As a graphic designer, I can tell you something right here, right now, right off the bat without blinking…. the graphic design process is a pain in the butt. From the graphic designer point of view, here’s what it looks like.
1. Client meets graphic designer to discuss elaborate plans to market, advertise or promote their products. Potentially, there’s a chance that the client wants (needs) the graphic designer to ‘revamp’ the whole image and identity of the client company. Client gets all hyped up about the potential mullah that will roll into their bank account. Graphic Designer hyperventilates and salivates at the imagined amount on the invoice
2. Graphic Designer proposes some concepts and ideas. Client says that it’s not EXACTLY what they had in mind and asks the graphic designer to come up with more ideas. For the graphic designer, this is like being handed a really enormous machine gun to just shoot around in the dark, hoping to hit the target on the dot, you get what I mean?
3. The process gets dragged on. Graphic designer gets frustrated because client is not able to dispense of his idea because he doesn’t KNOW what he wants but knows it only when he sees it.
4. Client consults other people in the company and a whole bunch of people gets thrown into the picture with their own ideas and proposals.
5. Graphic designer and client sit down in a limp heap of entangled flesh, not knowing what to do now because months have been wasted testing and trying. Now, we start all over again…. .
Knowing what you want right from the start is important. If you have no idea what it is that you want to achieve with your new marketing stuff, sit down with your staff BEFORE you get the graphic designer to do any work. Now, this is a very important point, so, let me say it again…. CONSULT WITH YOUR PEOPLE BEFORE YOU GET YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGNER TO DO ANY WORK!
Next, get it all down on paper. Even if you have no intention of passing that piece of document to the graphic designer, at least, you have a clearer vision on what you want. THEN speak to your graphic designer to explore ideas and possible changes to your original idea.
Once the graphic design process has begun, pick and choose the people you consult with with care. Too many cooks DO spoil the broth! Only people who can and SHOULD make or help make the decision should be consulted at this very point in time.
However, as any client will tell you, the graphic designer has a huge and major role in ensuring that they understand the client’s instructions, takes the initiative to research and explore other ideas. When the client tells the graphic designer what he/she wants from their new marketing stuff, it’s not set in stone. The graphic designer SHOULD present his/her own ideas as an alternative. If not, what’s the use of the graphic designer? Why not just get a clerical or the secretary to just learn how to use the appropriate programs/softwares and come up with something that the client wants?
Being a graphic designer is a pain in the butt…. and working with a graphic designer is also a stab in the rear end but at the end of the day…when you see that your effort and all those frustrations results in a smashing success, you can sit back and admire your (and your client’s handiwork) over a cup of cappuccino.
Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from home. She designs apparel and premium items at http://www.creativejooz.com and http://www.allmomstuff.com and is the author of “Raising little magicians", and the popular “The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at http://www.marshamaung.com