Why does a designer want to know the budget?
The cynical answer is so that they can spend it all, but this is not true.
There are multiple reasons why a designer would want to know your budget, and to exploit it is not one.
Knowing the budget allows a designer to fully appreciate the scale and scope of the project and attribute time accordingly.
The last thing you want is a project requiring additional funds to complete halfway through.
A good designer will always advise what she or he is capable of within a budget, which may be more than you had expected.
A considered and qualified opinion can be provided only by knowing what is available.
Why do you not want to share your budget?
It is not unusual in business to be careful about sharing budgets or expectations, as this can affect your ability to negotiate a deal.
But, this is based on the assumption that the other party maximises profit or margin.
A designer needs to get paid for their work, but more importantly, the budget dictates the amount of time that can be applied to a job.
And this is the thing – not all branding projects are the same; there is a large scale for scope.
Some projects are to create new brands or packaging, but more often than not, it’s the essential support work like posters, adverts and brochures.
Scope and Scale.
Every branding project is unique in its audience, core values, specific markets, positioning etc.
A food branding project can be for a local artisan producer looking to be sold locally or could be for a global producer looking to create a brand that can be sold in various countries.
It would be unsustainable if there were one price for both; what is involved is similar in principle but hugely different in Scope and Scale.
The entire budget for the artisan producer might be completely taken up in the initial branding investigation for the global brand due to the amount of work involved.
Share and prosper.
So if you trust your designer, sharing your budget for a project will benefit both of you.
You will benefit from the designer’s experience in advising what exactly can be achieved within the budget and why avoiding any misunderstanding or differences in expectations.
The Designer will benefit from having a much better understanding of how much time can be allocated to each stage of the job and ensure that the project runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Any changes mid-project or missed opportunities to maximise the time assigned will impact the result and possibly the cost, and no one wants additional bills.
Trust and confidence are key to producing the best work possible, so take the time to know your design team.
The better the relationship with your designer you have, the better the work will be, and not getting this right could cost you more than just your budget.