Thursday, February 3, 2011

How To Better Communicate With Your Graphic Designer...

...and get the custom design you want.
Communication and flexibility are very important when working with a designer. Without these, frustrations can grow, and a lot of work can be done without progress. I have listed a few basic guidelines to follow that can help you be more prepared to better communicate with your designer so you can get the job accomplished as quickly and smoothly as possible. Now let me start off by saying that each individual designer may have different criteria that they choose to go by. But, from my experience, these are the basics.

For those entrepreneurs who feel 'creatively challenged' or overwhelmed when it comes to creating an image for their business, hiring a Graphic Designer may be the best solution. A graphic artist can help the client by suggesting creative, relevant ideas that could possible work with the clients business and successfully create the business image graphics (logo, T-shirts, avatar, banner etc.) that will work in a variety of scenarios from printed business cards to interstate billboards.

If you've come to the decision to hire a graphic designer to help you create or update your business image then be prepared to put in some time and effort to work with them to get the finished results you will be happy with. Check out the works of several designers to see which artistic style fits your tastes best. There are a ton of wonderful designers on Etsy, most of which showcase examples of their work in their shops so you don't even have to make contact until you've chosen a designer that suits your style. When your ready to contact them, be prepared to present them with your ideas and answer questions. Here are some of the questions I ask my clients to get a better feel of what they're looking for as well as important things to remember.

- What type of business do you have? What do you sell? Who is your target audience? Is your style elegant, funky, conservative, playful? Give details.

- What is your idea? Have at least a rough idea that you'd like to see in your logo. This idea may change after talking to the artist, but give them something to start from. Bounce around verbal or written ideas until you can settle on a few well thought out concepts.

- Be open minded. Let me say that again - BE OPEN MINDED. We are not mind readers, and our initial sketch ideas may not always jive with what you expect. There are also limitations to what we can do and each designer tries to stay within their own comfortable range of ability. Don't give up though, be flexible and talk it through. If you don't like something, let the artist know so changes can be made early on, when it's easier. Compromise and be open to change for the benefit of a great design.

- Be reasonable about changes. It takes a lot of time and thought to come up with a design, sketch it, build it, and prepare it in multiple formats for output. Once a design concept is chosen and created, don't expect major changes in design to be made without additional charges. Most minor changes, like colors and text can be made without much hassle, but any major change usually requires starting over from the original sketch.

A graphic designer is not a miracle worker, a mind reader, or a person with endless hours of free time, but they are a wonderful source for creative ideas, with the ability to take that idea and build it into an image that can be used to represent and promote your business throughout several venues. The key to a great design is communication and flexibility. If you can work together, the results will be a well thought out, creative design that makes your business stand out and get noticed!

These are some of the logos I have designed...