small business

How Do I Know if I've Found the Right Designer?


It is kind of like dating. You don't need to play the field, but you want to make sure it's a good fit.

So, how many designers should you date before you know she/he's the one?!

Our happiest clients have done a little research before hand. They have probably looked into two or three, maybe had a call with another. It doesn't hurt our feelings. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable in your choice!

Personality, over all style, and the technical details are a few good things to think on as you consider your designer.


Would you and your designer enjoy spending time together? Long walks on the beach, anyone?! Ha. But in seriousness - would you look forward to meetings and calls? Do they seem trustworthy and honest? Usually you can answer these questions within the first 10 minutes of a call. Most of our work comes from referrals, so you might have the added bonus of talking with a current/past client. This one is generally not something you have to think through deeply - it's more of an unconscious feeling. You know when you know, you know?


Do you like your prospective designers portfolio? More importantly - would your audience like it? I love when clients come to us with a Pinterest board or collection of images. It helps us establish a visual preference and find some common definitions for words like words like "traditional," "modern," and "classical." You don't want the designer's portfolio to be all over the place, but you also don't want to see 10 pink watercolor logos in a row. You should be looking for a focused "look," with some room for flexibility. 

Budget / Timing

I listed these two last because these are generally the most flexible parts of any project. You want to make sure your budget aligns with the designers rate sheet. As far as timing - it's very common for designers to be booked out into the future by 1 or 2 months. (The onboarding process can take a few weeks in some cases, so the wait time is definitely not wasted.) After talking with you, they will be able to give you a loose timeline and may ask for a deposit to hold your spot.

Oh! Bonus: One question I love to hear from prospective clients - "What sort of personal projects are you working on?" I love it for 2 reasons. Number 1 - I love sharing about my product line and daily sketches. Number 2 - When you hear about someone's personal projects, you see where their head is at and the direction they are leaning in. If that aligns with your business, you know you're in for some fun. I think we've had a soft spot for makers lately because Dusty and I are both working through the challenges of launching our own products.

This is one of those rare areas in life where you get to pick who you work with. Have fun with it! Don't be afraid to date a few designers before deciding they are the one. 

If you'd like to check out our rate sheet and learn a little bit more about our process, head to the contact page and drop us a line! Can't wait to here from you! 


Best Creative Business Books of 2016

I am a big, big reader. Dusty prefers skipping the page turning and hearing what I’m learning over dinner. Haha. Even though I love books, I have cracked open a “best selling” business book and found it extremely discouraging. Probably because the way we do business is changing. The people starting businesses are changing. I’ve found the best business books for me are the ones that have heart and soul as the foundation. I’m not one for loads of statistics and graphs. I care more about the why and how. How much and the likelihood of getting your way in business are not at the top of my list. Here are some of our favorite resources that have helped us grow our business in unexpected ways.



Do Purpose - Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more
David Hieatt

(if you struggle with staying inspired)

This book was given to me in a swag bag at a Plywood Retreat. I love opening it up to any page and finding a small piece of encouraging wisdom. It’s a great book if you like to read in small bursts. I could also see it working well if you wanted to go through it as a team. Some great little nuggets in there!



In the Company of Women
Grace Bonney

(if you struggle with feeling alone in your struggle)

YES! All the yes! This book has such a diverse group of women business owners. I love learning about how other women are navigating this lifestyle. Being an entrepreneur seems to have both super glamorous and unglamorous moments. I love that Grace Bonney has collected BOTH experiences and shared them in this beautiful book.

Present Over Perfect


Present over Perfect
Shauna Niequist

(if you struggle with burnout)

I read this book in a period of despair. Is despair to strong a word? I’m not sure. Dusty and I had to navigate some interesting business situations and take a hard look at our process. I was becoming overworked and not really seeing the light at the end. (Have you been there, too?) This was a great book to help me recenter.



Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Greg McKeown

(if you struggle with saying no)

I read this book around the same time I read present over perfect. I feel like this might be the Present Over Perfect for men? I loved the solid evidence that focus can bring greater rewards even if it’s hard to say no to seemingly great opportunities.



How to Style Your Brand
Fiona Humberstone

(if you struggle with staying on brand)

This book helped Dusty and I tighten up our logo and branding design process. It’s full of gorgeous photos and if perfect for a small business owner wanting to learn more about alignment and branding.

What books have you enjoyed lately? Anything I should add to this list?