January 19, 2023
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

4 Ways to Better Collaborate with your Graphic Designer

There is so much time and research that goes into making your client shine in the social impact space. To ensure that all of your hard work will not be glazed over, you need visually compelling graphics. A graphic designer elevates your message and problem-solves to deliver it in an easily digestible way. If you have yet to work with a designer or find it challenging to get what you’re looking for, we have four tips for you!

1. Ambiguous Creative Brief? Not on our watch.

When working with your graphic designer, the most important thing you can provide is a detailed creative brief. This not only sets them up for success but also saves you time. There will be fewer emails nailing down the exact needs of the project. We can all agree: fewer emails? A win-win. Having a solid brief also ensures there is less room for error, which can be an additional time saver when you consider edits down the road. Here is an example of what a creative brief can look like: 

  1. Project Overview
  2. Main Objectives/Goal
  3. Target Audience
  4. Reference Material (if applicable)
  5. Brand Guidelines (if applicable)

2. At a loss for words? Use a mood board.

Sometimes you can’t find the words to describe the feeling you want the project to convey. Like most specialty roles, visually creative mediums have their lingo, and that can provide a “language barrier” between you and your designer. An easy way to be understood is to provide inspo images. A mood board will save you from using dreaded words like “pop!” and take the mystery away from the type of feel you’re looking for.

3. Give your designer helpful feedback.

No design project will come out perfect on the first try. There will usually be multiple drafts until we reach the ready-to-hand-off final. The way you give feedback will decide how many drafts are required. When something isn’t working, we recommend calling it out as an edit, but letting the designer ultimately devise the solution. Of course, there are quick fixes that take little thought, but trust their expertise for the more complex problems. Also, be as clear as you can. The “idk, it’s just not working” is like trying to decipher a secret code for your designer. Is it the typeface? The color palette? It also comes across as not fully caring, which might make your designer care less.

4. Is the file labeled YourProject-2-3-final-final-FINAL.pdf? It might be time to step back.

When your designer hands over the final draft for review, you might be inclined to find minor edits still. We encourage you to take an initial look, change tasks, and return to it with a fresh perspective. Sometimes being so close to a project can make you feel like it’s never “ready.” It might be time to let go if your designer can explain their choices and all outstanding edits have been addressed. Think of it as a trust fall with your designer.

If you work in social impact and are looking to bolster your design efforts, Strat Labs have you covered. Reach out to connect with our Senior Designer! We can be your design expert to reinvigorate your graphic design needs, inject life into your impactful cause for the world to see, and be the proper fit to collaborate seamlessly. 

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