Briefing your graphic designer: The secret to success!

Last week, I was discussing a branding project with a new client. During the conversation, she said something that made me stop and think.

‘I’m sorry, I feel like going on a bit much.’

It made me wonder; how many other clients feel like they are ‘going on a bit much’ when briefing their graphic designer? Well, when it comes to briefs, (of the design nature, not the underwear) for me, there is no such thing as oversharing.

Ok, well maybe that’s not strictly true. Sharing your deepest, darkest secrets probably won’t help achieve the design you are looking for. However, if the information shared is relevant to the job, please, keep talking! As the client, you’ve probably got a vision of what you want to achieve, and it’s our jobs as designers to interpret that and bring it to life. Of course, maybe you don’t have such a vision for the end product, and that’s ok, as we’re here to help. But, what you do hold is the knowledge of what you are ultimately trying to achieve! I got talking to the rest of the team, and we thought we’d put together some handy hints and tips as to how you can get the most out of your graphic designer:

1.     Don’t make assumptions
This is most important for new working relationships. Treat us like we know nothing about your brand, and tell us everything. Go on, brain dump, you know you want to.

2.     Background
So, like point 1, this is probably a little more relevant to new working relationships. Take us right back to the beginning and let us know how it all started. Where did the idea for your brand come from, and what did you set out to achieve? What’s important to your brand? Knowing the brand values and ethos can really help.

3.     Visual aids
Some people think all designers do is sit on Pinterest all day (we wish!) but the age old saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ certainly rings true, and Pinterest is a brilliant resource to help articulate those ideas we struggle to put into words. Maybe it’s a colour, font or layout you have seen and been inspired by. Whatever the reason, sharing images ALWAYS helps!

4.     End Use
Think about where the design will be used. If it’s a logo, think of all the different places that’s going to be applied. External signage, stationary, web, social, uniforms? Knowing this will guide layout and style!

5.     Detail
Ok, you’ve said you need a poster, but what’s it for? What is the purpose, and what do you want it to achieve? Sharing the content or text to be used within the artwork in the brief will help us produce what you are looking for faster.

As you might have guessed, we love to talk. We also love to get to know our clients, and build great working relationships (and quite often, friendships) and it really does help.

So next time you go to brief your designer, just remember to talk, talk and talk some more!


Laura Hurst