How To: Make your graphic designer happy

Cari Sad / Cari Happy

We know things can’t be perfect ALL the time, but we like to dream that it might be someday. So what can you do to make us all smiley and happy faced when we work on a project? Read on to find out!

1. Give us all the details.

There is nothing more disappointing than spending a good chunk of time on a design, only to learn that something was left out or not as you expected. Your designer will make design decisions based on the information they’ve been provided, so if something major is left out, it means spending time trying to add it in or fix it.

What you can do:

Create an outline of your project, big or small. This is a good way to make sure you have all your text or information gathered, any images or design elements that need to appear, as well as deadlines, design inspiration or end goals for the design piece. This also helps you organize your files (#4) and works as a checks and balances system when you reach the proofing stage (#5).

2. Send all your text and photos at the same time.

I realize this isn’t always do-able, BUT if you can, it really makes things so much easier! Searching through 100 emails for that last image or taking a guess at how long the sidebar text is going to be can take up precious time. And making major text or photo additions (or subtractions) later on can really add up if it means reworking the initial layout.

What you can do:

Wait until you have everything before you send it. Or, at the very least, make sure you have a whole section completed. I know, what a bummer. But, your layout will flow better in the end, because it was designed for ALL the information.

3. Proofread and edit your text before you send.

I get it, you are in a hurry to get your project started. But, it can really cost down the road if we are spending tons of time adding commas, running spell-check or alphabetizing those half dozen lists in that brochure.

What you can do instead:

Read over your text one last time with a critical eye, or ask an editor friend to take a look. A few little changes here and there isn’t a big deal, but a whole BUNCH of grammatical changes after the first few rounds can really add to your final bill.

4. Send us files we can use and understand.

This is a big one. A lot of time can be spent going back and forth with a client to get the correct type of files and figuring out how you want them presented.

What you can do:

Ask your designer what they need. Most will tell you they need high resolution images (300dpi at actual size), text in a Word document and all those pieces organized in some sort of system (by page, chapter, importance, etc). By being specific, that helps us organize your information in the design!

5. When we get to proofing, send all your changes at once.

We EXPECT you to have changes, so no worries there! BUT, it’s easiest for us to handle those changes in one big chunk. Since we charge an hourly rate on most projects (and work on several projects over the course of the day), it’s worth it to really look at your proof and note all your revisions at once. Believe it or not, opening, exporting, saving and emailing you a new proof every 10 minutes is not very cost effective!

What you can do:

Wait to hit send on that revisions email until you’ve really spent some time checking things out. It’s also a good idea to have other colleagues look at your project during the first few rounds (but before the final proofing) in case something major needs to change.

Finally: Don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid to ask us for help! We don’t want your experience to be frustrating or tiresome. And if something isn’t looking the way you thought it would, speak up! We want to make sure that EVERYONE is happy with the final solution. We’ve also created a handy downloadable checklist if you need a little reminder!

Download Checklist