You might think that my opinion on this is an against-the-grain one. I’d argue that most branding designers (ones that actually love and are educated in branding) just kinda “do” websites too because they had a few clients ask if they could and so they just kinda started adding it on.
The same goes for website designers that also do branding. There are unicorns for sure that do amazing strategic work with both. Or maybe they have a team, and projects are handed off to people depending on skill.
I’m going to argue that you should use different people for your branding and for your website design.
People can't be amazing at all things all of the time. Trust me, I’ve tried 🤦♀️. If they have the right help they can have others do it, but most of the time they’ll even self admit they’re better at, or love, one skillset better than the other.
Both your branding designer and your website designer likely have majorly grown one skill over the other. They probably do have some skills in the opposite craft, or they wouldn’t be gutsy enough to have both offered as services, but there’s still a big difference in being ok at multiple things or being great at one thing.
The processes should feed each other yes, with the branding being completed first, no doubt. You can accomplish them as needed, sometimes it’s nice to have your branding in place and work with it, get a feel for it, then you’ll know how to best implement it altogether.
There are a few pros of having it all be done by the same person, and it can work in some cases. There’s less to communicate back and forth between two people. The timeline total could be less when they’re combined. Files will be in one person’s hand for handover, although a great brand designer will leave everything in place for a web designer to pick up from anyway.
A great analogy (sometimes overused analogy) is one of doctors. Your general doctor vs your pediatric orthologist. We learned this one first hand. Currently, as I write this my 3.5-year-old is in a FULL leg cast for the summer. The regular doctor put him in one as a “rough and tough splint” as he searched x-rays for a fracture. The pediatric ortho doctor who looked at his x-rays said “kids his age don’t show fractures, but from the way he’s acting he sure has one.” He just knew. He was good at his skill set, his SPECIFIC skill set. He’s not also trying to see and fix adult legs, only tiny ones like my little guy. You’re going to be able to interchange things but they are not the same skill set. Specialty always wins.
At one point, we actually offered both Branding and Website design. We would hire it out if we got “in over our head” but for the most part, if we’re being honest, clients got 75% of the best branding and 99% of the best website design. (Nobody’s perfect right?!)
But the point is, as someone who once offered both, and could offer both, once we realized we actually serve our clients better by making them have their branding completed by another designer, we stopped offering branding design and focused solely on Website design.
We make sure the branding we receive is SOLID before we begin to strategize about the website. It’s in the best interest of their business, their clients’ best interest, and the website project overall to make sure their branding is strong before entering into website strategy.
So if you’re planning to hire a website designer or build your own website yourself just know it doesn’t have to always be done by the same person/place. There are actually really great benefits to separate them and few people do BOTH really really well.
Lacking some confidence in your design skills? Wanting to start designing websites for clients but not sure where to start?
What if you knew every step (in the right order) to go from idea to development... and clients actually love their final website?