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How to Work with a Designer by @jesscreatives

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by Jessica Freeman | Featured Contributor

Working with other freelancers/entrepreneurs can sometimes be difficult if you’re not used to working with them. For me, I felt awkward the first few times I worked with my CPA – not because he was mean, just because I didn’t know what he was talking about.

Sometimes this is the case when new clients work with me, when they haven’t worked with a designer before. They’re not used to the process of working with a designer, or what to expect through all of it.
Every designer is probably a little different in how they do things, but I wanted to give a few tips that should apply to working with any designer:
  • Make sure and read their contract (if they have one, which they should). Many of my clients miss the part about not receiving editable files). This will make sure you are aware of the entire process and know what to expect at the end. Nothing is worse than finalizing your project and then feeling upset because you skimmed through the contract!
  • Create a mood board. This is where Pinterest comes in handy! Even if you’re board has 5 pins, that’s a starting point. You can try to describe what you want, but seeing concrete examples is an even bigger help. Your idea of “bright and clean” might be different than mine. If you have a multi-faceted project, and want certain things to look a certain way, be sure to specify that with your designer (i.e.  if you pinned stripes and you only want that on one side).
  • Be open to suggestions. I know some designers just do one draft/design and that’s it, but I work more collaboratively with my clients. They get a couple rounds of changes, and I always welcome feedback from my clients. Sometimes something that is already in place or that a client asks me, is not the best solution. If someone wants to use Comic Sans, I’ll nicely tell them that it’s not the greatest font here, and suggest a few others that would work. Think of it like this – you don’t tell the plumber how to fix your sink, why would you tell the designer how to do their job?
  • While being open to suggestions, always be willing to give feedback. Designers are here to help you improve the look of your brand. We want you to be happy with the end product, not just “eh”. I often have to remind clients that I welcome all feedback, good or bad. There are not many other professionals that you give feedback to about their services… you don’t tell your CPA that you don’t like their work.
  • Be respectful of our work. Many designers (including me) have it in their contract not to change the final design in any way. But, sometimes clients just need a slight change so they figure out how to do it themselves. This is not okay. The changes may not keep the file high-quality (like if you’re taking it into Paint…). With all of my clients, I have an ongoing service where they can contact me for quick edits on past projects.
It all starts with choosing a designer that you think will work well with you. It’s just like when you’re in an office and there’s some people that you work well with, and others that you don’t work so well with. Choosing one that you work well with will make the tips above so much easier, and your project that much more enjoyable! Have any questions? Tweet me: @jesscreatives!
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Jessica FreemanJessica Freeman, professional graphic designer and owner of Jess Creatives, works with entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits to create stunning graphics, websites and videos that help them stand out among competition so they can focus on doing what they do best.After working in the corporate world for a few years and doing freelance on the side, Jess decided to take the leap to self-employment in 2014. Jess Creatives has had the privilege of working with some incredible organizations such as Georgia Tech University, Chick-fil-A Race Series, and Unique Venues.

After hours, Jess enjoys spending time with her husband, Aaron, and #FranktheChair. They currently live in Atlanta, GA, where they enjoy working out, volunteering, and working on side projects for Jess Creatives.

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One Reply to “How to Work with a Designer by @jesscreatives”

  1. Reginald Chan

    HI Jessica,

    Great article and thanks for sharing. I can’t agree more about the open to suggestion thing. That is well said! I know one too many developers and designers who are not open to such!

    Top notch!

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