Branding + Marketing
5 Things Your Graphic Designer Wants You to Know
November 28, 2022
Finding the best graphic designer for your small business or nonprofit can be tricky. There are many ways to meet the need, but understanding what a designer truly needs from you to succeed can sometimes be a bit mystifying.
Finding the right fit and establishing clear lines of communication is the first step, but beyond that, there are specific insights that, when thoughtfully applied, can level up your next graphic design project in powerful ways.
The right creative team can help your marketing strategy excel beyond what you can do on your own. Understanding what your designer needs from you will only make the process go more smoothly and yield better results.
Here are five things the best graphic designers want their clients to know for a successful relationship and creative outcome. By keeping these in mind, you can ensure that your designer has everything they need to create great work for you!
1. Be Clear About What You Want.
A professional graphic designer can help your small business by creating custom graphics for your website, social media, packaging, label design, and any additional marketing-related materials you need. But in order to hit the mark, you have some work to do before the designer can get started.
Effective campaigns that communicate your brand’s promise and solve problems for your clients are rooted in a thorough understanding of who you are and what you offer. Without this input, you’ll end up with beautiful artwork without much substance.
Graphic designers are not mind readers, so you must be clear about what you want before you start working with one. Take the time to define who you are as a company, how you achieve success, and what problems you’re trying to solve for your clients. By being clear about what you want, your graphic designer will be equipped to help you achieve your goals.
2. Trust the Process—But Don’t Rush the Process.
Most creative graphic designers will begin their process with a kick-off meeting. This is an important time for your designer to get to know your business goals, understand how you attract customers, and begin brainstorming visuals that complement your work.
The more details you are ready to provide, the better. Think through what you want your customers to think or feel when they see your graphics. What action do you want them to take? Try to discern what types of artwork appeals to your target audience because your designer will want to know all of this info!
After the kick-off meeting, we get to work covering all of the bases, from competitive research to potential trademark issues, to ensure that your artwork stands out in a crowd. It takes several weeks for a designer to digest the info you’ve provided and create amazing graphics.
Some clients want to rush through this step. If you’re feeling antsy, remember that graphic designers are not magicians. We can’t make your vision a reality overnight. Our creative process takes time and attention to detail, and the more input we receive, the happier you will be with the results.
Rushing the process stifles creativity and can result in a less-than-ideal finished product. Instead, trust the professional design process and allow ample time for the project to come to fruition.
3. Honest Feedback is How the Magic Happens
When designers are ready to reveal options to a client, they will schedule a meeting to walk you through what they’ve created for your consideration. The best graphic designers will never blindly send you a PDF full of options without providing any context or rationale behind the designs.
Keep in mind graphic designers appreciate feedback. Let them know what you like and don’t like about their work. This can be tedious, but it doesn’t have to be. Come to this meeting ready to give candid feedback, but also try your best to be open-minded. You hired a professional designer because of their expertise—they know more about what works best than you do.
This can be hard to swallow because it’s hard to share that creative control. Be assured the best graphic designers understand where you are coming from and truly want what’s best for your company. A bit of give-and-take and a lot of trust is required for this to go smoothly.
We suggest budgeting a day to take in the designs and then sleep on them before making a final decision. Getting input from one or two trusted members of your team (not everyone) is also a helpful step. Then share your thoughts with your designer.
Specific feedback almost always yields faster results. If communication is open and honest during the review process, this is very likely to result in a design that meets—and hopefully exceeds—your expectations.
Read More: How to Find the Best Graphic Design Service
4. Don’t Ignore The Style Guide
When a designer creates a logo for your business, you should also receive a style guide that outlines its proper usage. We wrote an entire post on brand standards and style guides, so be sure to check that out. Without rehashing everything, suffice it to say that a major downfall of the graphic design process is not following the style guide.
Don’t put all this time, energy, and creativity into creating something extraordinary only to turn around and not use the designs properly. This is especially true for logo design but also applies to any graphic design created to represent your brand to the public. If your project does not include logo design, be sure to give your designer a copy of your style guide so that the designs align with the overall look and feel of your brand.
5. Graphic Design is Not a Silver Bullet
Every professional graphic designer has a story about a client who wanted to solve all their marketing problems with one simple redesign. In reality, one simple design or redesign never produces long-term results.
When you contact a designer asking for one specific thing, the best graphic designers will likely point out several additional areas that need attention. Don’t look at this as an upsell. Take this as your designer’s way of ensuring that their work is part of a cohesive look that produces tangible results for your business.
For example, if you ask for a website redesign but your logo is desperately outdated, your graphic designer will strongly encourage you to update the logo first because they know that the stale logo will detract from the new look and feel of the website. Your designer will always do whatever it takes to ensure an outstanding final product. That may require additional work you weren’t necessarily planning to do, and that’s ok. Trust the process, trust your designer, and you’ll end up with the best possible graphic designs for your business.
Graphic Design Services — And More!
In closing, we want to point out that you can contract professional graphic design services in a number of ways. You could try to do it yourself, hire in-house, find a freelancer, work with an online broker of templatized designs, or hire a creative firm that can do more than design.
Cross & Crown has decades of experience helping small business and nonprofit clients achieve their marketing goals with hand-crafted designs that wow prospects and delight customers. But we are more than graphic designers.
In addition to high-quality graphic design services, our clients receive marketing and brand strategy, custom insights, design rationale, marketing videos, social media plans, and (most importantly) the personal attention needed to get the best results from your branding efforts.
If you are looking for a graphic designer, we would love to share more about our process with you. Please contact us today to schedule a discovery meeting. We look forward to meeting you and learning more about your business!