Top Eight Ways To Get The Most From Your Designer

Are you giving your graphic designer the background information they need for projects? At the first meeting with your graphic designer, you should come prepared to answer some basic questions. When you come prepared, you streamline the process for the designer, and get better (and faster) results because there is a fuller understanding of you, your company, your product, and your audience. Have answers ready for these top eight questions:
*1. What is the purpose of this project? What is the message?
*2. Let me know as much as you can about your “target audience,” be they clients, customers, prospects, colleagues, or employees.
*3. Clarify the project scope. Is the project for print or the web?
--If in print, does it require 2-color or 4-color printing, or does it use “spot” (PMS) colors? How about the format, size, or assembly of the new piece(s)? What quantity do you need? Do you have a paper preference? Do you have a favorite printer you’ve worked with before, or shall I recommend one?
--If it’s for the web, how many pages do you need, for what purpose, and how do they function?
* 4. What is your timeline? When do you need it completed?
* 5. What is your budget? Printing methods, paper selection and sizes, even cutting and folding can have an impact on the final project cost. There are many ways to approach a project, some of which you may not have thought of before, and I’m here to make helpful suggestions.
* 6. At our first meeting, please bring previous “business collateral” — for example, brochures, flyers, newsletters or business cards you’ve done in the past, especially if there are elements you want to re-use. Is there copy to re-use, or shall I write new copy for you? Do you have original electronic files?
* 7. Also bring any photos, illustrations and/or logos you’ve used before and want to re-use. They are best in electronic format at high resolution (300 dpi or “dots per inch”). If you have original AI or EPS vector files, that’s best, otherwise PSD format is the next best. (Other formats are TIF, JPG, GIF, and PNG). If you need photography, will you supply it or do I need to find stock photography for you? If you need a logo used, will you supply it or do you want me to design a new one for you?
*8. It’s great if you have information or collateral about your competition. What makes them similar or different? What makes your business unique or sets you apart?

Many clients have a file they keep with this type of information, and it’s easy to just pull it out for the meeting. But if your company hasn’t assembled such a file, be prepared to spend some upfront time talking over these points. Ensuring full understanding at the beginning goes a long way to ensuring a pleasing result at project completion!