Working With A Designer

How to deal with a graphic designer

Posted on November 11, 2013 · Posted in Design

A good designer/client relationship is based on trust, ‘back and forthcommunication and mutual respect.

An experienced graphic designer won’t expect you to know what a .EPS is or how many pixels make up your photos, they’ll talk to you in appropriate terminology to extract the information they need to complete your brief.

Equally you need to approach your designer with a definitive requirement. You need to know what you want to achieve and be open minded about the best way to achieve it. That doesn’t mean to say your business knowledge and experience of your market isn’t important. In fact it is absolutely vital. But, by allowing yourself to be open to ideas and ‘back and forth’ conversation, you are allowing the designer some freedom of creativity (and their own expertise) whilst also highlighting what is important to you.

“I know what I like when I see it”

This phrase sends a shudder down any designer’s spine. Immediately they now know your main concern isn’t attracting your target audience, it’s appeasing your taste. It also gives the impression they will have to show you many designs until they figure out what makes you tick. The best way to avoid this situation is to draw up a brief. Think about including the key information that needs to be portrayed, the demographic being targeted and current trends. Examples of what you like and don’t like from your own marketplace and others can also help.

“The budget is tight, but there will be more work down the line”

The quickest way to undermine any designer and make them feel undervalued. You might as well say “I’m not willing to pay the going rate for this project, but if it’s successful then I’ll bring you more work”. Avoid this situation at all costs.

Think about your objective and the value of that objective to your business. Then sensibly decide your budget for achieving that objective and what proportion of that budget is for design/marketing. Talk to your designer in terms of investment and how important the design is to your objectives.

“I’ve already drawn up an idea”

Why limit your project to an idea you’ve sketched out in your free time? Draw up a list of what you need to convey and the mood you want to set. Then present this challenge to your designer. This is what you are paying them for.

“How much time do you need?”

This is a realistic and helpful question. It gives the designer chance to explain what is involved and a realistic time frame. It is better to wait a week longer and have a much more successful project than to rush ideas through.

“What are your recommendations?”

Take advantage of your designer’s experience. Consider them a resource that you are investing in. Talk to them about your overall objectives and their suggestions for achieving them. Don’t think of the design work as the polish on your new idea, think of it as part of the success of the project.

“We need to balance quality and quantity”

Talk in real terms with your designer. On a print project, you will know how many brochures/flyers/business cards you need. Talk to your designer about your budget, find out what quality and finishing can be achieved at the quantity you require, within your budget. Talking like this immediately lets your designer know that you see the value in design and print and that you are approaching the project from a business perspective. This is not the same as asking “how much does it cost for…”.

“I already have the copy, photography and information required”

Approaching a designer with well written copy, good photography and a clear indication of your objective will be music to their ears. They know they haven’t got to chase you for that final photo, they can see you have considered your project and put time aside for it and this approach allows them to feel confident in the scope of the work, how long it will take and what is required.

Talking to your graphic designer and seeing your design work as an investment will save you wasted time and money. Utilise your designer as a professional service and monitor your objectives and with the right business relationship you will soon see the value of design.

For more information on graphic design or to discuss your next project get in touch.