SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Related Topics: SYS-CON MEDIA

SYS-CON MEDIA: Blog Feed Post

Working with Graphic Designers

A Primer on How to Get the Most for Your Money

As professional marketers, we work with many different graphic designers based on their individual strengths matched to the client project. Most of our clients – as marketers themselves – are well aware of the “rules of engagement” and have learned to rein in impulses that can lead to high costs. But from time-to-time, however, we will work with a client unaccustomed to the design process and invariably inexperience leads to unnecessary cost.

If you’re new to graphic design, here are some basic tips to help you get the best design value for your money.

1.          Finalize copy before handing it over to the design team.

Designers charge by the hour, so once they have your material, every tweak to the copy costs money. You may need to edit copy to better suit the design layout, but if you enter into the design phase with final revisions behind you, you’ll save money.

2.          Do not make changes piecemeal.

You’ll absolutely want to make changes. But do so all in a single session, if possible. Every time you “Make the logo bigger on page 4” or “Make a page break before that subhead,” the designer must assemble the digital files, style sheets, scans, photos and fonts that make up your piece and open everything onscreen to make changes. Each time you do this, the designer is incurring hourly charges to accommodate you. Changes are fine; piecemeal changes are more costly. 

3.          Be specific about what you’re seeking in a design.

Design is a very subjective thing. Giving a designer directions like “Make it look hot” or asserting “I’ll know it when I see it” is a recipe for difficulties, if not disaster. If you want your material to resemble another piece that you’ve seen, share that piece with the designer. Words like “hot,” “cutting-edge,” and “cool,” are mostly useless in a pre-design discussion.

4.          If you’re uncertain about what you want, trust the designers.

Sometimes you may not have a clear idea about what might work best, so trust the designer to interpret what the approach should be. Second-guessing can add up. Worse, maybe you have a notion of what you want, but don’t communicate it. When the design is presented, you declare “That ain’t it” and the entire process starts over, a frustrating and potentially costly exercise.

5.          Identify your audience and your objective.

These are crucial bits of information to share with the designer. Designers can “speak” to your audience if they know who they are. And, if the objective is to shock, soothe or sell, the designs can reflect these moods.

6.          Collaboration is great, confusion isn’t.

Let’s face it: for many people, the design phase is the “fun part.” Everyone wants to be part of the team because everyone has an opinion about a design. The adage about design-by-committee resulting in a camel is based in fact. No offense to dromedaries, but your public image is riding on the professionalism of your materials and their design. Chances are, if there’s a six-member team, there’ll be six different opinions on what should be tweaked. If it’s your responsibility to oversee creative services, trust your instincts on purely design issues. If you don’t trust yourself or if everyone wants to get in on the act, let the final decision rest with the person with whom the buck stops.

7.          Let the professionals do their job.

Unless you’re a professional designer yourself, you should ask yourself if changes you’re about to make better communicate your message, or just cater to your own (subjective) preferences. If the ultimate “client” is someone else in your organization, you may end up making design changes only to have them changed back. This costs money, so resist the urge to act as designer.

8.          The design process should not cause angst.

Your materials are important to everyone involved including the designers. But keep your perspective. Every piece cannot be all-things-to-all-people. Hopefully, the piece you’re working on now will be followed by another and another and another, each helping to burnish the brand you’re trying to create. The longer you agonize over a piece, the less likely your changes will appreciably change the strength of it.

Most of us who work with designers day-in-and-day-out make quick decisions regarding a particular design. Because we know and trust the designers with whom we work, it’s very rare we literally “go back to the drawing board” because we know a brand is not won or lost on the basis of a single piece of collateral, or PowerPoint or even annual report. When we’ve done our homework before we’ve send it off to the designer, the designer has taken our words, our concepts, our color schemes and our brand attributes into consideration before showing us how mock-ups of the design.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Karyn Price

Karyn joined the Bailiwick Company ten years ago, and spends the majority of her time managing media relations and corporate, employee and marketing communications for her telecommunications and technology clients. She currently leads the company's public relations practice. With an eye toward results, she works diligently to secure meaningful coverage for clients in relevant print and online publications, as well as in key financial and analyst reports. Her new-found passion for social media has ignited additional interest for the clients she serves. Prior to joining Bailiwick, Karyn was the communications manager for the Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau, where she publicized the beauty, art and culture that the region offers to leisure travelers. Under her direction, the county saw a 43 percent increase in travel leads. She has also spent time in advertising. Karyn holds an M.A. in Professional Communication from La Salle University and a B.A. in Communication from Elizabethtown College. Outside of the office she enjoys music, spending time with family and reading great novels. Please note that the views expressed on this site are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of the clients I represent.

Latest Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.