How to Best Provide Feedback to your Graphic Designer
It’s no secret that the feedback stage isn’t exactly the most fun part of your design project. Honest feedback is important, but sometimes sharing your thoughts can seem daunting. Over the past few years, I have had some good feedback experiences and some not so good feedback experiences. Today I wanted to give some insight into how to give your designer feedback that is helpful, honest and kind.
note: This is also a peek into my Client Welcome Guide template that will soon be available for designers to purchase. The CWG template is created to up-level client experience + the overall design process, as well help to manage client expectations from the get go. Sign up here If you would like to be notified when the template is available.
1 - keep your audience in mind
When presenting feedback to your designer, it is important that first and foremost, you keep your audience top of mind. Instead of explaining what you like and don’t like, look at the designs from your ideal clients eyes. What would they think about the font choice? The illustration elements? The color palette? Let your designer know if something may not appeal well to your audience and provide some insight into why you think that.
Bad feedback: I don’t like the typeface.
Good Feedback: I think that the typeface may be too fun and quirky for our older, professional audience. A more sophisticated font may appeal more to our demographic. What do you think?
2 - Design is a collaboration (Don’t micro-manage)
Chances are, you chose your designer for a reason. Whether you were obsessed with their portfolio or valued their education or expertise; they probably know a few things that you don’t when it comes to design. It is important that you value their knowledge and collaboratively ask for their feedback and to listen to their insight.
Inevitably, there will be some sort of revisions or changes that need to be made. If you spot a problem or are concerned with certain elements, your designer wants to know about them! But instead of sending them a to-do list of changes to make, present your designer with your concern and let them come up with a solution.
Bad Feedback: Make the logo thicker and larger.
Good Feedback: I am concerned that there is not enough contrast between the logo and the background and that it may be hard for our clients to read. Is there a way to fix that?
3 - Don’t be afraid to Ask Questions
I think that sometimes clients don’t ask questions for two reasons; fear of feeling silly, or for fear of being annoying. As your designer, it is our job to make sure you feel confident with the choices being made and I am happy to answer questions you have for me throughout the process. Asking questions creates dialogue and shows your designer that you value their opinion. Asking thoughtful questions also allows the designer to further explain the headspace behind why they made the decisions they made, which often leads to an overall greater understanding and appreciation of the work.
Bad Feedback: “I don’t like the terra cotta color you used.”
Good Feedback: “It’s important that the color palette is strong. I love the sage color you used! We aren’t quite sure about the terra cotta color yet - What were your thoughts behind choosing that color? “
4 - Be Nice (but honest)
It is important that you give both positive and negative design feedback during the branding process but how you do it is everything. It’s important that you are honest with us, but it is also important that you know and value the heart that has been put into your concept.
I have run into clients who are almost afraid to give feedback for the sake of avoiding conflict or hurting my feelings. Trust me when I say that as your designer, it is SO important to me that you love your project. I want you walk away from our time together confident and excited about your new branding and if you don’t feel confident about an aspect of your branding, let us know while we still have time to fix it!
With that being said, don’t forget that designers are people too. While any designer who has been doing this for some time has developed thick skin, creativity is deeply personal. If your designer is anything like us, we put our complete heart and soul (and countless hours) into each and every project. Putting our work out for feedback is always a vulnerable and scary process. So please, be honest. But don’t forget to be kind too!
Bad Feedback: This is just missing the mark for me.
Good Feedback: Thank you so much for all of your hard work! The color palette is perfect and we love that floral illustration. While the logo is beautiful, but I am not sure if it is the best fit for the client we would like to attract. Could we set up a time to talk on the phone about revisions? Thanks again for all of your hard work!
To sum it all up, think like your audience, value their expertise, be honest, but don’t forget to be kind.
We want to know: what have your feedback experiences been like? Let us know below if you have any addition questions or tips for effectively communicating feedback.