Every design project requires guidelines from a customer in terms of what they expect and objectives. It's an ongoing cooperation, where both parties work for the same goal - getting the best design project for your brand. Over past two years we have delivered hundreds of designs and we have learnt what steps need to be taken to deliver a stellar design. We have gathered six simple points that define the cooperation between customer and designer:
- The brief
Before we can start your project we need to know as much as possible about your brand. Make sure that you have uploaded all the brand guidelines that include logo, colors, fonts, the tone of the communication & design, who's your buyer persona.
You can also add any previous designs for your brand that you feel would be a good example of what you expect. Please, also link to the designs that you think are OK but don't align with your brand communication.
This part may be time consuming, however the more information we get from the beginning, the less revisions will be needed in the future.
2. The goal.
While posting the project think about the objective of it. Will this infographic be included in your upcoming email marketing campaign? Will this animation be presented on a trade show? Will this presentation be used by your sales people to close more deals?
Make sure to add this objectives while placing the order, before we start the design process. It'll give us extra information on how to design the project that goes along with your plans.
When reviewing the draft, try to be as specific as possible. Feedback that says "I don't like this layout" is very ambiguous and cannot be applied. Instead, try describe what you have in mind, or even add examples - that will definitely help us to improve the next version. Good example: "I don't like the layout, it's cluttered/oldfashioned/too commercial. Can we change it into something less heavy/modern/alternative?"
4. Don't make it personal.
Try to get into your prospects / audience shoes. Would they like this color? How would they perceive my brand when looking at this infographic? Does this project follow our brand guidelines? Do I know our brand guidelines enough to tell?
Make sure you're not contradicting yourself and your brand guidelines. It's tricky to comment on the design as you can get into very subjective feedback trap. At the end it is your prospects that need to love the infographic, not you.
I don't mean to deliver the feedback within the short period of time (however, it's always welcomed!), but what we value the most is to not be afraid to comment generously. Especially while reviewing the first draft of the project - this is the most crucial part of the whole project to be successful. Either we know that we're going into good direction, or we've misread your guidelines and need some more feedback. Even if you completely don't like it and justify it, don't be afraid to ask for the redesign - we're happy to do it. There's nothing worse than working on a project where both customer and designer feel deep inside that there's something missing.
Professional designers that deliver every few days some stellar projects became designers for the reason. They see the world differently, with attention to details that usually non-designers can't see. So if a designer places something which is not fully compatible with your brand guidelines, take a step back and think why it's there. Maybe it's the missing puzzle that makes everything look complete? Of course, if you disagree and feel strongly against it - we will change it right away, but it's always a good idea to give a little bit of freedom with any type of creative work.
Important take outs:
- provide the brief that should be as detailed as possible
- specify the goal - why you even doing this?
- clarify your feedback, by saying what you want and what you don't
- avoid focusing too much on your personal preferences than your audience's
- don't be afraid of commenting on the drafts
- trust your designers
I hope this guideline will help you manage the process more efficiently and make your work with the designers much more pleasant!.