How to work successfully with your graphic designer!
Forming a good working relationship with your graphic designer is essential in small business. To stand out from the crowd, you will need to develop a strong brand image that is consistent across all marketing touchpoints – from your website, social media platforms and online ads, through to your stationery, packaging, point-of-sale, signage and everything in between.
And your life will be a whole lot easier if you have a fabulous graphic designer on hand. Someone who understands your business vision and shares your passion for your brand.
But it’s a two-way process. Great design requires not only a great brief, but also an open and respectful partnership.
So, we asked two of our amazing graphic designer friends, ‘What are your top tips for successfully working with your graphic designer?’
Kary Fisher, graphic designer & illustrator shares her top 3 tips:
1. Be sure of exactly what you need before briefing a designer
It doesn’t help to be wishy-washy and not know your customer base or clientele (and there’s where good marketing advice comes into play). By all means, ask for the designer’s advice, but if your brief is blurry they won’t be able to help.
Here is an example of a clear, concise brief that would great to work from:
‘I have a candle business that requires a rebrand in order to appeal to a more high-end market. I would like to reflect the quality of the product in a new logo and bring the packaging in line with this new identity. It should reflect the natural properties of the product, yet appeal to women who are willing to spend money on a high quality, beautiful product that will be part of their décor. Can you tell me what the process is for developing a new brand identity and how much could this cost?’
2. Don’t try to bargain
It’s not good to start out by saying, ‘I’m a start-up so I don’t have much money to spend. If you do me a deal, once my company is making lots of money I will give you more work.’ If you want good work, you need to pay for it like any service. Our computers and software are expensive. You wouldn’t ask a plumber to do work for free, would you? However, if you give your budget limitations, you can discuss what can be done and what can be built on in the future when the business is making more money.
3. Create a good relationship with your designer
Give them concise and relevant feedback, enough time to do the work, and pay them within their payment terms. Tell them when they do a great job, so they know what things you like so they can do more like it. Don’t be afraid to say that something isn’t right for your brand (or you just don’t like it!) – as long as you explain why, and hopefully you can work together to create the perfect work.
Give them as much background on the vision you have for your business. Enthusiasm is infectious! If you have a good relationship with a designer, they will look out for ideas relevant to you, and possibly help you out when there’s a last minute job that has to be turned out in a few hours, last minute.
Eddie Ayoub, Director of Ice Vision Creative reveals his top 3 tips:
1. Give your designer creative freedom
It is really important for clients to give a designer creative freedom, and to trust their creative output as a designer. If a quality, reputable designer is given a strong, concise brief, then for the best results, they need freedom to create. I always say, don’t hire a designer if you’re not going to trust him/her with the work.
For example, don’t insist that a designer uses a particular colour simply because you think it stands out more (yet it looks ugly or wrong!). Trust your designer’s guidance on colour schemes that work (and those that don’t!) and arrive at the best possible solution together. Working in partnership will deliver the best result for your brand.
2. Respect the number of rounds of changes
When a designer quotes for a project, they will generally include details of the number of rounds of changes permitted within that price. Proofing your designs carefully and providing concise feedback to your designer is essential in order for you to stick to this part of the agreement. It’s important to respect a designer’s time and not to provide feedback in dribs and drabs. This will simply result in multiple rounds of changes/edits. Not only is this time-consuming for both parties, it will also be potentially expensive for the client as the designer’s additional time will be billable by the hour.
3. Provide realistic deadlines
It is important to give a designer sufficient time to work on and develop a brief. Of course there will always be last minute emergencies that crop up, but for the most part, design jobs can be planned for. Expecting high-quality graphic design work overnight is unrealistic. My tip is to plan ahead, give your designer as much time as possible (remember they are working for multiple clients) and to build in time for edits and reviews. Your designer is much more likely to accommodate urgent design jobs if you have a strong work ethic and a well-established working relationship.
A huge thank you to both Kary and Eddie for sharing their tips. Here’s to building successful and harmonious relationships with our graphic designers!
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