9 Min Read
Poor communicators implode into a urry of four-lettered critiques, swearing off the graphic design community like it’s the next Zika conspiracy.
Ignore their love language and prepare for a painful road ahead.
Love Language #1: Quality Vision
How do you create a vision? Great question.
Love Language #2: Acts of Examples
Cut out the words!
Provide examples of what you like AND what you don’t like.
Your designer is no different.
When you SHOW your designer what you want, you undoubtedly save hours, days, even WEEKS on your project in revisions.
Love Language #3: The Gift of Feedback
You may need to go through several rounds of designs to dial in the vision of the project with your designer. The more feedback and details you can provide at each step of the process, the sooner you will get to the final product.
1. What part of the design do you like? Let the designer know where the focus should be.
2. Point out any material errors or omission. Designers are often in a rush to get the first draft complete and may overlook a detail in your brief.
3. Give an honest and detailed critique of their visual approach. What specifically needs to change? What needs to stay? What needs to be slightly revised?
4. Give examples of what you are looking for in the next round of revisions. Try using a different source of visual inspiration examples if the look of the first creative round was not what you had envisioned.
And speaking of improving future relationships…
Love Language #4: Words of Copy
1. Start right away. Ensure your copy is delivered as soon as possible in the design process. I recommend – and use – Grammarly to self-proof everything I write.
2. Make it easy. Deliver your content in a standalone document, like a Google Doc. Isolating copy in a word processing document ensures you’ll get one more pass at the spelling and grammar check. This also allows the designer to copy and paste, minimizing retyping errors.
3. Label the elements. Where appropriate, verbally call out what is a header, body copy, subheader, etc. I’ll even align, bold, underline and resize my content to mimic the preferred layout.
If those things mean nothing to you, do not fret! Just do your best to describe where you want the copy and content for your project, and give detailed feedback on the first round of revisions of what you like and what needs to change.
4. Check and re-check. Always, always, always proof your designs. For critical projects, I’ll have a few other people read through the final design proofs to ensure we catch every mistake.
Despite taking the best precautions to avoid errors, you sometimes get caught up in the project and mistakes happen. I once printed thousands of t-shirts with the word ‘Philippines’ misspelled. This design was seen by me, my marketing director, several people on our Philippine-based design team, AND the t-shirt printer. No one caught the mistake, so we had a huge error to fix quickly before our first trade show.
Always, always, always spellcheck.
Love Language #5: Trust the Process
Things might not be perfect, but we learn along the way.
- Start with a clear, quality vision,
- Provide visual examples,
- Give detailed positive and negative feedback,
- Ensure your copy and content is correct, and – most importantly –
5. Trust in the design process to deliver.