It’s difficult to design anything from the ground up, particularly if you’ve never worked with a designer or design team before. Turning a concept into a brand is a time-consuming process that can’t be left entirely in the hands of designers; the customer must be engaged to lead the process. As the customer, it is your responsibility to assist the designer in comprehending precisely what is on your mind so that they may best assist you. While it’s easy to criticise the designer for a poor end result, it’s the client’s responsibility to communicate effectively, provide their designer with all of the tools they need to succeed, and guarantee that the best result is achieved. Giving your graphic designer or artist relevant input to take back to the drawing board is the greatest way to get the most out of them.

Speak out as soon as possible

Give frequent and early comments. Nothing irritates designers more than reaching the conclusion of a project and discovering a problem they might have addressed several stages earlier. Early notification of problems saves time for designers and results in a better project since pieces do not need to be changed at the last minute. Take your time looking through the initial draught that the designer sends you, write a note of the changes you’d want to see, and be sure to mention them all during the follow-up meeting. This won’t stop you from making further changes, but it will stop designers from iterating on details and concepts that you impliedly supported. In general, if you don’t notify a designer that anything needs to be modified, they will be unaware of the problem.

Don’t be vague.

Designers will not find helpful hearing statements like “This looks odd” or “Could you make it pop?” while listening to client’s input. Inevitably, your designer’s mind will respond with, “Ok, and….?”. While something may seem strange, expressing so without articulating what you find strange will not assist the designer in resolving the problem. Always be as descriptive as possible while providing comments. Bring samples of styles, typefaces, colour palettes, or layouts you’d want to refer to (and be able to articulate why you like them) or be ready to point to particular areas you’d like to modify. “That seems to be messy,” instead of “That appears to be strange.” “Could we make this easier?” Similarly, be explicit about whatever aspects of the design you favour. If there’s a particular aspect of the design that you’d want to see more of, be sure to mention it. While not everyone needs to be a design expert, delivering guidance does need a basic understanding of the subject. Take the time to browse through resources it may save you time with your designer later.

Instead of talking about your faults, talk about how you can better.

Even while individuals who work in the visual arts and design are accustomed to and responsive to criticism, it’s still possible to irritate your designer by doubting their judgement or being too harsh when recommending adjustments. Approach your connection with your graphic designer with the same prudence and tact you would with a loved one. Try to position your critique around you and your tastes rather than their judgement when criticising an area of a project. When discussing altering a font style, for example, don’t point at your designer’s work and remark, “This font is horrible,” but rather, “I’d want to test a new font here.” Then indicate the way you want to travel.

Pay attention to what your designer says.

If you have recommendations for how to enhance a project, your designer is likely to have previously considered them. If this is the case, make sure to inquire about your designer’s reasons for making the selection they did. You’ll be able to see what your designer is thinking and learn more about their approach and constraints as a result of this. It’s time to start bargaining when you and your designer have stated your arguments. Determine what the designer considers to be essential and important to the project, and then work out a compromise on what may be modified.

Give your designer some leeway.

While some customers may have too few ideas, others may have a too clear picture of what they want to see. If the designer sends you a draught that doesn’t contain all the elements you requested, think about the adjustments your designer made before discarding it. When a designer is faced with too many requests, the end result might seem as if it was developed by ticking boxes on a checklist. Allow your designer to utilise their expertise to produce and expand upon your vision by being flexible and knowing what is and isn’t vital to your product.

I hope you found this article useful. If you need help with a project drop me a line on paul@reformcreative.co.uk and I’ll be happy to help.

Paul

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