Working with a graphic designer doesn’t have to be a painful process. There are a few things you can do to make your project more successful and get better results from your designer.
For years I worked as a graphic designer and web designer at my creative agency, Focus 5 Design. I worked with scores of amazing clients and did everything from logo design to brochure design to website design and development.
I learned a lot about the creative process. I also developed pretty solid ideas on how to ensure a project’s success and make sure I was delivering the best results for my clients.
Today, I’ll share those thoughts with you!
How to get better results from your graphic designer
Start with a creative brief
A must for every creative project is to write up a creative brief and share it with your graphic designer. Your creative brief should include:
- Business name. Be sure to provide the exact business name you want used in your logo or website design.
- Business description. What do you do? Share a little about your business and your industry so they get a feel for what you’re all about. Your value proposition would work beautifully here.
- Target market. Who is this for? Who’s the ideal client or target market you’re trying to reach with this design work?
- Brand personality. What’s the personality you are trying to convey? You could share your brand voice as well as your brand archetype.
- Colors. If you have strong opinions on colors you’d like to use (or not use), be sure to include them in your creative brief.
- Images. Be sure to include a few sample images of what you are aiming for. This is incredibly helpful to designers. You can tell them what you like all day long, but when you can show them, that makes all the difference in the world. A mood board is a great way to share images and ideas with your designer.
Your creative brief will help communicate a lot of what you want from your design project but it can’t communicate everything. You also need to communicate the feelings and emotions you are trying to convey. Meet with your graphic designer, in person if possible, and discuss the entire project before any work begins. This will ensure you are all on the same page from the beginning.
And communication doesn’t stop once the project begins. You also need to communicate clearly throughout the design process.
Give specific feedback to help move the work in the right direction. Saying things like “I don’t like that”, or “show me something different” isn’t useful feedback. In contrast, statements like “Can you make that circle larger?”, or “I’d prefer that section’s background to be a darker blue” is awesome feedback.
Show them what you like
Show them a few examples of logos or websites you like and then communicate exactly what you like about them. “I like the colors of this logo, I like the way the top section of this homepage is laid out, I like the way these blog posts are organized.”
Be clear about what you don’t like
As important as it is to communicate what you like, it’s equally important to talk about what you don’t like. What do you absolutely want to avoid in this design? If you hate purple, or if there are any trends or image styles you want to avoid, be sure to communicate all that up front. This will make the design process faster and more efficient.
Trust your designer
When working with a professional graphic designer you need to put your trust in their knowledge and experience. They may not have the same vision as you, so try to be open to their creative ideas. Don’t try to over-control the process. Give them a little space so they can explore their own ideas and direction.
Don’t settle for so-so
Your graphic designer should be able to work with you to create something you love, so don’t settle for so-so work. All good designers will make changes until you get exactly what you want. If you’re not happy with the results and they’re not willing to work with you, it’s time to walk away and find someone else.
Working with a graphic designer doesn’t have to be a painful process. You can get great results if you keep a few things in mind throughout your project.
Be sure to write up a creative brief and share it with your designer. This will get you both on the same page from the start.
Communicate clearly and often throughout the design project. Be sure to communicate what you like and what you don’t like.
Trust your designer and their creative ideas. They may not see the world the same way you do. Be open to their interpretation of the work.
Don’t settle for so-so. If you’re not happy with the results, it’s perfectly OK to walk away.
What has your experience been working with a graphic designer? Share your thoughts in a comment or in our private Facebook group.