As marketers, having a full plate means you no longer have time to DIY some marketing tasks. And that includes graphic design. Hiring professional graphic designers or subscribing to graphic design companies is key to creating marketing graphics that convert. However, marketers sometimes get ahead of themselves. They think of the bigger picture while not focusing on the little details, including communicating with graphic designers. Knowing how to communicate and collaborate with designers will pave the way for a successful outcome. Here are 15 tips for marketers to effectively communicate with designers.
1. Explain your goal
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Each marketing campaign has a different goal, and marketers need to determine what they are. Whether you’re increasing conversions, website traffic, app downloads, or email lists, designers also need to know your exact goals. This will allow them to make the marketing graphics relevant to what you’re offering. Also, explaining your goal to your graphic designer lets you see eye to eye with them.
2. Tell them your preferred design
Graphic designers aren’t mind readers. Although they can think of many design ideas, you still have to tell them what design you want precisely. Think of a graphic design concept first. Then picture out what images and other design elements you want. This will enable you to steer the project in the right direction. Also, knowing what your preferred design is before communicating with them will make the process faster.
3. Show them images for inspiration
Some marketers might not be able to express what design they want verbally. And that’s okay. At least try to put your design ideas in writing. Come prepared with some images for inspiration, and show these to your graphic designer. You and your designer must be on the same page. Having images as inspiration can even allow your designer to create better ones.
4. Be respectful
Although you hired the designer, treating the designer with respect will make for a better client-designer relationship. Don’t treat the designer like someone you’re paying to do work for you. Treat your designer as your partner, and respect their ideas, skills, and feedback. If you respect your designer and let them do their magic, they will also respect you as their client.
5. Don’t act smarter
You may have years of experience in the marketing field. But there is a reason you hired a graphic designer and that for their graphic design skills. Never try to outsmart your designer. If you have a high position in the marketing department, get off your high horse because the designer will still have better graphic design insight than you. If you had graphic design experience and expertise, you wouldn’t have had hired the designer in the first place.
6. Ask questions
Two-way communication will lead to better design projects. Never be afraid to ask questions. You might not comprehend some jargon designers use, which is okay. Never be afraid to ask questions if there are things you want to clarify. Asking questions doesn’t mean a lack of experience or intelligence. It simply means you know what you want and are determined to get the precise design outcome.
7. Be open-minded
Most clients would come prepared before the design brief. Although you have a set design concept in mind, be open-minded to new ideas and suggestions. Graphic designers have worked with several industries. This gives them the upper hand in what the trends are. Listen to the designer’s ideas, and think of how they can integrate your ideas with theirs.
8. Offer multiple solutions
You might be hellbent on achieving a particular goal with a design in mind. But try to offer your designers multiple solutions to work around achieving the goal. This will give your designer ample creative leeway. In turn, you’ll have more ideas to choose from instead of settling for one.
9. Set your expectations
Clients can sometimes have high expectations from their designers. After all, they’re paying the designers to do a stellar job. However, always set your expectations right off the bat. Communicate with the designer what you wish them to accomplish. This way, the designer will also have the chance to explain what he can or can’t do.
10. Ask what their job entails
Before agreeing on a contract or project rate, always ask what the work entails. Any responsible client would clarify this from the get-go. This is to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts in the long run. Remember, some graphic designers don’t offer web and app designs. Also, some would require clients to provide a copy of the marketing graphics. Lay all cards on the table before commencing on the project.
11. Be straightforward
Don’t waste time with too much small talk. Be straightforward in communicating with your graphic designer. Freelance graphic designers may have many projects in the queue. Respect their time and get down to business.
12. Say please and thank you
Clients should exude professionalism. Show you’re professional by being courteous, whether you hired a graphic designer or used a graphic design service. Always say “Please,” “Thank you,” and “You’re welcome” when necessary. If you show professionalism, this will also be reciprocated.
13. Encourage open communication
Always express how important open communication is right from the initial meeting. Listen to your designers when they have suggestions. Don’t try to cut them off when they’re speaking. Also, ask them what they think about your suggestions. Open communication will pave the way for transparency throughout the project.
14. Show your brand style guide
It would help if you always come prepared with a brand style guide. This should contain all the brand assets. From logos, colors, icons, fonts, imagery, language, content, and source files, showing this will enable your designer to understand what your brand identity is. Also, having a style guide will lead to branding consistency in all design projects.
15. Provide detailed feedback
The only way designers will know if they’re on the right path or not is when you provide them feedback. Don’t be shy about giving designers constructive criticism. A professional graphic designer believes that there is always room to grow in this industry. And they would appreciate detailed feedback more than anything else.