What Graphic Design You Need to Know
You can increase the likelihood that the final result matches your goals by providing more information.
Graphic designers are paid an hourly rate
Loyalty pays off
Trust your gut instincts
Agence de communication Carcassonne is my weakness. Although I don’t feel embarrassed, I admit that I am an idiot when it comes to graphic design. I manage three exhibition companies’ marketing. There is rarely a day when I don’t make graphic design decisions for our websites, sales literature and email marketing broadcasts. Is my graphic design knowledge lacking? I hope so. We do a good job, honestly.
As with most marketing managers or any manager who knows his or her limits, I depend on talented people like graphic designers. They not only understand the tools like Photoshop, Illustrator or Quark but also spend their time immersed in graphic design issues. They are familiar with the trends and the nuances. They remind me that the background’s color text is difficult to read and that I have created visual clutter and confusion by trying to communicate too much. They will guide me to a modern solution that doesn’t smell like 1980’s clip art if I ask them to add a star burst with a price.
Fortunately, I have learned valuable lessons about graphic design over the years, which I will share with you. These are not tips on layout, font color, or layout. Don’t forget, I’m an idiot. These tips are for graphic designers. They will help you save time and money as well as slow down the aging process.
Four Valuable Lesons About Graphic Design
It’s your Project, Part 1: I would hate to be a designer and work with most of my clients. Their expectations are unreasonable, their directions are unclear, and their budget is pitiable. Clients don’t always know what they want, so most expect their graphic designer to be able to interpret them. Clients will often use terms such as “modern”, “visually striking”, and “colorful” to describe their ideas. They expect that those concepts will be easily understood by anyone. They aren’t the same as a tree that looks the same to someone in New England, the Pacific Northwest, or Australia.
Assume ownership of your project. You can communicate more information to your graphic designer and put more effort into preparing the project. This will increase the likelihood that the final result will meet your goals. You can find examples of websites, ads and sales flyers you like by taking the time to gather them. Graphic designers are visual. These cues will be used to create your design. Too often, I hear people say “I wanted something unique and didn’t want it to affect the creative process by being too specific” or “showing them examples”. Really? What happened to the art of vagueness? You can be lazy. You don’t have to pretend that your laziness makes you a great creative design strategist.
It’s Your Project Part 2. Let’s suppose you ignore Part 1 of my advice. Although I don’t mean to offend, I do find it funny that you are snickering behind my back. Your graphic designer hates and loves you. Your work has made their job more difficult, but it’s also made them richer. Graphic designers typically work at an hourly rate, with incremental time minimums. Now you are paying for research, pondering, and false starts. You are paying for the privilege to have a graphic designer available at your disposal. Each step is helping you get closer to your ideal design. If this is the best way to work and you have the budget, you can hire a graphic artist full-time or acknowledge that time and money are yours. Don’t be disappointed when you get the final bill.
Mind Meld = Success, Increased Productivity. The same graphic design company has been my partner for more than four years. Their work is excellent, which is the most important factor. We now share a history. They get what I want. They know how to communicate with me. They are experts in the exhibit industry. In fact, they have spent a lot of time learning about trade shows — the requirements for graphic design, publications, and so much more. They have become part of our team and helped us develop the branding and graphics for multiple product lines as well as marketing programs.
The lesson is. . . Once you have found a graphic designer or design firm that you like and respect, it’s important to stay loyal. They will keep an eye on you and your suppliers, as well as the agencies that they work with. They will protect your brand, even if you have a crazy idea at 2am and it has a shelf life only 24 hours. They’ll be able to create a shorthand communication that saves them time and money. Although each project is yours, getting from A to Z can be a little more difficult.
Trust Your Instincts. This got you to this point, and you will be able to learn something valuable from it, even if you make a lot of mistakes, poor decisions and marketing Hindenburgs. Accept advice. Trust your gut instincts. If you’re wrong, it was a job in a down economic environment with very little chance of future employment.
Be amazed. Many people call themselves graphic designers. As there are many people who call themselves investment advisers (GRRR! Or bankers (double the GRRR!). You will be amazed at how talented a graphic designer is when it matches your vision and personality.