8 Things to Remember when Working with Designers

Clients working with a designer for the first time can be a bit confusing. Here are a few tips to help you when hiring a designer.


1) Determine timeframes right at the beginning of your project.

This is important so that your designer can plan the project. Deadlines are important to keep you on track with your own business activities too. Plan ahead, and prepare your project beforehand for your designer. Collect all content, materials and media needed before signing up for the work. This will help ensure that your designer will meet your deadlines.


2) Provide similar examples of what you have in mind. This is the best way to express design styles and trends. Words alone may not be quite enough to explain the direction you want. Sketches, drawings, screenshots are all great examples of what you have in mind for your project.


3) Design is like a puzzle … from first draft to final design.

Never expect your first draft to be the outcome of what you just paid your designer to produce. Sometimes the road is very broad and sometimes the path is very short and successful to produce your dream design. Allow your designer to show a few different rough elements to get an idea which direction to point their creative skills.

4) Be specific when requesting edits from your designer. The most clear explanations will get you the best edits. Take some time to express yourself with clarity and focus on primary goals first. Being “crystal clear” is a time-saver in the long run. It’s worth your time and effort, and will always be beneficial for a great final design.

5) State the basics first … color, fonts, images, layout, overall design.
At the beginning of your project, list a few basic directives to set the stage. If you don’t know specific names of colors or fonts, bring some swatches or images forward that look similar to what you have in mind. Tweaking is always expected, so don’t worry about being precise. Layouts are the same thing. Websites, printed material, or a mobile phone snap is fine to help your designer get to where you want to be with your new design.


6) Don’t over-control your designer

It’s easy to want to direct your designer to create your dream, but sometimes designers see concepts otherwise. Be open-minded when your designer supplies additional information to consider, and take a moment to objectively view a new concept from a whole new angle. Show some drafts to family and friends for their vote, just to make sure that the general population will like your new marketing media.



7) Ask lots of questions … your input is important
Whenever you work with a designer, either online or in person, always ask questions that are important for you. Staying in the dark about information may lead to getting a final design that is not quite what you expected. Designers want you to be overjoyed about showing off your latest project. Asking lots of questions may bring forward details that your designer may take advantage of through their design process.


8) When to Stop Asking for New Edits and Accept your Final Design.
Temptation to extend your project for one last tiny change is always present. Deadline, number of total edits, and communication ease will help determine whether you need to ask for one or two last edit attempts. If you have a high volume of edits, perhaps it’s time to decide which final you like better. Over-extending a high volume of needless edits will just tire out your designer, and will probably be a waste of time. When you have adequately requested your edits, you will be successful in clearly seeing your final design. Most clients know when the design has “arrived” with wow-factor.

I'm a designer ... graphic, web, and photography in Vancouver, BC, Canada.