My wife and I have been married for a long time and frequently, I get that exasperated look from her. When I politely ask what’s wrong, she rolls her eyes and tells me that I didn’t take out the garbage (or something like that). Apparently, I should have read her mind. And now I duck for cover.
Being a mind reader.
So what does my marital discord have to do with a graphic design firm? Well, both require clear communication – and one of the biggest complaints we hear from new clients, about their old designer, is that they often missed their changes or didn’t change the layout exactly as requested. But as we know, marketers and designers cannot read each other’s minds. Although over time, a great designer seems able to.
Make the call.
As with anything, talking it out is the best way to get your point across. Sure it takes time, but at the end of the conversation, both people are on the same page. The good ol’ fashioned phone is probably the best way to communicate with a designer, but if he or she is difficult to reach, then try other ways to communicate what you want done. Like you, good designers can busy too, so keep trying.
A+ for penmanship.
If you’re writing out your changes, remember there’s a reason our teachers taught us to write neatly. Some designers are great at deciphering chicken scratch, but many fail miserably. A good design firm will ask for typed out changes, but a great one will ask you to use the easy-to-use ‘sticky note’ tool right in the PDF itself.
All at once.
And all those changes are best supplied all at once, in a single email, to your designer. It can help eliminate the excuse that they lost your emails in some kind of inbox abyss.
Your designer wants to see your project done right. Sharing and collaborating with you along the way is the best way to achieve it. And while some designers put a limit on the number of changes, at our design firm, we believe it takes what it takes, and handcuffing you to a pre-set amount of changes is counter-productive. The entire process, like a good marriage, requires patience and good communication.
Now, excuse me. Apparently I need to take out the garbage. Again.
Greg Carmichael is the Managing Director of Synergy Design, an accomplished graphic design and marketing-support company near Toronto. He leads a talented team of designers that produce visually effective marketing collateral for print and online, and ensures that their clients have a great experience in working with them.
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