Design Talks – How to Communicate Changes to Your Graphic Designer
Leaving your logo design, your business card designs or even your everyday social media graphics in the hands of someone else should be an effortless process that takes a task off of your plate. But I keep hearing these horror stories about people waiting weeks for revisions still to have the graphic be way way off. Then I hear graphic designers complaining about people who simply don’t know what they want and/or just don’t know how to communicate it. Here’s a tip boo: “I don’t like it” is not feedback, it’s a comment. So make it easier on yourself and spill the beans on exactly what works and what doesn’t work for your designs. You paid for it so make sure you communicate what you want. Use the language the designers use so there’s no confusion. This process can be easy if you do it right.
“But Nina, how do I ‘do it right’?”
Well, I’m glad you asked…. I’ve been a project manager on design projects, been the designer on others and been the frustrated client on other projects. I’ve learned a thing or two about how to provide feedback that moves your design project from concept to completion.
Check out the tips below to help you get through your next design project like an outsourcing queen!
Provide an Inspiration for your Design
An inspiration for design gives the designer or design team a starting point. This can be another design, color palette, photograph, website template, a sketch, other designers work, or even a competitor’s graphics. Keep in mind that there are thousands upon thousands of fonts, color and graphic combinations that your design team can start with. If the designer does not have an inspiration, the designer is starting from scratch.
When providing the inspiration, make sure to communicate exactly what moves you about the inspiration. “I really like this” says absolutely nothing. Explain how it related to your brand, which elements do you like? Is it the font, the color, the feeling it gives off? Do you love the elegance and simplicity or the bold fonts and the icon selection? The more your designer knows what you like, the better. Keep in mind that if you don’t know what you want, neither does your graphic designer and simply knowing what you don’t want, just won’t work.
Be Specific with your Feedback
The actual words you use can make or break your relationship with your designer. Using terms like “I hate it” or “I don’t like it” are great when describing a lip color. But when it comes to feedback, these words are the devil just like football was the devil to Bobby Boucher (Water Boy).
Simply saying you do or don’t like something just leaves the graphic designer with nothing to work with and you both end up frustrated. Think about these questions below then provide feedback.
- Would you like the font to be more bold, elegant, playful, handwritten, fancy, script?
- Is the text legible?
- Is the spacing too close or too far away?
- Does the font convey the message you’d like your audience to get when they see it?
- Do you want to combine fonts from two separate concepts?
- Would changing the color accomplish the feeling you want?
- Do you want brighter colors, duller colors, more pastel, black and white, greyscale?
- Do you have an image or inspiration of colors for the graphic?
- Will this graphic be used with other graphics (e.g., logo, etc.)? If so, does it blend in too much or stand out too much?
- Do you want to switch the colors and make another color primary?
- Do you want more or less of your brand colors incorporated?
- Is the graphic the right size?
- Can you see it clearly on a mobile device?
- Should your logo be more square, circular, rectangle?
- Do you want to switch the icon from one concept to another one?
- Would changing the color accomplish your needs?
- Do you have another icon suggestion?
- Should the icon be smaller, larger, thinner, thicker, less busy?
Keep an eye on your Revisions
When making your suggestions, make sure to include as much feedback in one round as possible. Most graphic designers stick to about three revisions; however, some will only allow one or two. Check the package, invoice or agreement to confirm.
Here is an example of great feedback for graphic design:
“Can you use the colors from Concept 1, the icon from Concept 2 with the same colors in Concept 2 but much brighter?”
This feedback is specific and gives the designer an idea of what you like.
Don’t ask 10 people what they think
If you ask 10 people what they think, you will get 10 opinions and even more confusion. Select one or two people who know you, your brand and your tribe well. This can be a mentor, a client or even a potential client. But keep in mind that you have the ultimate decision here. You have to live with your logo.
Ok love, it’s time for you to get cracking on outsourcing your graphic design. Keep in mind that tips I gave you are from my own experience. Your designer may have specific instructions or tip of their own. But in the end, good communication will save you frustrations.
If you’re a graphic designer and you’d like to add a few tips to this blog and/or send me a guest blog or video, leave a comment below.