8 Things You Need to Know When Working with a Graphic Designer

Small businesses need marketing materials, which means you are going to end up working with a graphic or a website designer from time to time. Working with a graphic designer can be very time consuming, but it is not something that should be rushed. Marketing your small business is vital for your business to be successful and if you rush the process, it can end up being a waste of valuable resources. And of course nobody wants to waste their time with unsuccessful marketing campaigns. To help make the process successful and less stressful, you should follow these 8 helpful tips.

1. Set Realistic Time Frames

You might not realize just how time consuming a certain project is, so listen to what your graphic designer has to say. Many things, even just cleaning up an image, require the use of specialized skills. A professional designed piece, for example, is not going to happen overnight. Sit down with the graphic designer and agree on deadlines for all phases of the project, including first draft, final proof, and the printed piece.

2. Provide Examples

Describing what you are looking for in terms of a design is often challenging, instead use examples whenever possible. You need to keep in mind that the design process is not solely the graphic designer’s responsibility; it is the two of you working together. The graphic designer needs to come up with the original artwork, but you providing them with examples will give them a clear starting point on your vision.

3. It’s Just a First Draft

Always remember the first draft is just that, it is a draft. No matter how experienced the designer is, it is unrealistic to expect perfection straight up; it is simply a starting point. This is where you can offer suggestions on what can be changed to help align with your vision.

4. Don’t Give Generalized Feedback

When giving feedback, use constructive criticism and avoid general observations. For example, don’t just say “make it pop”. Explain to them exactly what you want to see on the page. You might want a wow factor, but that can be subjective and your graphic designer can’t read your mind. Tell them what you want for the wow factor, be specific in what you want it to include.

5. Think About The Components

Fonts, color, images, layout, and the overall aesthetic are the five main components in graphic design. When offering feedback to the graphic designer, try to comment on each component individually. Breaking the piece down into the components, helps you to see exactly what you do or don’t like, such as I like the colors, but do not like the font. This is much easier to work with rather than just saying you don’t like it.

6. Don’t Be Controlling

Trying to control every aspect of the design process always ends badly. You need to give the graphic or website designer room to work, give them some creative freedom, and listen to their input. If you try controlling them too much, they are going to end up losing interest in the job, which means they just throw any old thing together for you. If you feel that the designer doesn’t understand what you want, it’s probably true. Rather than take control, talk to the designer and find examples of what you want.

7. Ask Questions

You are paying a graphic designer for their creative talent, but you are still the client. If you are confused about what they are doing, why they selected a certain image, ask them about it. Get them to clarify it for you. Likewise, if you’re designing a website, and you’re unsure of how something will work once it is built, your website designer should be able to clearly explain the functionality to you. If you are confused, chances are your audience or users will be confused too.

8. Know When to Quit

Perfection is almost impossible to obtain. The closer you are to a project, the easier it is to lose your perspective. You need to know when to halt the design process, rather than continue agonizing over it. Sometimes you have to embrace the better aspects and just move on.

Remember there is no exact right way to go about designing your marketing materials. It is a collaborative process that relies on realistic expectations, excellent communication, and patience for a successful outcome.

This article was contributed by Magicdust, your small business website designer delivering 100% Australian owned and operated websites and online marketing solutions.

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