If you don’t ask, you won’t get!
I’ve always been an easy going kind of gal. Ask me to pick a restaurant, a movie or a weekend destination and I’ll tell you “wherever you want” or “I don’t mind”. Naturally, having this vague attitude towards everything has left me with some undesirable consequences. Like the time I went to the hairdressers and told them to go nuts – I was ready for a change. Turns out I wasn’t. My unfortunate experience of bright pink foils taught me an important lesson. I had engaged this service and expected them to deliver me something fantastic without giving them any idea of what I wanted. Looking back, it was inevitable that it was going to end less then favourably. Contrary to popular belief, designers do need some form of direction. If you consider that every project starts with a blank canvas, it’s easy to see how daunting a task can be without a well-defined brief. And frustrating for both the designer and the client when targets are missed (which is almost certain without clear, decisive direction).
As they say, if you don’t ask for what you want, you probably won’t get it. So how do you convey your project objectives effectively to ensure you end up with a winner?
- Be clear and constructive
- If you haven’t worked with the design team before, share as much as you can about your company culture, products and services and target market.
- Define your goals clearly, with as much detail as possible.
- Think about what you want to communicate to your audience. Messages? Emotions? Everything counts.
- Think about functionality
- You might have a stunning project in mind, but how will it work? And for whom?
- Take time to think about what platforms you want it to carry across (websites, t-shirts, brochures etc). Will you print internally or professionally? Will it be fixed or editable on your end? These are fundamental details that may affect how your job is designed and what is possible.
- Get visual
- Finding reference material is a great way to illustrate your vision in a language that designers know best.
- Set up a mood board – aka a collection of colours, pictures, layouts and anything else that inspires your project. If you’re having trouble deciding on what you want, this process will help you fill in the gaps and build clarity.
- Utilize feedback periods
- The drafting period is your opportunity to evaluate the direction your project is heading and tweak the areas that aren’t quite there yet. Speak up!
- Express what you ‘don’t want’
- Defining what you don’t want is just as important as defining what you do. Dislike the colour yellow? Not a fan of a certain trend? Let us know!
- Accept advice and have a bit o’ faith!
- Sometimes we make suggestions. Or tell you that what you want isn’t conceivable. Believe it or not, we’re not being difficult. We want your project to succeed just as much as you! So take a moment to consider our input.
- Like a builder or a banker, design is our jam. Sometimes it’s hard to put trust in something, especially if you’re having trouble understanding unfamiliar jargon and processes. But we know what we’re doing! And we’re always here to help – so if you’re unsure all you need to do is ask.