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Dos and don’ts working with a designer

dos and don’ts when you’re working with a brand or web designer

I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for some time now. It’s all about the dos and don’ts when working with a designer – specifically a brand or web designer. Now, in the past, I’ve worked with clients who knew exactly what they wanted and some who left decisions up to me.

The clients I most enjoy working with are those that know what they want but are open to suggestions. When working with clients that are not always 100% sure about what they want your job is to guide them in the right direction.

This post is for you if you’re a non-designer, a current client or you’re looking to hire someone like me for a project in the future. I’ll be sharing with you the dos and don’t to working with a designer on your next project. I’m going to start with what you should be doing followed by what you should not be doing.

do – work with someone that gets you

It’s very important that you and your designer are on the same page when it comes to your logo, brand or website. Discuss what it is you’re looking to accomplish before you commit to any work and make sure they understand your final project goals and visual. Most of the times if a designer decides not to work with you it’s because the type of work you’re looking to be accomplished and not necessarily you.

do – have a solid idea of your project goals

While you might hire a designer to actually make your visions come to life you also need to have one, to begin with. You should go to your designer with some sort of idea of the final outcome for your project. You do this by providing your idea and examples of other designs that inspire you. This makes the process much smoother and will more than likely shorten the project time.

do – answer your questionnaires/homework

Most designers especially brand and web designers will send you a questionnaire before they get started on your project. Please make sure you answer the questions to your best ability. This helps the designer get a better understanding of your project and it also helps you in the process.

do – have a realistic time frame

We would all like for things to be done when we want them too but realistically that is not possible. You can’t go to a designer for a new brand or website and expect it in less than a week. It won’t be possible considering most designers have other clients they are working with. If you ask for full brand design in a week don’t be upset when you see the results. Great design takes time. If you need a design in a short period of time ask your designer what their schedule is like and how soon they can complete your project. Some designer might charge you a rush fee depending on their schedule so clarify with them first before work begins.

don’t – ask them to copy someone else’s work

Doing this is just bad manners. It’s one thing to send in different designs as an inspiration but don’t ask your designer to copy the work exactly. This is not only unethical but It’s a breach of copyright. This applies to any design work from logos to website. It’s important that you are original with your content and design.

don’t – provide basic feedback

Please be very specific when you’re giving feedback to designers. Don’t come with “can you make it POP?” Or “Work your magic.” Don’t get me wrong I know client mean well with these responses but it just doesn’t help us much. Also if you don’t like a design please be specific on what you don’t like and the changes you’ll like to see. The more specific you are when giving your feedback the more likely it is that the project will be exactly how you want it.

don’t – provide insufficient materials

Now if you’re working on a web design project but you have an existing brand already provide the designer with your design elements. This include copies of your original logos, icons, and colors the original vector files will work best.

don’t – expect a perfect first draft

When a designer sends you a draft it’s only a starting point. This is just the first step on the path to the completed designs. If your designer is working on a logo for you and they send you a draft in black it’s just that – a draft. After the draft is sent to you by the designer this is where your input is crucial and you’ll provide your suggestions and constructive advice to move the project forward.

don’t – be afraid to ask questions

It’s your project and the designer is there to not only work with you but to help you in the process. If you’re unsure about the direction of your project or the current status speak up and send them an email. While asking questions is encouraged don’t micromanage the situation or boss your designer around. It’s a team effort and you’re working together for the final outcome.

The reason for this post is that most people tend to look at a designers very job as simple and think we have all the time in the world. Creative work is approached in a way that is different from most other fields. Although designers are in the more ‘creative’ field of work we work like most other types of professions.

Until next time.