I’m relatively new on the graphic design circuit, but every day I find myself grateful to have found my passion and calling in life. It’s like finding the $5 in the pocket of a pair of pants you haven’t worn in a while. You didn’t know you had been missing it until you found it. When I started designing I felt like I discovered a side of me I never knew I had, and it took a long time to realize what the side of me was about.
Now after spending a few years working with wonderful and inspired lady bosses, I’ve come to realize I’m not only one who needed some direction on what the graphic designers know, and how to work with us. Here are 8 quick tips for you about your graphic designers.
1. We want to make you look good. Pretty much is our core goal as a designer. You’ll see me mention a lot in the following tips. It is in our best interest to make you look fantastic because the better you look, and the happier you are, the more we get our work noticed and get more work. I wont spend a lot of time on this point, because it’s central to almost all the tips, but I want it to be painfully obvious that we want you to look good,
2. What you see is what you get. Just like every person in the whole wide world, every graphic designer is different; with different passions, skills, and abilities. If you look through their portfolio and love everything you see, 99% of the time, you can expect to love whatever you get. If you look through their portfolio and it doesn’t seem to mesh with what you have in mind, consider it a warning as to what you may get. Some of us slay at watercolor logos, others of us have the 99 cent crayola watercolors hidden away under a layer of dust because we hates it. (Ahem. Not that I am speaking from experience or anything.)
3. We’re really good at what we do. Once you have found a designer you can really jive with, please trust us that we know how to design! You hired us to make you look good. We have done this dance a lot, please let us do what you asked us to do! Micromanaging a graphic designer is a quick way to have someone resent working with you a little bit. We have spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of our job, so you don’t have to! We got your back, so give us the ball and let us take you in for the touch down.
4. We can work magic, but we’re not mind readers. Graphic designers spend a lot of time learning how to read people. Personally, one of my strongest traits as a designer is that I am super empathetic. I can pick up on someones style as if it was my own. However, no matter how empathetic I am, I will never be able to know what you don’t tell me. A good graphic designer will ask a lot of questions. A LOT of questions. These questions are to help us get to know you, and in turn make you look really really good. (Like, “DANG GIRL!” good.) The best thing to do when we ask all these questions is to be honest. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “whatever you think looks good!” to present a design only to hear “that’s not really want I had in mind.” Listen friends, I will always do what I think look goods. What matters to me is what you think looks good.
5. It’s okay if you don’t like what you see at first. I’ll be the first to admit that occasionally we get it wrong. Sometimes we are human and totally miss the mark of your vision. Sometimes this is our fault, and sometimes it’s because we didn’t have the right info (see tip above.) Please, let us know. Again, it is our ultimate goal to make you look good. (Notice this trend yet?) If we are not doing that, we want to know and will be 0% offended if you call us out on it.
6. We love to show off. Keep an open mind when we show you something new. We want to give you our best stuff because we want you to look good (have I said that enough yet?) If we know a better why to show case you, we want to let you know.
7. All graphic designers are not made equal. Just because someone who had formal training doesn’t mean they are any better than someone who didn’t. Likewise to assume that someone without the training has raw passion and talent for design would also be a foolish move. The most important thing to know about your graphic designers is that there are good ones, and bad ones. You can’t just go with anyone and get a quality product, so be sure to look at portfolios.
8. You get what you pay for. Anyone who charges you $25 for a logo is either completely a fraud, or super undercharging themselves. Graphic design takes time, a lot of experience, and a lot of training. Because of those investments in ourselves, you can expect to see a higher price tag. It’s like the difference of buying dollar tree shampoo vs saloon shampoo. Sure, both work, but one is going to be nicer to your hair in the long run. Better designers will charge more, and that upfront cost is sometimes super scary! What you need to remember is that we are building you something to make you even more money than what you paid us! It’s a huge investment, so make sure you invest the right way!
So now that you know a few good tips, head on out and find your designer soul mate! If you have any questions, please send me a message and ask. I love helping small businesses grow. Even if I am not the designer for you, I don’t mind helping you find the right one!