helps understand the project’s expectations, avoiding project failure. It’s a great way to enhance any project’s success rate
  • Saves time: When you understand the client’s expectations, you eliminate the back and forth that comes with making revisions
  • Shows professionalism: Asking questions is a great way of doing due diligence about the client’s business, which shows professionalism


Questions to Ask Clients

Questions About the Client’s Business

The first questions should be about the client’s business and industry. Here are questions you may consider asking:

1.    Tell me About Your Company

Clients often assume you know a bit about their business or brand; it’s not always true. Asking about the company allows them to tell their story in their words. It’s an opportunity to ask about the company’s background information to understand its market, competitors, and brand.

2.    What Sets Your Business Apart?

This question helps you identify the client’s unique features. You learn the company’s main appeal and highlight it when designing its logo or other features.

3.    Take Me Through the Company’s Project Workflow

Find out how the company checks off the project’s deliverables. Determine the hours they’ll be able to work with you, their preferred modes of communication and if your work requires approval from a supervisor or other official in the company. Understanding all such protocols beforehand helps you identify the people to liaise with in case of design changes.

Define the Audience

Understanding the client’s audience helps you deliver a design product that resonates with them. Questions to help you know them include:

4.    Who is Your Target Audience?

Understanding the client’s audience helps you develop an accurate customer profile. Identifying the most suitable communication technique to reach out to them is also easy.

5.    What is the Target Age Group?

The target age group determines the design style, color, and shapes to use. A younger audience, for example, is more inclined to brighter and flashier colours, while older people would prefer bold and formal shades. Asking questions helps you put all such aspects into perspective.

6.    Is Your Product for a Male or Female Audience?

Some brands have gender-sensitive products, and understanding this audience helps design logos or graphics that resonate with them.

For example, a company whose products are more feminine will likely use warmer and brighter colours as they’re more relatable to that audience.

However, if the client has a mixed audience, you could use more gender-neutral elements when designing.


Ask about the client’s expectations. This will give the client the impression that you’re a professional who understands their work.

7.    What are Your Expectations?

The client should state what they expect from you and the project. You also set the project deadline and agree on how to handle revisions or changes.

8.    What Do You Need to Achieve with the Design?

Find out what the client wants the project to do for the company. Do they want to increase the brand’s awareness? Are they launching a new product or re-inventing their brand? This information can help you develop a design brief with a statement of goals and prioritize them.

Learn About the Brand

Knowing about the client’s brand helps tap into their hearts and minds when designing. Some questions to help you understand these elements are:

9.    What are the Company’s Strengths?

This question can help you identify the client’s competitive edge, which goes a long way in getting a general idea of the design they want.

10. What is the Company’s Mission?

Find out the company’s core values, mission statement, and beliefs and incorporate them into the design.

11. Who are Your Competitors?

This question helps you understand the client’s competitors and their industry. This information lets you identify recurring patterns that could work for your client’s design project or make it stand out.

Questions about the Design

You want to know the client’s expectations about the design. Here are questions you could ask:

12. What Makes a Good Design?

Find out how the client evaluates a design’s effectiveness. What features do they look at when assessing the design?

13. Which Designs Do You Like?

Learn about the creative work your client admires and ask why they like it. Such details can help you understand their preferred style, colour, or typography.

14. Which Designs Don’t You Like?

In addition to knowing what they like, find out design work they don’t like and why they feel that way. The answer can help you understand what not to do or include in their design work.

15. How Would You Like Your Design to Look Like?

The client should tell you about the project deliverables right away. This information helps you understand the scope of work, materials required for the project, and ways the work will be used.

16. What Size Do You Need the Final Design to be?

The size of the final deliverable impacts the project’s overall design; hence, it is necessary to determine its size. Do they need a small or large deliverable? If the latter, you can use large images or more detailed graphics.

17. What Format Do You Want the Final Deliverable in?

You need to find the most suitable format for designing the item. For example, a client who wants to print the design later prefers a JPG or PDF format.

However, a vector format like AI or EPS would be better if they plan to edit it. Ask about this feature beforehand to deliver a design that meets the client’s needs.

Budget and Timeline questions

Every client has a budget and timeline they don’t want to exceed when executing a project. Finding out about these details before embarking on the project is important. You could ask:

18. What is Your Budget?

The client’s response helps you determine the time and effort to allocate to the project. If the client has a small or limited budget, you may need to sacrifice to complete it within that budget. Sometimes, you may need lower-quality materials to avoid exceeding the budget.

19. What is the Timeline

Knowing the timeline from the onset helps you plan your workload and deliver the project on time. As such, you want to learn about the project’s entire time frame (from start to finish) and the deadlines for each phase. The client must be as specific as possible to ensure you meet them.

20. Are the Project Deadlines Flexible?

The client should also explain if the project deadlines are flexible in case you need to change your schedule. If there’s no such provision, informing them beforehand would help them plan accordingly.


Paul Simiyu

Founder and Team Lead of Simpaul Design, a brand strategy and design agency in Nairobi, Kenya. Here at Simpaul Design, we work with brands across various categories with a focus on connecting with consumers and building brands that people want to be a part of. We specialize in brand identity and strategy, UX/UI, and brand transformation.

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