I have been a designer for several years and have worked with a huge range of clients, from brides to big corporate business, I have dipped my two into projects of all sizes. Some projects went amazingly well, the client was happy, I’m happy, it’s on deadline with no problems. Then there were others which were to say the least... problematic.
I really do care about my clients and the work that I do. I don’t want anyone to have a bad experience, but sometimes things get out of my control, frustrations come along and the project begins to suffer because of it.
I have learnt a lot about client relations and project management and can pretty much deal with anything that comes my way.
So I thought I would help you out with some simple tips to make sure your projects run like clockwork and keep your designer happy so they produce the best work they can for you.
1. Be time Efficient
This is my first point because it is by far the most important. If you have a deadline and you have given it to your designer, they will be doing there best to work to it. You have to do the same. This is especially important for large scale projects.
A good project manager (in most cases the designer) will set up a timeline at the start of the project to make sure that the work will be done on time for the clients ideal delivery date. Depending on the scale of the project this will be shared with you the client (if you want a simple thing like an invite or business card you probably won’t recieve a time line but if you have a brand roll-out, campaign or website you should have one, and if you don’t recieve one request it). A timeline will keep you on the same track as your designer and help you see where your project is up too.
Being on time also means responding to emails and communications as soon as you can. If your designer has questions, require review or need assets, they will email you immediately, while working on your project, and in most cases the longer their email goes unanswered the longer your project is on hold. So if you want it done ASAP or even yesterday make sure you stay on your A game too and get those answers out as soon as you can.
A punctual client is a dream come true for most designers as the majority of us have more than one project on the go and only have limited scheduled time to dedicate to each, so if you can help us keep our schedule and not delay your designer would love you for it.
2. Clear communication
in design jobs there is often a lot of back and forth to revise work to make it exactly what you want. Designers will often seek your opinion and thoughts at each stage of the design process (concept to refinement) and clear and concise feedback is the best response you can give. A big no no in giving feedback is the netoriois “I don’t know, it just isn’t right, can you do it again, make it similar but different”. This kind of feedback is not going to get you the design you want. I recommend when giving a response to set it out in a 3 fold manner. Mention to item you like/don’t, mention why and if it needs changing recommend a direction of even link something you do like, references to other projects are always a great way to communicate what you are looking for even when you can’t find the words to describe it.
3. Don’t overload your designer with copy edits
A big thing that will jack up the cost of your design is wasting valuable revisions on copy edits. Copy should be sorted and finalised ahead of time. I shouldn’t be on version 22 of a job because of constantly changing text. Whether you are doing your copy writing before the design work or once it has commenced try and limit your copy versions to 1-3 revisions, to copy my not work in the design and need to be reworked, that is understandable, but having to fix and change single words, grammar and misspelling for hours is going to drive your designer mad, and they would likely charge extra for the work they have to do.
4. Low res JPEGs are a no go
If you are doing a project and a designer requests design files, brand files, images or your logo, please do not send them a low res jpeg file (like an image pulled from facebook) 99% of the time these files are not usable and the designer will just have to chase you up for a better version. If this is the only file you have available let the designer know in advanced, if it is your logo file, you might have to source a better copy from where you got it made or even request the designer recreate it at a higher rate (which they would charge for as it is added work). If you know what you need in your design like brand assets or specific images that you want, I suggest collecting them all ahead of time or at the start of the design process. That way if anything is not usable the problem can be resolved before too much work has gone into the project.
5. Be friendly
This is really life advice but I think it needs to be said. Although we spend our days on the computer and the most communication you have with us is problem over email, designers are real people. Our work is real work and we should be respected just like you would any of your peers. This advice works both ways, don’t let an overzealous designer treat you badly either. If everyone is kind and respectful and recognises they are working with other people which have emotions the whole process of design and project management goes ten times smoother and everyone is a lot happier for it.
So those are 5 simple tips for having a good relationship with your designer. I hope that they help you on the way to a fun design process and great project outcomes.
If you want to contact me about some design work or even to discuss more about project management and the design process leave a comment or send an email using the below form.
I hope you all have a pleasant day.