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  • James Walton

3 Tips on Talking to a Creative Designer

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Business owners and entrepreneurs often find themselves needing the services of a freelance designer. There's a logo to be designed, a whitepaper to produce, or a marketing campaign that needs a visual flourish.


But the struggle of communicating effectively limits effectiveness. The design process is marred with ground-up rework, numerous edits, wrong directions and a feeling that it shouldn't be this hard.


So here's three tips to help ensure your communication with a designer gets off to a good start.


1. Provide a brief overview of your organization

  • Describe the company history,

  • the story behind the name of the organization,

  • your vision and values,

  • what you do and who you do it for, and

  • the culture you want this design piece to reinforce.


Says designer Kaylee Hanks, "Never assume that we are in your head. Give us as much info as possible about your business, what you stand for, and the personality of who you are as a business."


2. Provide a set of technical and artistic boundaries

  • What is the final application of the design? Web-based? Print-based?

  • What file formats are needed for the final export? .jpg? .png? .eps?

  • What resolution and dimensions are required? 72dpi? 300dpi?

  • What color space is required? CMYK? RGB? Pantone?

  • What colors, fonts, or other visual elements are already in use in your brand or project?

  • What emotion do you want this project to evoke?


Confused on the terminology? Here's a helpful primer.


3. Communicate early, often, and clearly


You hire creative talent because they're able to take an idea and translate it into a visual medium in a way that adds value. Everyone wins when you can provide clear running lanes, and the willingness to be as clear as possible in your communication.


Graphic designer Catherine Flaherty takes it a step further: "Give as much information as possible and share any expectations you have at the beginning. And always feel free to call or request a meeting if anything needs to be clarified further or addressed quickly."