You’ve got your foundational branding done (all that research into your target market). You’ve decided on what sort of business you want and services you’d like to sell. And you’ve FINALLY chosen a designer. Congrats!
Now it’s time to start working with your designer and you just feel CONFUSED. What happened? You were on a roll and are now stuck trying to figure out how to (for the 10th time) explain your dream brand.
Wasn’t this supposed to be the fun part?
Don’t worry. A lot of designer and client relationships can be hard, often because of the difference in specialty.
So, there’s an obvious gap but it doesn’t mean you have to tear your hair out.
Here’s my 5 tips for working with a designer!
1. Have regular conversations either over the phone or in person. This can be meetings to see where everyone is at, design reviews, or to talk over brand questions.
These regular meetings will help set up an open communication system where questions will be easier to ask and answers quickly given instead of waiting on an email.
2. Ask Questions! Clients who are overly hands off signal that you don’t care enough to make time for the work being put into your visuals and designers aren’t gods. We miss things and even forget to spell check.
Every time you get a mockup or concept for your project, get out your notebook (or download the freebie) and write down your initial thoughts. Ask yourself:
• How does this fit into my dream brand?
• What would my ideal client say about this?
• Which version do I like best and why?
• Which version do I like least and why?
Then, use those answers in your meeting with your designer, explain your answers and note their response.
3. Make sure you gather your reviews and suggestions before the meeting (or sending an email). This is especially true in the case of multiple business partners and decision makers. As a designer, there’s nothing worse than getting three different emails, from 3 people with differing opinions.
There are two solutions to this problem. Either delegate one person in your company to be the decision-maker and leave everyone else out of the email chains or make one person the organizer.
The first option is the easiest since the chosen decision-maker can simply ask for opinions only when stuck. The latter works great if everyone wants to be involved.
Save the designer, and everybody else, a headache by gathering all the responses (yours and partners), going through them together, and finally emailing them to the designer or bringing them up in the meeting.
4. Stick to the deadlines! Set a great example for your designer by sticking to due dates for reviews, opinions, and updates.
For example: if the designer asks for feedback on concepts within 4 days and you get back to them in 8, what does that say? Barring extreme circumstances, it means you either don’t know how to schedule your calendar or that you don’t care enough.
Being on time with responses will also help you win any battles you might have. Hopefully, you never have to go through any sort of dispute but it’s better safe than sorry!
5. Don’t rely on your designer to know your brand. You need to share all the information you’ve gathered about your target market, competition, and styling. Your designer will then be able to make informed design decisions and ultimately help your visuals embody the brand you’ve been dreaming of!
A few things they might need include:
• The mission and vision statements.
• Any mood boards or vision boards you’ve created.
• Psychographics for your ideal client.
• Demographics for the audience.
• Any reflective statements that will make them understand your style.
Imagine feeling like your designer understands you, your business, and your brand. Imagine for a second that she really jives with your sense of humor, and finally, that she understands your mission in business and life!
Wouldn’t that make you feel amazing? Wouldn’t that feel like a huge weight had been lifted? It would definitely make you less stressed and more energized!
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