If you run a business, you’re probably going to work with a graphic designer at some point.

From updating your website to building a logo, creating packaging or simply choosing your color palette—there are hundreds of details, large and small, where a designer is integral to your branding, and your overall business success. That said, working with a designer or a design agency is a big undertaking.

Here are eight friendly tips to make the design process easy, stress-free, and successful.

Set the Dates: Create Realistic Time Frames

Before you embark on the design process, make sure you and your designer agree on a time frame. Clarify and set actual dates for when you need things like:

  • A first draft
  • Final proof
  • And the print-ready piece

Be clear about what you need, and when. Remember though, some graphic design can be more time-consuming than you might imagine. There’s a lot of skill and knowledge that goes into even a small design piece, and if you want really stellar results, leave time for your designer to work their magic.

Communicate Your Vision: By Providing Examples

The clearer you communicate your vision, the faster and more skillfully your designer brings that vision to life. By getting to see examples of pieces you love, your designer is more likely to create a final product that perfectly fits your needs.

Designers tend to be visual learners, so explaining what you want in words won’t be as effective as providing images. Take some time to find real examples that showcase what you want — even if they’re from companies in different industries. Remember, you are the only person who knows what you like, and it’s up to you to make sure your designer is on the same page.

First Draft: See It as an Opportunity

Your first draft is a golden opportunity. It’s a chance to see where your design is heading, and to provide important feedback that points your designer in the right direction. If there are certain elements you don’t like, don’t fret. In fact, at this stage, finding things you don’t like is a good thing; it provides valuable information your designer can use to create an outstanding final draft. At this point in the design process, all information is positive. Think of your first draft as the bottom rung on the ladder, on the way up to your awesome, picture-perfect design piece.

Details Count: Be Specific with Feedback

The more specific you are with your feedback, the better the final results. A good designer will be listening closely when you provide your feedback, and they’ll use your valuable insights to create the next draft. So, think carefully before you give your notes or edits, and make sure you tell the designer exactly what it is you like, and what you’d like to see change in the next iteration of your piece.

The Five Components: Decoding Design

There are five primary components in graphic design:

  • Color
  • Fonts
  • Images
  • Layout
  • Overall aesthetic

Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out exactly what it is you do and don’t like. Thinking of your design piece in these five parts can clarify what’s working for you, and what’s not. Even better, referring to these components when providing feedback can help you clearly communicate with your designer, and can seriously expedite the design process.

Creativity Takes Space: Give Your Designer Room the Thrive

If you want a successful, awesome graphic design piece - give your designer space. When a client is too particular or micro manages the process, a designer can become hesitant, and less likely to provide creative input. And of course, creative input is exactly what you do want from your designer.

A great design process is an active, energetic back and forth between a designer and a client. Remember, by giving your designer room to experiment, you’re feeding the creative process, and more likely to receive a vibrant, inspired final product.

Ask Questions!

 If something’s confusing you, ask your designer to clarify. If you’re worried about some element of the design, speak up. A good designer will be eager to communicate their intentions, to answer your questions, and to incorporate your ideas. So, don’t hesitate to be inquisitive; you are important, and your perspective and satisfaction is at the heart of the design process.

Celebrate the Results: And Maintain Your Perspective

Time, exposure, and your target audience will help you measure the effectiveness of your new design piece.

It’s easy to lose perspective when you’re close to the graphic design process, so don’t get too hung up on the tiny details when you first view your final product. It may be that some component that worries you ends up being the thing your target buyers love most about your new logo, website, or brand design.

And most importantly, celebrate a successful design process. Look forward to using your new design in your marketing, testing your design piece in the real world, and to seeing your business grow, evolve, and thrive.

At Harvest Media, we take great care to ensure that our clients know how much we value them in every interaction. Get in touch with our team at 847-352-4345 or send us a message.