The Designer Manual

By Megan Greene, Graphic Designer
So you’ve hired a designer… now what? How do you communicate? Designers have different work schedules and processes than journalists, public relations reps and other professionals. Working together for a client can be a daunting task.

As a designer that has never worked with a group of writers, I had a lot to learn about communication. This meant checking my email a lot more and making sure my phone was attached to my hip at all times.

Through my experience at Tehama Group Communications, I’ve learned several strategies to help projects go more smoothly.

Tips on working together:

1. Bring some ideas to the table. Initial brainstorming is a very important step to getting a solid start to any project. It helps the designer know where to start if you have an idea of where you want to go.

2. Time management is crucial. There are always going to be last-minute edits, no matter what. Plan your deadlines so they are at least a couple of days before the actual deadline.

3. Communicate! With everyone. This keeps everyone as stress-free as possible. Keeping the lines of communication open constantly will help eliminate problems early. If the designer gets stuck, the group can help brainstorm. If the writers get stuck, designers can use their creative bone, too. Help each other out; it’s always good to have back-up when it’s needed.

In the worst-case scenario, know that sometimes it just doesn’t work out. The owner of Circle Design in Sacramento once told me that it’s OK to admit when things are going in the wrong direction. There is the rare occasion when a client and a designer just don’t connect. It is better for everyone to admit this and take an honest assessment of the creative process. A negative client-designer relationship will always be evident in the final product.

Remember: Talk to the client about their vision, brainstorm, mock-up, revision (often multiple times), final edit and the reveal of the final product.

Want to read another perspective? Check out some of these tips from someone who has had some experiences of their own!

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