Good design requires successful teamwork between the designer and the client. Working with a graphic design firm starts with providing solid input at the beginning of a new project. Preparation is key. The project you entrust to a design firm is going to represent your company, so it’s important to give them as much information as possible up front. Here are some things you can do to make the design process easier and more productive for both you and your design firm.
Purpose: Let your design firm know what you are trying to accomplish.
- Who are you are you trying to reach? And what do you need to tell them?
- Is there a call-to-action? Do you want your audience to do something specific after seeing the piece?
- How will the design be used? Is the piece for web? Print? Or both? Is it something used in person? By mail, etc.?
- Is there a specific or targeted deadline for completion?
Message: One of the most important elements of graphic design is getting the message right and delivering it in the right tone.
What are your company’s values, attitude, purpose and personality?
Look and feel: How do you want your company to be perceived?
- Provide descriptions such as, “conservative”, “clean”, “elegant”, “innovative”, etc”. These offer clues about the tone you want from a look-and-feel perspective.
- Provide examples. A picture is worth a thousand words. Find websites or materials that you think are similar to the look and feel you’d like to achieve with your project. And describe why you like them (“I like the dynamic look of this”; “I like these colors”; “I like how clean and professional this feels”).
Budget: If you have a set budget, let your designer know.
Costs will vary depending on what you want. Like building a custom home, the more complex the project, the higher the price. A total re-branding is going to cost more than a single logo or package design. Discuss the final deliverables and your budget constraints with your design firm so they can offer recommendations based on your budget and provide you with an accurate cost estimate.
Deadlines: Keep deadlines in mind.
Provide your targeted deadline for completion at the start of the project. A design project has many steps and requires some back-and-forth between the design firm and the client before completion. Once the project is underway, be sure you meet your own deadlines. Provide content and feedback promptly. If multiple people in your company need to review the work, provide collective feedback from your team. This will help keep your project on time and on budget.
Keeping each of these points in mind as you begin a project will help ensure a smooth process and an on-target solution from your design team.