Become Your Graphic Designer’s Dream, Not Nightmare

You know the feeling. You are excited about some edits you have to the latest draft of your newsletter. These edits will make all the difference in the world, maybe even sell some business. You mark up the page and walk over to your designer’s desk to share these changes.  They see you coming. You catch their facial expression. You’re not positive, but they may already think you’re a nightmare.

Not a pleasant feeling.

Communications professionals enjoy showcasing stunning projects that their designers created. Instead, wouldn’t it be fun to show your designer that you’ve learned and retained some best practices for working with them along the way? Avoid having bad practices become habit when working with your designer.

Let’s become our designer’s dream colleague.

Working with your Designer – Project Checklist

  • Relay key information about your audience and goal.
  • Share your total project budget, especially if the piece is being printed.
  • If you have a specific idea, share it upfront before they waste time brainstorming or designing.
  • Make yourself available for questions before the designer works their magic.
  • Set a project schedule with reasonable expectations at the onset.
  • Ask your designer if they will need to purchase stock photography and what it will cost.
  • Listen to any concerns they may express related to copying images from the Internet.
  • Coordinate all edits and changes through one in-between liaison (you!).
  • Ensure your copy and headlines have been proofread and approved prior to submitting to your designer.
  • Always provide original photos.
  • If you want to learn why they selected a certain layout or photo, ask!

No More Nightmares

  • Don’t drive them crazy by saying “make it pretty” or “make it pop.” They are artists. They will find a way without you reminding them.
  • Don’t expect them to proofread, create copy or develop a catchy headline. Give them all the text exactly as it should appear so they can focus on the design.
  • Don’t insult their work. Learn to be curious. Question their decisions so you can collaborate effectively.
  • Don’t give them stretched photos. Leave it to them to make the original one larger.
  • You’re on a deadline. It is a quick turnaround. That doesn’t excuse you from professional etiquette when working with your designer.
  • When everyone considers one another’s needs and goals, the project (and process) will speak for itself.

This post was written by PPRA member Karen Toner. She is a communications manager at ParenteBeard, a top 25 accounting firm in Center City. She’s grateful for all the designers she’s ever worked with, for their commitment to creating eye-catching projects. It’s not an easy task with so many edits flying around.

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