7 ideas for higher collaboration

Studying the right way to work with a graphic designer for the primary time could be intimidating. You’re primarily handing over your whole model identification and repute to a whole stranger, however dangerous because it sounds, it’s the neatest factor you are able to do from a enterprise perspective.

So long as you know the way to correctly collaborate together with your graphic designer, your closing product will ship past your wildest expectations. However don’t overlook: this can be a artistic subject, so issues work a bit in another way.

Illustration by OrangeCrush

Right here’s our record of the 7 greatest ideas for working with a graphic designer. Simply take note of these and we are able to guarantee you that you simply’ll get the very best product in your time, vitality and cash:

  1. Present, don’t inform
  2. Determine your wants first
  3. Begin by agreeing on particulars
  4. Phrase suggestions as issues, not options
  5. Welcome designers into your staff
  6. Overexplain
  7. Hold an open thoughts
  8. Easy methods to write a design temporary 

We’ve additionally requested a few of our High Degree designers to weigh in with their opinions so you’ll be able to hear what works greatest—straight from skilled designers themselves!

1. Present, don’t inform.

Virtually each shopper desires a design that “pops.” However what does that imply? You is perhaps considering, “I’ll comprehend it once I see it,” and your designer might be in the identical boat, so why not present as an alternative of inform?

An example mood board
Temper board for a sportswear model. Designed by valelle.

Fairly than utilizing phrases, present your graphic designer what you need with visible examples. Acquire samples of your required model from different logos, web sites, advertisements, indicators, t-shirts, enterprise playing cards and extra. Positive, an image is value a thousand phrases, however visuals additionally give your designer an opportunity to catch the entire inventive nuances and strategies that you simply like to allow them to incorporate them into your undertaking.

You don’t need to cease at intently associated examples both. Department out and get artistic. Present a designer your favourite Van Gogh portray as inspiration in your brand. Or an 18th-century newspaper clipping to exhibit what font you need in your web site. If the designer can see what you need, it’s usually extra helpful than a verbal rationalization.

In case you have time, take into account constructing a temper board stuffed with photos, colours, icons and typography to painting what you’re on the lookout for. Temper boards are a good way to start out solidifying a visible model.

2. Determine your wants first

Example 99designs creative brief
An instance of a 99designs artistic temporary.

There are two varieties of purchasers: those that know what they need and people don’t. Guess which one finally ends up happy extra usually.

The higher you perceive what you need, the higher your designer may give it to you. That features each the artistic finish (visible model, shade scheme, material) in addition to the enterprise finish (your goal market, your vacation spot, your most important takeaway). Naturally you’ll need to depart a number of the artistic choices as much as the designer (that’s why you’re hiring them!), however there are some enterprise and branding decisions they simply can’t make for you.

Additionally, ensure you nail down the scope of the undertaking early. In order for you an adaptable brand or a collection of initiatives as an alternative of only one, determine that out sooner slightly than later. You possibly can talk a number of these preliminary particulars with a well-constructed artistic temporary, which is the essential define of a undertaking.

Be at liberty to make use of our artistic temporary template to start out constructing your individual.

Actual world tip from designer Mky:

Collect your ideas and make an inventory of all of the issues that you simply want.

“Earlier than contacting the designer about your new undertaking, collect your ideas and make an inventory of all of the issues that you simply want. It will assist the designer in defining a good schedule and a worth. Not doing so and simply piling up new duties as you go will create chaos (bear in mind: you aren’t the one particular person your designer is working with).”

3. Begin by agreeing on particulars

When you and your designer seek for widespread floor within the artistic points, don’t neglect the concrete particulars. Deadlines, schedules, revisions, deliverables, cost… You possibly can keep away from so many issues by addressing these at first slightly than the tip of your undertaking.

Set affordable timeframes for initiatives.

Graphic designer Pinch Studio says: “It’s necessary to set affordable timeframes for initiatives, since brief deadlines is usually a recipe for catastrophe.”

Illustration of business people around a table
Illustrated by Stefan Alfonso.

Neither celebration actually enjoys these sorts of nitty-gritty negotiations, however they’re value citing. Getting definitive solutions allows a extra environment friendly design course of, one the place you don’t get caught up midway by means of arguing about cash.

That holds true for the minor particulars as properly. Issues like the ultimate file format may not appear necessary, but when missed they may result in annoying and even disastrous penalties.

Actual world tip from designer Mky:

Present up with suggestions or sources on the agreed upon time.

“Keep in mind that deadline you and your designer agreed on? Properly, that’s not only for the designer, however for you as properly! Should you anticipate your designer to ship recordsdata on time, please present up with suggestions or sources on the agreed upon time as properly, as an alternative of vanishing for weeks. Positive, life occurs, however ship them an e-mail and a heads up if there’s a change of plans!”

4. Phrase suggestions as issues, not options


Even the perfect designers don’t at all times get it proper the primary time. Most initiatives contain not less than one spherical of suggestions, however if you happen to don’t articulate your criticism properly, you’re taking a look at two, three, 4 or extra rounds earlier than you’re pleased with the outcomes.

One knowledgeable tip to maneuver this course of alongside shortly is to phrase your suggestions as issues, not options. In different phrases, clearly describe what’s bothering you, however don’t direct the right way to repair it.

For instance, let’s say you’re evaluating a brand new redesign of your web site. Good suggestions is perhaps one thing like, “We want a call-to-action or subsequent step on the house web page.” Not so good suggestions is perhaps “Put a giant, purple button proper there!”

Your designer is an knowledgeable in design. By telling them what to do, not solely do you ignore their experience, however you additionally minimize off the chance of them considering up an answer that’s even higher than yours. When it comes time for suggestions, level out what you want, however don’t make the revisions for them.

Actual world tip from designer svart ink:

Their vitality and enthusiasm provides me vitality too.

“I want all of my purchasers would know that their vitality and enthusiasm provides me vitality too. A lazy and uninterested shopper who expects a designer to do wonders with simply 5 phrases of suggestions most likely doesn’t know what they need. Shoppers like that usually disappear and quit on initiatives in the event that they don’t just like the course of the primary two ideas. I want they might know that the extra they discuss and the extra they’re engaged, their designer will probably be too.”

5. Welcome designers into your staff

Illustration about collaboration and teamwork
Illustrated by Cross the Lime

Need to be on friendlier phrases together with your freelance graphic designer? Attempt treating them extra like a pal or colleague. Freelancers are sometimes considered as utilities or removeable belongings, however by welcoming them into your group, you may make them a part of the staff.

That begins with the way you talk. Converse to them with the identical respect as your coworkers. If that you must cancel a gathering, give them ample discover.

As well as, give them a few of the identical liberties as common workers. This implies entry to firm paperwork; issues like market breakdowns, gross sales analytics, web site information and advertising personas could be extremely helpful for graphic designers to hone in on your online business targets.

Likewise, share your staff’s contact info to allow them to get in contact with the precise folks. Should you’re the one liaison between the designer and the remainder of the corporate, your workflow is certain to get clogged.

6. Overexplain

Normally, overexplaining is a nasty factor, however in terms of summary ideas, each little bit helps. Along with displaying them visible examples, give them as a lot background as attainable.

Illustration for design contest about listening
Illustrated by EvaVanGeenen

Keep away from utilizing obscure phrases and err on the facet of explaining an excessive amount of than too little. Along with undertaking parameters and artistic kinds, additionally share together with your designer your motives and enterprise targets. What’s the meant consequence of this explicit undertaking? How does it match into your online business as a complete? Skilled designers perceive this space higher than you suppose, and figuring out these particulars may help them suppose up much more efficient design options.

Actual world tip from designer Mky:

An excessive amount of info is at all times higher than not sufficient info.

“An excessive amount of info is at all times higher than not sufficient info. Most definitely the designer you’re working with will ship you a ton of questions on your online business and the design you’re on the lookout for, to allow them to higher perceive what you want and create one thing as near it as attainable. It’s possible you’ll not at all times know what you want, however be open to answering all these foolish questions. Should you don’t care sufficient to dissect the subject, why would you anticipate your designer to care?”

7. Hold an open thoughts

Once you rent a graphic designer, you’re not simply paying for his or her inventive talent, you’re additionally paying for his or her data and experience. After they say a brand new concept is best than an previous concept, preserve an open thoughts.

Illustration about an open mind
Illustrated by Von Milano

It’s widespread for purchasers to have a hard and fast imaginative and prescient of what they need of their head, they usually rent designers merely to carry that concept to life. However graphic design is a strong and complex self-discipline, and chances are high the designer is aware of one thing about your imaginative and prescient that you simply don’t. The thought in your head is probably not as possible as you suppose, or much more doubtless, your designer’s concept may truly verify off extra bins than your authentic.

Belief your designer’s means. In fact your perception is efficacious, nevertheless it’s higher to mix your concepts with these of an knowledgeable than to stubbornly cling to a second-rate idea. What your designer brings you is probably not the way you pictured it. However that is perhaps an excellent factor!

Actual world tip from designer Pinch Studio:

“The extra the shopper is aware of, the higher the circulate is. There isn’t any magic that may make the method simpler apart from endurance from each side and a few steering from us designers to beat the boundaries.”

Somewhat belief goes a great distance

Belief. It’s crucial, however tough to do with somebody you’ve by no means labored with earlier than.  However as soon as you know the way to higher work with graphic designers, you’ll be prepared for a artistic collaboration you’ll be able to belief to ship outcomes that carry your concepts to life.

If it’s a brand design that you simply’re on the lookout for, we’ve bought you coated! Watch under as Robyn takes us by means of the perfect methods to work with a designer to create a brand you’ll love—from writing your temporary, to reviewing your design drafts, and making certain a clean handover


Work with a gifted design professional!
Our designers can create the proper new search for your model.

This text was initially printed in 2020. It has been up to date with new examples and data.

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