Communicating with Your Designer
Earlier this week, I sat down and opened up our content calendar to see what the next few days would hold me for. We’ve been focusing on graphic design this month, and that theme was scheduled to continue with a blog post on how to communicate with your graphic designer.
I was excited. It’s a great topic and one that our designers are always happy for me to write about. A healthy relationship between client and designer is good for everyone. The client gets the best bang for their buck, and the designer avoids the frustration of misunderstood briefs and rejected designs. It’s a win-win.
I dove into the assignment with some excitement, following my usual method for writing a blog post. (That is research, contemplation, outline, writing, and editing) But I didn’t get far into the process before I hit a snag. I was taking a stroll through the internet to find some inspiration when I ran across the blog of Seth Godin. He is far and away one of my favorite bloggers, and he always has well-packaged insight into the world of marketing.
So, what’s the problem? So far it sounds like a good thing. But there was a serious problem – what was I going to add? Do I have some insight into how to communicate with your designer that Seth missed? Probably not. Do I have additional deep wisdom that will change the way you work? Again, probably not.
I was stuck, but then I realized I could provide less new insight and more pointing toward existing, quality content. So much blogging is self-promotional and now I have a chance to ‘point with both hands,’ as one friend like to put it.
When it comes to communicating with your graphic designer, there are a thousand things we could talk about. But Seth Godin mentions four possible postures to take, and I think each one is worth considering:
- “I know what I want” – This is a great way to work with your designer. You have a clearly defined image and style guide – and you provide all that to your graphic designer. If you’re picky, this is the only way to work.
- “I’m not sure exactly, but I know what it rhymes with” – This is common with new brands. You have ideas and inspiration, but nothing specific. This can work really well but come with plenty of direction. It’ll require some trust, but you can get quality work done this way.
- “I’m not a designer, but I understand state change” – In other words, you know you want to evoke something in your audience and you know graphic design can accomplish that. But you’re going to have to trust your designer to make it work. This can be a good relationship, but not if you plan to nitpick every step of the process.
- “I’ll know it when I see it” – Not a good idea, unless you are very open to new ideas or have a ton of money to burn. A lot of people say this and say they are open-minded. But it rarely works out in the end. Don’t ruin your chances of success before you even get started.
Just like any relationship, working with your graphic designer gets better over time. We start to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. We start to understand your style guide deeper. While you learn how to communicate your ideas with your designer and how to get the most out of each and every project.
That why we offer unlimited graphic design plans. So that while your competitors are bouncing between graphic design agencies, do-it-yourself projects, and bad employees; you can be building a relationship with a professional designer that cares about your success.