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The 5 C’s to success in working with your graphic designer

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Collaborating with your graphic designer should be an efficient and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips (the five C’s) to get the best results:



Make sure that you feel comfortable with the person you have chosen to take on your graphic design needs. Not only do you need to like their style of graphic design, but you and your graphic designer also need to understand each other. If you keep up a pleasant, cheerful atmosphere, the designer is sure to be flexible when you really need it, and to go that extra mile for you.



To ensure that the designer creates the appropriate content to attract your target market, prepare a detailed design brief. Describe your business and outline what services you provide, what sets you apart from your competitors, who your ideal client may be, and what sort of look and feel you envision for the end result. Be sure to include input from all stakeholders in the brief.



Is there an image or a color that you particularly like, and want to use? Look for examples of work that you find attractive and share those with your graphic designer. (Pinterest is a great place for reference.) If the look and feel of the draft isn’t working for you, talk to your designer about it. Most designers would prefer to know if something is bothering a client so they can address the issue as quickly as possible. Ask questions, rather than becoming disappointed. Clearly specify what you like and don’t like about the drafts. The better you explain, the better the end result will be. Sketch your idea on paper if you find it easier than describing it in words – you can take a photo of it with your phone and send it to your designer to quickly get the message across.



Design is a collaborative process, so having patience and expressing yourself clearly will help achieve your goals. Avoid vague and imprecise feedback. Designers are perceptive, but they can’t read your mind! If you don’t like what you’ve received, it will save a lot of time if you can explain why. Try and break it down into components: images, colors, type and composition. Does the design have balance and contrast? Are the shapes, colors and spaces in harmony with each other? Is the message clear to understand? Have the goals of your business been communicated? Has the company branding been correctly incorporated?



The design process is has various stages of development, from the concept to an initial draft, followed by a few rounds of changes before the final delivery. As mentioned earlier, get input from all stakeholders at the outset. If you bring a colleague or friend into the process at a later stage, after committing to a direction, your designer may lose focus or even feel discouraged. Collect all stakeholders’ comments in a single email or pdf for each round of revisions.

If you pay attention to the five C’s, you will be more likely to develop a strong working relationship with your designer. Building a solid relationship will help your designer help you. Presentation speaks volumes: your designer can enable you to communicate visually to put your business in the best professional light.  Your designer is your teammate and together, you can create and accomplish great things!