How to Help Your Graphic Design Team Create a Design You’ll Love

Graphic design is no more a nice-to-have element in marketing. It has become a must-have. Brands big and small are wowing their customers and wooing their potential leads with great designs. 

So, you need to go the extra mile in strengthening your marketing strategy with designs that represent your brand. These should also be designs that communicate in the language of your target audience. 

The most evident solution that most businesses think of for handling this design crisis will be to hire an internal graphic design team. But then, there is the cost incurred in managing an in-house team.

In fact, only around 29% of marketers rely on in-house designers to handle their design requests. And the rest outsource it to freelancers, and design firms or choose a graphic design subscription. 

Having second thoughts about outsourcing design? We’ll tell you why most brands do it. And we’ll also talk about how to make this collaboration with an external graphic design team work. 

3 Reasons Why Outsourcing Graphic Design Is a Great Idea

  1. To keep up with the trend and create designs that get your brand noticed, you need the best talent in the industry. But hiring them is not always within the budget for small businesses. Outsourcing means availing the service of some of the best talents in the industry. And that too without the onboarding effort and the additional budget due to an added payroll. 
  1. Execute your ideas but from a fresh perspective. That’s what external creative teams bring. When an external team works on your design, they think of the idea from an outsider’s perspective. Your ideas combined with an unbiased external team’s inputs will make your designs better. 
  1. The external team’s experience in working with a variety of clients gives them practical knowledge. Because when it comes to design, you cannot simply stick to the rulebook. You need designs that resonate with the people they are designed for. And this comes from experience. 

Besides all these, you should always remember that when you launch a business it is not safe to keep several balls in the air. It’s better to offload some work to external teams. And design can be one such. Having outsourced your design you can focus on other critical business tasks. 

Most businesses are skeptical about outsourcing their designs because they are not sure if this arrangement will work for their business model. While others take the big step but find it hard to get the external design team to understand their requirements and create designs that suit their brands. 

However, when you plan well, collaborating with an external design team does not have to be that difficult after all. We’ll look at a few simple ways in which you can help your graphic design team create a design you’ll love.  

Things You Can Do to Make Your Collaboration With a Graphic Design Team a Success 

What should the client do in order to make a design collaboration work? While a major share of efforts lies in the hands of the design team, the client has the power to make things run smoother and the design requests move faster. 

We’ll give you an example. When you are ordering a shirt online, do you get accurate results when you simply search for the term “shirt”? The chances are less. You will notice that there are thousands of options displayed. And it’s tough to scroll through all of them. 

On the other hand, when you key in more specific terms like “full-sleeved black shirt”, you see more relevant results. Evidently, the more specific your search query, the better the results displayed. 

Placing a design request is no different. That is to say, the more specific you are about your design requirements, the better your designs. That’s just one way in which you can make things easier for both your team and the design team. We’ll tell you a few more such ideas. 

1. Understand the scope and be ready with the raw materials 

Producing graphic designs consistently is one of the biggest challenges that 36.7% of marketers face. Consequently, outsourcing comes as a way to address this challenge. Understanding the scope of the outsourcing arrangement will be the most important step.

There is a lot of gray area in many design collaborations. Not to forget the complications of design contracts. This is one reason why businesses find themselves in a pickle after they make the payment for the service and initiate the design project. One thing that helps is to understand the scope of the services and proceed only if you are sure that your requirements are met. 

For example, some graphic design teams only handle contemporary visual styles and not vintage styles like Art Nouveau. Some might handle graphic designs and not custom illustrations. But what if you need custom illustrations and a mix of graphic design styles for your project? So, it all begins with choosing the right team for the job. 

After this, find out what your design team needs from you in order to start working on the design. For instance, most teams ask for your logos and other digital assets. Hence, having all of these ready will speed things up. And that brings us to the next point, putting together your brand kit. 

2. Prepare a brand kit

Brand kit, brand assets, you may use different names but they all indicate the digital branding assets of your brand. These are the foundational blocks in building a visual identity for your brand. Putting together a brand kit is easier than you think. And in most cases, this is a one-time effort. You can use this brand kit as a reference for all your design projects. 

A few brand assets to include in your brand kit will be:

  • The logo file
  • Full brand name and tagline 
  • Pictures and other digital assets that should be part of the design 

However, these assets feel incomplete when you do not tell your design team how to use them. For a startup where everything is to be designed from scratch, this might not be a big deal. 

On the other hand, if your brand already has a digital presence, your new designs need to look consistent with the old ones. That’s where the brand style guide comes into the picture. 

3. Have a style guide in place 

A brand style guide or brand guidelines elaborate on how your brand looks and sounds in all your marketing designs. “Brand kit” and “brand style guide” are sometimes used interchangeably but these are two very different things. 

For example, your brand kit includes your logo, as a design file, but your style guide defines how to use the logo. Everything from the size and colors for the logo and the orientation in a design. So, a brand kit and brand style guide together make it easier for your design team to align your designs with your brand’s visual identity or persona.  

Your brand style guide talks about finer details that can be used in creating both the copy and the visuals. You will find information like:

  • Your brand story
  • Logo usage specifications
  • Color palettes, both primary and secondary
  • Font styles preferred
  • The tone of messaging 

And a whole lot more. Adding more details makes it easier for your designer to know your brand better. And thus create more brand-relevant designs. 

Brand Guidelines Designed by Kimp

If you do not yet have your brand guidelines in place, the Kimp Team can help you put them together. This will come in handy when you have to furnish your design requirements in the future too. 

4. Work on a clear design brief 

While the brand guidelines talk about using your brand assets in general, the design brief is particularly about the design in the picture. Is it a logo you want or a social media post? A flyer design or billboard? Your design brief is a primer that talks about:

  • What the design project is
  • Who the target audience is
  • Your competitors 

And any other information relevant to the design. 

Writing a design brief requires a little brainstorming and some meticulous planning about the design you need. But the results pay off. 

To sum it up, the design brief helps in verbalizing the ideas you have in mind for your design. For this reason, it is a vital part of any design collaboration. Because your graphic design team’s understanding of the design requirements depends on the design brief.

5. Give clear and timely design feedback 

Your job is not done once your design team starts working on the project. Your design team incorporates your brand assets and creates a design based on the design brief you provide, aligning the design with the style guide. Despite this, opinions on designs are subjective. A design might not always impress you on the first iteration. 

That’s why it is very useful when you know how to give design feedback. Because pointing out what you like or dislike about the design helps better understand each other from the first interaction. 

Firstly, understand why your design team adopted a particular approach. Then, come up with recommendations for changes in the design based on a discussion with the stakeholders in your business. And finally, put everything in a brief document that records what kind of changes you want and why these changes might make the design better. This helps the designers evaluate their understanding of the design requirements. 

Working with unlimited design services like Kimp gives you the freedom to come up with as many revision requests as you like. So, even if you find the design to be good at the moment but have second thoughts before posting it on social media, you can always come back and get those finishing touches done. 

6. Furnish reference images, lots of them 

One small step that many brands miss while furnishing their design request is adding reference images. The design team will be working on visuals that help you convey your brand’s message to your audience. Therefore, what better way to convey your idea to your design team than with visuals. 

So, look for reference images. These could be from campaigns from competitors or even big global brands. Or simply look for inspiration on Pinterest and other social media platforms. Look for designs you love, color palettes that set the exact mood you have in mind, and font styles that you want to replicate in your design. Overall, these visual references will add more power to the design brief you provide them. 

Reference images make it easier for you to explain the style you want and also make it easier for your design team to understand what you are looking for. 

Your past marketing visuals can also be references. After all, you want your new designs to resonate with the old ones. On the contrary, sometimes you want the new designs to be created in such a way that they do not make the same mistake as the old ones. Either way, your brand’s past visuals will be useful references to provide to your design team. 

7. Avoid assumptions

One final tip will be to avoid working based on assumptions. Assuming that your design team has understood your design requirements, or assuming that they will know about your brand and industry from the details you provide will all lead to communication gaps. 

  • Have clear channels of communication. 
  • Discuss the design brief, style guide, and other information you provide. 
  • Check with your design team to be sure that they have enough information to start working on.
  • Do not wait for them to come back to you and ask for missing details. 

Paying attention to these 7 easy tips will help you sail smoothly through any design collaboration with an external team. Whether you choose a one-off design service or a design subscription, these ideas remain valid. Just that, things get easier with a design subscription. Instead of working with different teams and explaining to them the whole deal every single time, you will be working with a single team for all your designs. And this saves you a lot of time. 

When the client and design team work together, the collaboration will be a huge success. Great designs help brands improve their marketing. And helping brands achieve their marketing goals will make designers happy. All this begins with a good rapport between the client and the design team. 

Kimp’s Graphic Design Subscriptions Make Outsourcing Designs Easier 

Outsourcing graphic design has its own challenges, but none that cannot be tackled with a little planning. Simple steps like the ones we discussed above, can help your designers deliver designs that you love. Knowing this will be the first step to strengthening your collaboration. Once you have the basics laid out, everything else will fall in place. 

Want to give unlimited design service a shot without putting anything at stake? Try Kimp’s free trial