So you have an idea. A crazy good idea. An idea you believe will be a very successful business venture. But you hit a roadblock because you recognize that the brand of your business is crucial to its success and you don’t have the graphic design skills to execute your vision. You may have an excellent business product or service, but if the brand doesn’t support the vision, you know that it will take much longer to be successful, if at all. So you hire a graphic designer.
But how do you work with a graphic designer? How do you help them to help you realize the vision you have for your business? The key is excellent communication and clarity of the vision for your business.
Every graphic designer has a different process for how they work. They will explain their own process to you before the project is started. But all graphic designers will ask you for feedback on the designs they present to you. The better the feedback you can give to them, the better (and more quickly!) they will be able to fully execute your vision. Time is money, right? So here are a few items for you to consider as you provide feedback to your graphic designer:
1. Be prepared.
Grab a notepad and pen before you view the designs. This way you will be ready to write down any notes or questions that you may have as you are viewing the designs.
2. First Impression.
First of all, pay attention to your gut reaction the first time you see each design. You only get one chance to have a first impression for each design, and often our first instincts lead us in the right direction. So pay attention. Write down your first impression of each design.
Studies have shown that the first thing we see when we look at something is the color. Which color palette speaks to your brand? Think about how the colors will be used as the brand expands and grows.
Do you like the fonts used? How readable are they? From what distance will the text be viewed? What is the first word that you see? What is the first word that you want to see?
The composition is the arrangement of all of the elements to make a whole item. Which composition speaks to you? For example, do you want an icon above the text or next to it in your logo? Do you want your flyer to include large text or more photographic or visual elements?
What is the overall feeling that you want your brand to convey? Which design conveys the feeling of your brand most closely? Look carefully. Subtle details can change the feeling quite dramatically.
Who is going to buy your product or service? Think about them as you carefully review the designs.
Think about how the brand will function in the real world. Is your product going to sit on a shelf in a store next to 20 other similar products? Will it be sold in boutique and specialty stores? Will it be sold online? Is your brand interactive? How will people interact with your brand?
Finally, all good ideas need incubation time. Take time to carefully review the designs your graphic designer has presented to you. Then take a break from it. Sleep on it. Do anything but think about them. If time permits, give yourself a day or so to think about the ideas presented. Then provide your designer with thorough feedback. Don’t just tell them what you like or don’t like, tell them why you like or don’t like something. Don’t just give your graphic designer more information, give them better information.
Working with a graphic designer can be exhilarating and fun! It’s exciting to see your brand, product or service offerings come to life! By taking the time to provide your graphic designer with a clear vision of your ideas and thoughtful feedback, you will be doing your part to enhance and speed up the process. You and your graphic designer will be able to collaborate to give your business its best chance at success!
Brittany Braithwaite is an Interior + Graphic Designer. She loves working with small businesses to improve their brand identity and customer experience through authentic brand design, aesthetic environments and an efficient brand strategy.