So you’ve decided to take the plunge and hire a designer. Now what? We’ve created this blog to help you through the process and to help make your next design project a winner.
Where to Start
“Graphic designers are creative partners in your communications process.” (Clifford 2011)
Whether you’re a large company or a small business, eventually you’ll need somebody to create graphics for your print materials, digital graphics, and overall marketing strategies. Knowing how to work well with a graphic designer can make your process easier, faster, and ultimately save you money. When hiring a designer, you may consider two options:
- Hiring a professional internally
- Hiring an agency
If you would like to see which option is best for you, consider reading our previous blog:
Onboard Your Designer
“Most often, issues that arise are due to a lack of communication and clear expectations,” (Lavelle 2017).
Onboard Before You Start
Often companies will hire a designer and immediately begin to unload projects. The designer will create materials that may look great; however, they may not be to your vision, nor your brand. This will cause you to follow up with multiple revisions that could have been prevented by having less ambiguity. When working with a new designer, we recommend you begin the onboarding process before starting any projects; spend some time with the designer so they can learn your company’s goals, vision, and branding.
Send Your Assets
Provide your designer with your fonts, colours, logos, imagery, past projects, and other elements that will kickstart their understanding of your company. If you’re a new company starting fresh, make sure that you and your designer have a mutual understanding so their expertise can execute your vision.
Ultimately, your designer wants to help you sell your product; they need to have a firm understanding what you’re selling and what your viewers are looking for in order to produce effective, branded, and relevant designs (Clifford 2011).
Designers are not mind-readers. It may take a while for them to understand the voice and tone of your company; therefore provide them with clear communication of your needs. Provide your designer with examples of work that you enjoy, and be specific with the details: are you drawn to specific colours, a particular font, layout, or maybe the overall aesthetic? (Reid).
With clear examples, your designer will have a better understanding of which direction to take with their designs; thus saving you time and money.
Establish Your Needs
Will you provide the designer with all the copy and details for each project, or would you expect them to take a little and own it? (Lavelle 2017). Make sure your designer has access to your existing content; your paid photoshoots, graphics, and videos can be used and repurposed (you can read more about repurposing content here).
Don’t forget that a designer can give an outside perspective on your business! Give them specifics, but also grant them creative freedom and they may surprise you with something special; after all, they are the experts on design.
Avoid giving your designer vague feedback. Be honest with your thoughts; the more detailed you are, the more accurately the designer can craft your vision. Simply asking to “make it pop” doesn’t give much criticism. Be detailed: “the background looks too busy; let’s try more contrasting colours and bold fonts to make the content stand out.”
Be conscious of all the stakeholders that have a voice when it comes to the design. Are all of your partners and managers involved with this decision? Too many conflicting opinions can create problems for your budget and timeline; remember to be focused on the business goal (Reid).
If you must have others with your decision making, make sure you have a united voice prior to giving your designer feedback; having multiple managers asking for different revisions can leave you with a large bill and a frustrated designer who feels like they’re trying to herd cats.
Outline the deliverables needed, and set due dates (Lavelle 2017).
Be conscious of the timeline for your project:
- Communicate the scope of the project
- Deadline for
- Appropriate amount to review, submit
feedback,and revise revisions
- Deadline for final draft
- Ultimate deadline for print/posting
Do you need approval from other stakeholders in your business? If so,
Trust Your Designer
While everyone has their own aesthetic, remember that your designer is working with your best interests at heart. Some common challenges faced by designers and clients include:
Too much text: While you want to say everything, too much text can clutter your design, or become unreadable. Consider where your design will be displayed, if you have too much text on a billboard, or digital ad, your message may not get across, or worse, may not even get approved.
Low-quality assets: One of the biggest challenges with creating an incredible design is starting with a low-quality image or logo. It may seem frustrating when your designer requires a specific file type or image size, but they need these assets to produce your design. It is like building a new home with broken nails, yes you can struggle through and come up with something, but your timeline, aesthetic and quality will be compromised.
How Ello Can Help
Regardless if your a fresh startup or an established company, our team of designers at Ello are savvy and can design you something snazzy. Feel free to contact us whether you have a small project or a series of large campaigns throughout the year; we would love to sit down for coffee and hear about your company!