The Do’s and Don’ts of Working with a Graphic Designer: 5 Tips to Help Smooth the Process
Businesses, whether big or small, all have to consult with a graphic designer at some point or another (unless of course they themselves are graphic designers, in which case, this article is completely useless to you). When you’re reaching out to a graphic designer, it’s because you have a vision, or a message, or a point that you want your graphics – be it your logo, color schemes or typography – to get across to the world and your field of business. This concept may seem simple, but getting from point A to point B can actually be a very long, complicated process with many roadblocks and detours along the way that will see details getting lost in translation.
We at Design Grafico have a philosophy that we approach each new client and project with: Do the homework. Keep it simple. Work with clients for the long-term. A huge part of putting this philosophy into action and making it work is communication: making sure the dialogue between our clients and ourselves is clear, concise, and comfortable. To ensure this happens, and to help this happen for you, we’ve put together a short-list of Do’s and Don’t’s to working with a graphic designer:
1. Work within a schedule
Go to your graphic designer with a tentative timeframe of when you expect to have the project completed by. Understand that there are multiple steps between the first meeting and delivery. Approach your designer with a timeline breaking down when you would like to see different stages of the project by, be it first drafts, modifications, final proof or ready-to-print. Be up-front about your project’s timeline from the beginning, so both parties are aware of the timeframe they have to work within.
2. Know what you want
When going into a meeting with your graphic designer, it is essential to remember that what you envision in your mind can be interpreted a multitude of ways. When explaining what it is you want, words are good – but images are better, so when you say “blue” or “retro”, make sure those adjectives are accompanied by visual representations that match up to what you’re picturing. Aside from getting your ideas across better, this will also save you on time by avoiding all the back-and-forth you’ll be doing until you and your designer are finally on the same page. By being specific, you’re sharpening the focus for your graphic designer and allowing them to see what it is you’re seeing.
3. Deconstruct your constructive criticism
Understand that your feedback throughout the process is an important element in the success of the final product. However, one thing that can leave the creative process of your product in a stalemate is feedback or commentary that is too generalized. A generalized critique will not help address or adjust the details that need to be altered. It’s best to approach your critique by breaking it down, and evaluating it compartmentally. This way, you can be specific where you need to be within the graphic elements at play, whether it be the typography, the layout or the colour scheme, to name a few.
4. Don’t shy away from questions
At the end of the day, your graphic designer may be handling your project, but it’s still your baby. If you have questions about the direction it’s going in creatively, speak up. If you have doubts or uncertainties about some of the artistic choices made, let them be known. The client’s satisfaction is every graphic designer’s goal, and that can only be achieved if the line of communication remains open throughout the entire process.
5.Trust in your graphic designer
We understand: you have a vision. Like we said in point number four, this is your baby – just don’t forget that that’s why you hired your graphic designer in the first place, you want the best and you want a professional handling your baby. Allow your graphic designer the space and freedom they need to successfully fulfill the creative mandate you’ve asked of them. When you’re dealing with a designer, you’re not dealing with a machine producing standard carbon-copy graphics. Try to see your graphic designer as a sculptor moulding your graphics from scratch, infusing your ideas with their own creative touches. There’s a reason they call graphic design an art form.