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18 Feb 2014

Five things to never say to a designer

by Jennifer Van Eps, Marcom Visual Communications Chair

Producing beautiful, award-winning designs is tough. The quality of a piece, whether print or web, is closely tied to the quality of the message you’re sharing. To reach your target audience effectively, clear input and direction from a client to the designer (either internal or external agency) will result in the best end design.

Here are a few tips on WHAT NOT to say to your graphic designer as a client. Follow these and you’ll be on your way to Spark Awards fame!

1. Can you make the logo bigger?

I can't

Designers understand your logo is important – but your message should be the central theme, not your LOGO. We can make your logo a recognizable and reasonable size.

2. Can you just Photoshop him/her/this object out?  

Unless your designer is a trained image retoucher - refrain from asking him or her to “Photoshop out” anything more than a simple logo or dust scratches. Ain't nobody got time for that – just get a better photo. 

3. Can you design a template for this? But we want to be able to update it, so can you put it in Word? 

“Design” and “Word” do not belong in the same sentence.


4. Can you use Comic Sans/Papyrus font?

Unless you're in kindergarten, neither of these fonts are acceptable for your marketing campaign.

5.  This is good, but can you make the design really "POP?"

Please, please, please give usable feedback. The word "POP" means nothing in this context. Do you want a different font? A new color? Different image? Designers are happy to oblige your requests (within reason), but you have to start out by giving meaningful feedback.

A final note: for the most part designers enjoy what they do and have a lot of knowledge and skill in their craft. Keep that in mind when making suggestions. Of course, the customer "is always right," but that doesn't mean the end product will be award-winning if clients don't allow designers to use their aesthetic knowledge and skill. Try to let go and allow your designer to be creative!