Whether they work for themselves or for an agency, graphic designers encounter frustrating clients from time to time. Avoid being the client from hell, and keep your graphic designer happy by following this article.
What You Shouldn’t Say When You Want a Graphic Design
“Can you draw me?”
Design is a collaborative process. Clients and their designers both have the goal of communicating a message clearly to the audience. With that in mind, it’s difficult to get your message across when the designer doesn’t have an exact idea of what you want. Instead of giving them free reign, tell the designer what specific type of image you’re after. Give them your preferred style, dimensions, a colour scheme and let them know the purpose of the design.
“I want it to look like this.”
On the other end of the spectrum are clients who want a designer to create an image in the style of another designer. Legal implications aside, this is a matter of ethics. No honest graphic designer is happy to copy the work of a fellow artist, and it’s wrong to assume they will. The better option is to tell your designer which aspects of the original image you like the most. They can then merge it into their personal style, or adopt aspects of the design, such as the general aesthetic or the colour scheme.
“I need it by tomorrow.”
Expecting your designer to finish a commission in a couple of hours is impossible. It takes time to create a great design. You and your designer should discuss when you can reasonably expect a first draft, edits and a final design. Be aware that designing takes time, and a three-hour job can easily turn into a three-day job after revisions are suggested. What may appear to be a small change can lead to additional visual problems that take time to resolve.
“Wait, you want me to pay you?”
Most graphic designers work to make a living, so it is unreasonable to expect them to give you a small price for a piece of work they may spend hours designing. While you can probably find a cheaper option elsewhere, the quality of the design isn’t guaranteed, and neither is its originality. Additionally, don’t say to your designer, “Just make me a few different designs and if I like one, I’ll pay you.” Respect their work and their time, and you’ll have yourself a happy designer.
You’ll get the most out of your designer if you communicate your expectations with them, and work with them to develop your design. Graphic designers are happy to educate you and guide you through the process of creating a design, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions to learn how designers see the world. As with any collaborative project, communicate your thoughts and exhibit mutual respect, and you’ll end up with productive partnership.