A variety of personality types occupy the graphic design profession. And an even bigger variety of personalities occupy the non graphic designers. What does that mean? It means that if you need to hire graphic designers, you may eventually run into one with which is hard to communicate. But don't quit that graphic designer. You probably like their work or you wouldn't have hired them in the first place. There are ways to get through the process. We all have different working styles.
No matter what you are trying to create, a logo, a newsletter, some brochures, a website, it doesn't matter. It's how you are communicating your ideas to your graphic designer that keep the process moving and end in a completed professional project.
First and foremost, treat your graphic designer with respect. Respect should go both ways. Sometimes the process can get stressful for both parties, especially if there is a communication breakdown. You do not ever want the process to get to this, mainly because a lot of graphic designers prefer to work under a comfortable environment and you can significantly reduce their creative output with too much stress.
The other thing to always think about is that people network. And you definitely do not want an aggressive reputation. In other words, don't burn any bridges. You never know who knows who in town and bad news always spreads fast.
So, how do you communicate effectively with your graphic designer?
You use your words, your examples and your open mind.
1. View graphic design portfolio. Make sure you view the graphic designer's portfolio and like the work. Graphic designers all have different aesthetics and you want to make sure their designing falls into your vision for your company. If you do not like anything in their portfolio, you will not like what they are going to do for you.
2. Verbal summary. Give your graphic designer a verbal summary of what you are looking for and your expectations. Ask for a proposal with pricing, so you know what to expect before being invoiced.
note: Remember that graphic designers do not always have copywriting or photography services included in their design price and you are expected to supply those or else additional charges may incur.
3. Examples. Should the verbal communication not be enough, Examples of what you like will get the ball rolling again. Research projects and send links or examples to what you like to your graphic designer, so they can take a look and get a sense of your esthetic.
4. Honesty. One of the biggest problems in the design process is that the customer is afraid of telling the graphic designer what they don't like. This is just as important as telling them what you do like. Make sure your honest. Especially if you are working together with a friend. Sometimes the situations get sticky because both parties don't want to upset the other party. That just leads to a muddy mess, ultimately leaving no one with what they need.
5. Have an open mind. Sometimes the graphic designer will give you suggestions. A designer is upheld to ethics, just like any other profession. And if they are designing, their reputation is on the line. If they feel you are asking for something that will ultimately look second-rate they may make suggestions or have other ideas. They may even offer you other options. Always listen, they have a different perspective and can solve a design issue you may not have seen. I was taught something at my second professional position that has stayed with me thought my career. "You can't learn anything if you're talking, but if you listen, you can learn anything." Make sure you keep an open mind. It may not be the right choice for your business. but you should listen anyway. You never know what you may learn.
6. Pay a Deposit. Putting down a deposit is beneficial to both parties. For you, it gives some leverage and knowledge that you have paid for a product and now you expect the project to be completed in a timely fashion. For the designer, they now you are invested in the process and expect a quality completed project. It's a binder, a contract between two parties, holding both parties responsible. It works for everyone involved.
The most important thing to remember is that graphic design is a process and the graphic designer ultimately wants the job to be complete and you to be satisfied. Keep the communication moving with both the good and bad critiques and you will end up with a quality project.