How To Take Advantage Of Your Graphic Designer

This may sound a little suspicious I know. Taking advantage? Really?

Ok let’s be clear, this isn’t Let’s Make a Deal or Coupon World. We aren’t trying to be seedy and get an extra business card and letterhead design thrown in for free.

I’m talking about getting the best out of your Graphic Designer – taking advantage of all they have to offer and helping them bring their best work to the table to deliver what you need.

They are visual message experts but they work with what you supply them. Here are a few tips that may help set the stage for success.

1. Hire the right person. 

Before we start the process of using a designer’s services, make sure you’ve hired the right person first. Do your homework. Make sure the designer has the necessary experience to perform the services you require. Ask for referrals. Look at their website and view their work.

Do they have any accolades? Awards often add to credibility. After all, peers are the harshest critics and most of the big awards are judged by other well known designers.

Do they have professional credentials? In Canada, the Graphic Designers Society of Canada is one of three national governing bodies working together to ensure there is national certification in place for professional designers across Canada. Members who are certified will have the “CGD” designation and adhere to a code of ethics and best practices.

2. Be prepared to describe what you need and what you want to accomplish.

The clearer you can be the better. Be specific about what you need, what your business is and who you want to target. You don’t have to have a creative vision but you do need to be able to describe what you would like to achieve by hiring a designer. And a good business plan helps.

3. Have a clear message and know your own business.

This might sound simple but you’d be surprised how often businesses aren’t clear on their message. What are your company values? What is your unique offering? Who is your target audience? What is your tone?

4. What are your objectives, deadlines and budgets?

Be clear on what the project is or what it is that you need to accomplish. Is it a direct mail piece to a specific audience or is it a mass email campaign? Do you need an identity and brand that truly showcases you’re value proposition and communicates who you are as a company?
What is your deadline? Be specific about your schedule but also be realistic. Depending on what you need, it may be a fast deliverable or it may require research and hence more time.
What is your budget? You may already know what you have to spend OR you may need to discuss what will be required to deliver what you need. Both processes can work but be realistic in your expectations. Like all businesses, you get what you pay for.
Ultimately, good design services are a result of a good understanding of your business. Take advantage of your designer’s skills to help deliver your message successfully by giving them all the tools they need to do their job for you!