How to be a Graphic Designer’s best friend

Written by Monica McInnes.

Often people use a graphic designer for their creative skills – perhaps for a new or refreshed logo, business card and stationery, or an advertisement, brochure, catalogue, poster, or any other marketing tool.

But before you speak with a graphic designer here are a few inside tips on giving them the best information so you get the best result.

More often than not it all comes down to your brief. Don't be fooled by its name though; the more details you provide, the better! It'll assist them in having a greater understanding of what you want them to produce and the outcomes you wish to achieve, and ultimately create a design you love!

Most graphic designers will ask you a lot of questions before they get started on your project, but to ensure you're prepared here is a list of the sorts of things most graphic designers want to know.

  • Tell them your story. They need to know more than just your business name. How long have you been in business? Why did you start your business? What is your business all about? What is it well known for? What products or services do you offer? These are just some of the sorts of questions to start thinking about before you meet with your designer. Your answers provide valuable insight into your business and some handy clues for designers to create memorable visuals to reflect your brand and identity.
  • Be clear. Do you want something new or an evolution of something old, or something to fit with what you already have? Do you want to keep the main visuals but want the colours changed? Or vice versa? These points may seem irrelevant but they are key to removing any confusion.
  • Think about colour. Colours have a great influence. Red is strong and powerful but can also make you hungry. While blue may instil trust and confidence or alternatively leave you feeling sleepy. Also don't just focus on the colour itself but the tone of it too – Navy blue? Sky blue? Baby blue? Each will evoke a very different response. Relevance when thinking about colour is also important.
  • Do you have any rules for us to follow? Specific guides around dimensions, colours, fonts, logos and images are very important – please provide them at the outset if you do, along with any files that may be of use. These rules and essential elements are all part of the design puzzle – any missing and the picture is incomplete.
  • Who are your competitors? The last thing you want is your design outcomes to be similar to your main competitors. By knowing who your competitors are your designer can ensure they steer away from competing visuals. This is particularly important in relation to logo design.
  • Who is your target market/audience? Who do you want the design outcome to appeal to? Who are you selling to? Your graphic designer needs to know the demographics they are designing for as it will more than likely effect they visual approach taken. Not knowing this can lead the graphic designer down the incorrect path and waste time and money in the long run.
  • Describe what you want to see. But be careful not to pair contradictory statements – for example: 'I'd love to see something flowing and fluid, that is also masculine and bold' can work in opposition of each other. If you are unsure how to describe things, brainstorm with your graphic designer – sometimes talking your ideas through can help.
  • Proofs and drafts are exactly that. When you receive the first design draft there is still room to move. Design is a process and sometimes revisions are required until you're happy with the finished product. When giving feedback though remember to be as specific as possible. Simply stating that you don't like it will not get you the best result. Try to explain what you would like changed, let your designer know the specific elements that don't work for you, and also those you like and think work well.
  • Show examples. Sometimes showing your designer some examples of things you like and don't like can really help articulate what you are after far greater than a narrative. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Like with all forms of creativity, graphic design can be very subjective with people's likes and dislikes varying greatly. Often people think they are doing a designer a favour by giving them free reign in the design department, but some time brainstorming ideas together can result in producing something both you and your designer feel good about. It's also great practice to think about what it is you want your designs to say about your business. Sometimes meeting with a qualified marketing expert in conjunction with a graphic designer may assist you in achieving your desired outcomes.

Remember, if you are using a qualified graphic designer they have had formal education in this field. They always have your best interests in mind, and want your visual presence to be as awesome as you do!

Here at Jam Media we love helping bring our clients' design dreams to life – let us know how we can assist you in doing so.

Tags: Graphic Design

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