5 Tips for Working with a Graphic Designer
A common misconception about graphic designers is that we are only concerned with making things pretty. This is far from true. Any good designer will tell you the end goal is always to help your business succeed. That is why it’s so important to have a good relationship with your designer. It lets us do our very best work for you.
To ensure your new project is successful and the design process runs smoothly here are five things to keep in mind:
Make your designer’s life easier and keep the project moving forward by maintaining open lines of communication. I like to set up weekly phone meetings with clients because it helps both sides stay on track and keeps the momentum going. If a client disappears or stops returning my calls, the project stalls and it’s often hard to pick back up where we left off. Obviously unexpected things come up, especially in the world of small business, but if your let your designer know you’re going to be out of town or unavailable for a several weeks, it can save everyone everyone a lot of stress.
Let your designer know everything right from the start. There is no such thing as too much information when it comes to kicking off a new project. It’s important to know who your target audience is, what you plan to accomplish and the overall style of your brand. It’s also good to know in advance if you hate the color red or want your me to try and find a font similar to the one your grandfather drew by hand 30 years ago. If I’m aware of your vision for a project from the beginning, I’m going to do my best to see to it that vision comes to light in a way that is not only attractive, but also functional for your company.
Even if you aren’t working on a design project now, take time to organize all your branding materials, logo files, font files, colors, etc. It’s common to work with multiple designers over the years, so make sure you do your part to help that transition go smoothly. When we design a logo for a company, we always provide our clients with a brand package, which includes vector graphics, a brand guide sheet with PMS and web colors, fonts, etc. Most designers will provide this for you automatically, but if they don’t, ask! And always save these files, because odds are you’re going to need them for future design projects.
Let the Designer Design:
I swear I will not come to your house and try to install a new air conditioner. I will not attempt to sell you real estate. I will not show up and try to teach a kick boxing class, or sell children’s toys or be anyone’s life coach. Those are things you’re trained and licensed to do professionally, and I’m not, for good reason! When you hire someone to do a service, you put a certain amount of trust in that person and their skills, and a graphic designer is no different. It’s my job to study colors, typefaces and all things design related. While I need information to understand your brand and the specific project we are working on, I don’t need you to become a designer. While suggestions are always welcome, design projects are most successful if the client states the issue or goal and lets the designer use their skills and resources to provide a solution.
Let it Be:
Sometimes the most difficult part of a project is knowing when to stop. Sure, we can technically “squeeze one more thing” into your design, but should we? White space is one of the most important aspects of any visual project, so trust your designer when they tell you it’s enough. While it’s tempting to add more information or try something new with a design when it’s reached the final stages, this not only compromises the design, but it also costs time and money. Any designer will tell you they are happy to go back to the drawing board or make changes to a design after it’s finalized, but you can almost certainly expect an added fee based on the amount of work and time needed to complete the project.
The bottom line is we want to make you happy, but this is a working relationship and we each have a role to play. Help your designer do the best work by being a good client, communicating as clearly as possible, providing necessary information and having a little faith.