Tips to Work With a Designer
Don’t Be Intimidated

Working with a designer doesn’t have to be intimidating. As you go through the process of researching both your business and marketing plan, keep an eye open for various promotional and marketing material that you come across. 

  • Do you remember what caught your eye? 
  • Do you remember things that you disliked? Keep a file with printed materials you like and don’t like.

Research Your Competition

It’s always a good idea to see what your competition is doing
  • How do they relay their message? 
  • What do you like about it?
  • How can you do it better? 
  • What makes you different?
  • What are your benefits? 
  • What are your strengths? 
  • What is your added value?

You get the idea!


As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to ask trusted colleagues for referrals. 
Ask them some of these questions:
  • Whom did they hire? 
  • Did they like working with the designer? 
  • Were they satisfied with the quality of work?
  • Did the designer meet or exceed their expectations?
  • Was the designer flexible? 
  • Was the designer reliable?
  • Did the designer provide proofreading or writing services?
  • Did the designer manage the print production schedule? 
  • Was the project delivered on-time? 
  • Did the designer stay within budget?
  • Would they work with the designer again? 

Meeting Your Candidates

Every designer is different, as is every client. Each has their unique style. The challenge is to find a match for you. It’s now time to meet your candidates face to face.

Always keep these things in mind:

  • Does the designer have a style you like? 
  • Does the designer have the credentials or experience you require? If your project is involved, you may want to work with an experienced professional designer. Use your judgment when looking at their portfolio.  
  • Ask what their role was in developing the project? 
  • Do you like their personality? 
  • What is the estimate to complete the job? 

The Portfolio Review 

Designers may have a particular style(s). The material needs to reflect the client more than the designer.

  • Do the portfolio pieces look the same? 
  • Is there a variety in their work? 
  • Do you see pieces that are similar to what you collected in your “LIKE” or DISLIKE” files? 
  • Do the marketing pieces relay a clear message?
  • Can you identify the audience for the pieces? 

You Need to Feel Comfortable Talking With the Designer
  • Does the designer explain things well? 
  • Is the designer doing the work or will it be delegated to an associate?

Let’s Get Started!

Once you have decided on your designer, you will need to discuss your project in greater detail. Describe your project in as much detail as possible. 

  • Who is your audience? 
  • Do you have an existing website? Are you planning to develop a website? 
  • Do you want to print in full colour? Two colour? One colour?
  • Any "need to know" information?  For example, you "love" the colour blue! ... You "hate" the colour orange! 
  • What specific deadlines do you have? When do you need the material?
  • Do you have written content for your business, product?
  • Would you like the designer to handle the printing? 

Effective Communication

  • Give constructive feedback throughout the process.
  • Now is not the time to be intimidated!
  • The process is indeed a collaborative one.
  • Regular communication throughout the process will ensure desirable results for everyone.
  • Poor communication can result in last minute changes and additional costs to both you the client and the designer.
  • During the design stage, the designer will send you numerous proofs.

Trust Your Designer

If you have communicated well with your designer, then your job is done.

  • Let the designer design! 
  • Trust your designer’s creative talent and professionalism. 
  • The client/designer relationship is not about control. 

The process is a collaborative one. Communication throughout the process will ensure desirable results for everyone. It's the start of a great working relationship

“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.”
            ~  Lindon Leader