Help Your Graphic Designer Give You the Best Results
One beautiful morning in the glory of the fluorescent light inside your office you are leafing through a stack of old brochures and marketing pieces containing information explaining the services your company has to offer. As you are starring at them, you abruptly come to the realization that the material is not only outdated but if you are being honest with yourself, the design looks like it came straight out of an 80’s commercial.
After a long search, you find a graphic designer that is going to transform your brochure into a modern, updated piece of art you will be proud to show prospective clients. For obvious reasons, you want to get this right the first time. But how can you assist the graphic designer in giving you the best possible solution for your company?
Communication is Key
In any working relationship, communication is the number one key factor. When describing to the designer what you are looking for, you want to be as detailed as possible. Do you want something modern and sleek? Casual and whimsical? Serious and simple? The more specific you are about what you are looking for, the easier it is going to be for the designer.
An expected timeline for the project is a component that is necessary to discuss. A mistake that is often made is the “let’s play it by ear.” This causes unforeseen conflicts. Communicate with the graphic designer and let them know all your expectations for each step in the process. Chances are you are going to have numerous meetings before the project is finished. If you would like to see a general layout of what they were thinking before the next meeting, tell them that. This keeps the project on task and moving at a pace you are both comfortable with.
When the designer brings you a rough first draft, give positive constructive criticism. Try to avoid suggestive language such as, “It just doesn’t feel right.” What doesn’t feel right? You are the client, and they are here to serve you. If you like the layout but the colors aren’t working for you, don’t just tell them you dislike the colors. Discuss with them either what colors you are considering or inquire what other color scheme they might recommend. Leaving the designer presuming what you want ends up wasting their time and yours.
Provide the Designer with All the Files They Need
The one thing a graphic designer does not want to hear before starting a project is, “Just pull all the things you need from our Facebook page.” While pulling pictures from a Facebook page is an easy task, it is something graphic designers avoid at all costs. Nine times out of ten, the pictures pulled from a Facebook page do not have high enough resolution to use in a professional capacity. When it comes to a logo, you want a high-resolution file with a transparent background for optimal results. You simply cannot achieve this by pulling a photo from Facebook. Not only are you risking the quality of the logo, pulling from Facebook automatically gives the logo a white background.
“Okay if you can’t pull from Facebook, why don’t you just pull pictures from our website?” Again, while this can be done, that does not mean it should be done. Pictures on websites are formatted to fit a specific spot in the design. Frequently, they are cropped and resized to fit different screen sizes. When you pull a photo from a website, it will remain the same dimensions that were specified for the design of the website. Just like Facebook, chances are the pictures will not be high enough resolution or in the correct file format to use in a professional design.
Besides pictures, providing the designer with copy for the design is essential. Graphic designers are not writers and don’t know your business well enough to produce copy themselves. Do not send over a .jpeg or a .png file for copy. Graphic designers are unable to copy and paste text from a .jpeg or .png file. This would force the designer to have to re-type all the text provided which can cause typos or spelling mistakes. Send over a word document or a pdf with all the copy they need to get started.
Pay Attention to the File Format
JPEG – Logos or anything that needs to have a transparent background are not to be sent in a .jpeg or file format. High resolution pictures in a .jpeg format is acceptable.
PNG – Logos, icons, or any other graphics with a transparent background should be sent over as a high resolution .png file.
PDF – While .pdf files are not the preferred method of receiving files, it is possible to pull pictures and logos from .pdf files. Typically, if no other file format is available, a .pdf can be acceptable.
Illustrator (.ai), Photoshop (.psd), or InDesign (.indd) or .eps file.
When dealing with logos, icons, or other graphics, all these file types are the preferred file type to a graphic designer. From any of these, we can easily manipulate and save the graphics into whatever file format we need.
When in doubt, ask questions. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. From personal experience, I have always preferred answering questions than back and forth with a client trying to get them to send over exactly what I need.