An insider’s guide to working with a graphic designer. By Graeme Leslie, Designtastic
Hi. My name’s Graeme and I’m a graphic designer.
Of course creativity is at the heart of everything I do, but not for its own sake – that’s not the end goal. I channel my enthusiasm for design into adding real value to businesses. So if you’re after a ‘pretty logo’ on its own, then I’m probably not your man. Want someone to really get under the skin of your business and become one of the team to translate your goals and objectives into engaging marketing content? Then give me a shout!
Chemistry is key.
We live our lives online these days, this last year more than ever. But equally it’s more important than ever to make that human connection. Let’s take the time to meet (even if it is only on Teams) and have a chat. There are no short-cuts to building a relationship based on trust – your trust in me to solve your problem and meet your deadline, and my trust in the information you’re supplying. Has that information had buy-in from the decision-makers? If not, we could all be wasting our time…
Don’t type. Talk.
Tone of voice on an email can be misconstrued. A poorly chosen word can send me down a rabbit hole! This works both ways – I tend to use the phone more than email – it’s easier to get my point across and I’m not a big fan of typing! A conversation is the best way for me to understand both your brand and your company. By all means confirm details via email afterwards (this keeps us both on the right road) but please avoid sending creative briefs solely via email.
I’m a problem solver – it’s what I do. So before I can get to grips with resolving your challenges I’ll need to understand what they are. Having a clear idea of what your problem is, and what your aims and objectives are, as well as being able to articulate these, will streamline the whole process.
Straight to the point.
I always assume that there is better way to do something. I'll question and challenge everything, and sometimes I can be fairly direct – blame it on artistic passion! Try not to get frustrated by my constant questioning – it's my way of understanding your needs and challenges. The better I understand them, the more effectively I can solve them.
It’s really helpful for me to know what your budget is from the outset. This allows me to provide valuable advice and guidance and also manage expectations so everyone is happy with the end result.
It’s a two-way street.
Design is an iterative and collaborative process. If something's not working, Iet me know why, although crucially, not how to fix it. You are the expert in your business, your brand and your sector, and I certainly wouldn’t attempt to give you any commercial advice! My job is to take all of that knowledge and fuse it with my creative skillset to deliver engaging and targeted design projects – that’s why you commissioned me after all!
The human factor.
Please be realistic – occasionally ideas fail and concepts lose their relevance. Also I would never claim to be perfect – mistakes can happen, but I prefer to call them learning opportunities! Because that’s exactly what I do. The creative process isn’t an exact science – it’s a symphony, an exciting alchemy. With a dash of understanding and a huge dollop of communication we can do great things together!