How to Work With Graphic Designers to Get the Perfect Design
Work with graphic designers and your marketing becomes so much better they say! But people hardly ever talk about the challenges in design collaborations.
Sketching something that comes to your mind can be difficult on its own- imagine reproducing someone else’s idea! Sounds like a bit of a challenge, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t really have to be that way, provided you prepare yourself for the collaboration ahead.
Remember, if you are a business owner, this will be a collaboration that helps in many ways. You can create some stunning visuals for your business to look good in front of potential leads and your customers. Or even designs that win investors. Outsourcing graphic design can also be the most cost-effective decision a business can make to enhance its marketing efforts.
So, it is worth understanding and creating a robust collaboration strategy to make this seemingly daunting arrangement work.
- Who Needs to Work With Graphic Designers?
- The Need for a Structured Workflow in Design Collaborations
- The Success Formula for Working with Graphic Artists
- Simplifying Design Project Collaborations With Kimp
Who Needs to Work With Graphic Designers?
Digital presence is a priority not just for technology-oriented businesses anymore. In fact, there are so many small business owners around the world who operate without a physical store. From dropshipping to print-on-demand, online book publishing and so much more, there are plenty of online-only business models as well. All of these online businesses need graphic designs in the form of digital ads, social media posts, and more.
Ecommerce and digital buying are growing pretty fast. So, 22% of all retail sales are projected to be through ecommerce sales by the year 2023. So, business owners have to gear up for heavy competition ahead.
And then there are businesses with a not-very-active digital presence. They too need graphic designs. These can be in the form of flyer designs, posters to advertise their business, billboard ads, and even business cards.
There was a time when adding a single feature image was enough for a blog. But times have changed and people expect content of all types to be more interactive, even blogs. Nearly 22% of bloggers use at least 4-6 images in their blog posts. And 42% of bloggers who use more than 10 images report that they see very good results.
So, bloggers looking to push their blogs up the ladder in a competitive market, need blog images – not any image online but original graphics fine-tuned to the blog content. Original graphics curated by graphic artists will make the blog stand out in the crowded blogging realm.
Marketers know the market too well and have a clear idea about the designs that will convert but they hardly have the time. As they study the market and figure out the right marketing strategies they realize that there is a steady requirement for attractive marketing materials, most of which involve visuals.
So, marketers around the world work with graphic artists in order to improve their productivity, achieve marketing goals and attain strong business branding.
In short, anyone with an idea, a product, or a service they wish to sell either online or through physical stores will all need the services of graphic artists.
The Need for a Structured Workflow in Design Collaborations
To know why a design collaboration requires a structured workflow, you should know about the common challenges encountered in such collaborations-
Design expectations are not met
If the design is not as per the client’s expectations, there could be two main reasons –
- Missing information in the design brief or lack of clarity in furnishing design requirements
- Misinterpretation of the design brief and requirements by the graphic artist
Use of wrong colors, font styles not according to the client’s idea, the overall mood of the image, or video not resonating with what the client had imagined are all examples of design requirements not being met. But the designer might have used those particular colors because they are in trend for the year.
To be sure that the client and the designer are on the same page, a good communication strategy should be in place.
Unexpected delays in delivery
Delays in design projects are often because there is something missing in the design requirements provided by the client or because the timeline estimates were wrong.
Working with unlimited graphic design subscription services that provide not just one resource but a dedicated team to take care of a business’ graphic designs will remove unwanted delays. Another essential aspect would be straightforward project tracking from the beginning stage.
Kimp Tip: Working with transparent dashboards to track the progress of the project and to get timely updates will make it easier for clients and designers to avoid unpredicted delays. Kimp has predictable turnaround times so that clients can plan their marketing calendar more effectively. And with the transparency of tracking your projects through Trello, you can always have a check on the design progress.
Too many revisions
If the designer does not understand the objective of the design clearly or if the client does not give clear design feedback, there might be repeated revision requests.
While unlimited graphic design services do provide unlimited revisions, brands can avoid the extra time it takes to execute these revisions by being precise while pointing out the changes they expect. Giving design feedback is an art that every business can benefit from.
The Success Formula for Working with Graphic Artists
1. A good design brief for a head start
Most communication hurdles or delays in design projects happen because of missing information. A design brief would be a document that helps equip graphic artists with the basic information they need to know in order to make the design more relevant to the brand.
A meticulously crafted design brief with inputs from all the relevant people in the team will make sure that the designer understands –
- The objective of the design
- Target audience
- Brand story
- Current brand identity
- The industry where the business exists
A design brief is usually curated by the marketing team or the top management in an organization or sometimes the entrepreneurs themselves. Designers can always evaluate the provided information and ask for more inputs to ensure that the design is in-line with the brand’s expectations.
To capture the essence of the design requirements, a design brief should contain details about
- The hurdles in marketing that the business is trying to overcome with new designs
- Existing design strategies
- Brand assets like logos
- Brand style guidelines
- Expected timelines
- Budget expectations
- Design requirements like size, format, and orientation of the image or video and text copy
- Inspiration images for the design
Including additional details like marketing goals, current stance in the industry, and details about competitors would add more value to the design brief.
For brands – Clearly articulate your ideas and present them in a tangible form through the design brief.
For designers – Make sure that you scrutinize the design brief before starting the design project so that missing details do not cause bottlenecks in design delivery.
2. Timeline discussions to make deadlines less daunting
Coming up with a single date for the completion of the project would not be a pragmatic approach in design collaborations. Understand that the design team or graphic artist you work with might break the whole design process into chunks. After the design request, there are multiple steps involved in obtaining the final design. A few of these include:
- Examination of the design brief and understanding of the design requirement by the graphic artist
- Creation of the draft
- Design revisions
- Final design
Discussions between graphic artists and brands should break down the workflow to understand specific timelines for each stage of the design process. The key to strong communication is clear discussion and understanding of timelines.
For brands – A revision request to change the color in an image might seem pretty small. But, for the designer to actually execute it while also maintaining the balance in design, it might take some time and effort. So, respect the graphic artist’s inputs in setting timelines. Also, provide a detailed design brief at the first stage and clear design feedback, later on, to avoid back and forth communication.
For designers – Brands might not understand the steps involved in creating the design or making changes. Transparent communication and a brief explanation of the process will help the client better understand the timelines.
3. Communication clarity for successful collaboration
From the moment the design brief is presented to the graphic artist to the moment the final design is handed over to the client, every single interaction influences the quality of the collaboration. In fact, at the crux of most design delays and repeated revision requests, there could be poor communication strategies.
Using the right channel for communication is important and then comes the use of simple language. Along with the design brief, the brand should also be able to specify the expectations clearly. For example, colors and symbols that should or should not be used, typeface preferences, and other details should be clear.
Both parties should be ready for open communication. The more you communicate, the better you are as a team working towards the betterment of the brand.
For brands – Instead of blatantly stating that the design does not meet your expectations, be clear about the aspects of the design you want the designer to work on- like the color, size of visual elements, the position of text or symbols.
For designers – Clients might not understand the lexicon of design. So break your inputs into understandable bits in simple words. When you tell your client that moving the element as per the feedback will mess with the “golden ratio” it will make no sense to them. You will have to explain how changing the position of certain visual elements can affect the visual appeal of the image.
4. Let go of the illusion of perfection
The designer and the brand should both stop chasing perfection. There is a difference between perfection with respect to the dimensions and geometry and perfection with respect to the visual balance.
Have you observed the logo of Google up close, especially the letter “G” in the logo?
To the casual onlooker, well, it’s just a rounded font “G” but a graphic designer might be able to point out that things do not really line up in the “G”. Sometimes, geometrically ‘perfect’ designs, especially in typography, might look visually ‘imperfect’. To explain this better, we need to talk about optical illusion.
Have you heard about the Ebbinghaus illusion? Take a look at the image below –
As hard as it might be to believe, both the orange circles are of the same size but they look small or big based on the visual elements arranged close to them. Similarly, the slight offset in the circular “G” of Google was created to make the design look more optically balanced, even though some amount of geometrical ‘imperfection’ exists.
For brands – trust the designer’s insights in design especially when it comes to adding intentional imperfections to create balance.
For designers – aim for a visually balanced piece, even if it involves bending the rules a bit, and you are sure to create a design that communicates the right message.
5. Accept that there will be differences of opinion
Hang a simple red dress, cut and stitched to perfection, and ask a few women to rate how much they like or hate it. You are sure to receive a lot of different answers. Even though there are no “design flaws” some women might simply not like it. If that’s the case with a plain red dress with no concrete factor to hate, imagine creating multimedia content like images and videos where there are so many elements to comment about.
Graphic design is tough mainly because, “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”, after all. But yes, graphic designers try to incorporate some proven concepts like the gestalt principle, golden ratio, and balance in design in order to create content that is aesthetically appealing.
For brands – unless there is too much inconsistency in the design, do not judge the quality of the graphic artist’s work too soon. Talk to your designer to understand why things are the way they are and then contemplate whether a revision would be required.
For designers – while it is difficult to create a design that pleases everyone, creating something that is overall visually pleasing is not difficult. Aim for creating visually balanced designs that are optimized for the target audience and you cannot go wrong. If you are wondering how to do that, check out this blog on how to design for your target audience.
6. Be ready for new ideas
For decades Burberry remained a luxury fashion brand known for its heritage check, in trench coats, and more. But then, with a majority of the shoppers being millennials and Gen Z-ers, and with digital trends ruling the world of marketing, the brand decided to take the biggest risk by dropping its heritage emblem logo for a cleaner, digital-friendly wordmark logo.
Initially, the logo received a mixed response on social media but in the end, it did help the brand attain its rebranding objective by stirring up the nearly stagnant sales the brand was facing.
It came to the spotlight even for the Gen Z-ers who knew little about the brand. Now that’s what happens when brands strengthen their graphic design collaboration and trust their graphic artist. And that’s what happens when you decide to keep your mind open to new ideas in graphic design.
For brands – accommodating new ideas helps because, sometimes, the fresh perspective a graphic artist offers might do the trick and propel business growth.
For designers – businesses come to graphic artists looking for new ideas. Staying up-to-date with design trends and understanding the pulse of the audience through digital media will help create successful designs.
Simplifying Design Project Collaborations With Kimp
No two people think alike especially when creativity has a role to play. Good design collaboration is built on trust between brands and designers. And this requires a transparent and clearly established design workflow. That’s why working with Kimp will make the whole process simpler both for the graphic artists and the brands.
Sign up for a free trial today.