The partnership you forge with your new Graphic Designer will strongly affect the external market place image of your company. Although sometimes you may feel the creative process is driving you to drink, there are ways you can improve the communication process. Don't think of the relationship between you and your designer as an episode of Survivor; think of it more as The Amazing Race. If communication between you and your designer is combative or characterized by “outwit, outlast, and outplay,” then the end product, your website or sales collateral, will reflect that struggle.
Finding a Great Graphic Designer
Start with the designer’s portfolio. If they have “a style” does it fit your vision? Call their work references to find out:
- How did they handle rejection of their idea or a redirection of their design process;
- Were they patient and effective communicators?
- Did they meet deadlines?
If the designer is remote and not near your office, their ability to communicate clearly via phone or email will be very important. Finding the right person to fit your company culture is important. Don't leave it to chance: hire a staffing agency that specializes in matching talent with businesses.
Communicating with a New Graphic Designer
It's likely you’ll have a specific vision about the look and feel of your next creative project. The most important first step is for you to write it down. Graphics designers are used to interpreting visual content, so don’t worry if you can’t draw a stick figure. Take time to sketch what you want the finished project to look like, being specific about what you like or don't like about your current look or what your competitors are doing. What colors will predominate? Are there examples from other companies that you want the designer to model? Jot down what you really like -- and what you don't.
Next, be clear about logistics:
- What are the deadlines?
- How do you want to be communicated with?
- Should you schedule regular meetings with the designer in order to avoid phone tag?
- If the file is too large to send electronically, how will you edit?
Establishing effective communication with your graphic designer during your race to complete a project will help you avoid frustration and a potentially bad experience. Just like The Amazing Race, there may be moments where you feel like you’re lost in a foreign country with everyone speaking a different language. But a solid partnership with your designer will help navigate your team toward the finish line.