One of the most important things you can do for your brand is to create a valuable and consistent image. If you are creating marketing materials for your small business, nonprofit, or your personal brand, it is beneficial to have a good graphic designer who understands your brand.
Over my career, I’ve met many graphic designers who were pessimistic when taking on new projects, as they felt either they would not be allowed their creative freedom or worst—they would not be provided the info they needed to create an amazing design.
Communication is key in building a meaningful relationship with your graphic designer. So whether you are hiring a graphic designer for the first time or you just want to strengthen an existing relationship, below are tips to establish that necessary rapport with your brand’s ultimate creative muse.
Prepare a creative brief. Once you determine you will need to work with a graphic designer for a project, prepare a creative brief. While this type of document can be very elaborate, it can also be simple. The purpose of this brief is to provide background details on your brand, special instructions, and helpful direction for the designer. Start by answering the following questions below:
- What is the assignment? What do you need created?
- How would you describe your brand?
- What is the tagline for your brand?
- Who is the audience for this design?
- What is the goal of this design? How will it be used?
- What text should be included in the design? Do you want to list contact info or social media channels?
- Has the content been proofread and edited yet?
- Do you have creative guidelines for your brand? Are there colors, fonts, or images that you like or that you typically use?
- Would you like the final product to be a certain size? If yes, what are the specs?
- Will this be printed? Do you have your own printing vendor or would you like a recommendation?
- Who will be the point of contact for the project? Who will provide approval?
Host a kick-off meeting. At this meeting present your creative brief. Also bring examples of items that have been created for your brand in the past. If you have samples from another brand that you like or dislike, bring them to the meeting, so the designer can understand your perspective. During this meeting, make sure you understand the revision process. Sometimes there is a fee for multiple revisions, which is why it is so important to be explicit with your ideas and expectations at the beginning of the project, instead of the end.
After the meeting, provide a recap in writing of what was discussed so that there are no misunderstandings. This will only complement the proposal for work that your designer should have provided at the very beginning of the project.
Establish guidelines, but also allow freedom. The worst thing you can do to an artist is not allowing them the opportunity to do what they do best. After establishing your guidelines, be open to their suggestions and ideas. While you know your brand best, don’t take their creative expertise for granted.
Close out your project. When the final design is complete, make sure that you have all of the files that were promised. It’s difficult to request something after the project ends, as time has passed and it’s easy to have forgotten what was promised. Thus, double-check that you have everything that was agreed upon, before closing out the project.
Taking these tips into consideration will help you build a strong long term relationship with your graphic designer and inspire the best designs for your brand.
Wishing you all the best, Business Rock Stars!
Do you have a good relationship with your graphic designer? Share your story in the comments below or tweet them to me @bestrategicPR. #bestrategicPR #graphic #designs #smallbiz
Photo by Kaboompics.com