Six Tips for Working with Designers To Get Awesome Results

Website DesignGood design can do so much to communicate complex information about your brand or company. It serves a purpose, sells an idea and can cut straight through to the target audience. So how can you ensure you get great results on your next design project? Well, being a great communicator is a great place to start.

At DesignCrowd – the design community I help manage – we’ve launched thousands of design projects and the most successful ones were a result of clear, concise briefs and regular feedback. Here’s how you can work smarter not harder with a designer to get a great result for your design project!

 Don’t miss the mark, get clarity - If your goals are not clear and your requirements are confusing, designers will find it hard to decipher what you want and you’ll end up with a design that misses the mark. Share as much as you can about your business or organization (describe your products or services), who your target market is and what key messages, ideas, emotions or attitudes you want the design to convey.

Get technical – You’re crowdsourcing design online so be as precise as you can about specific branding colors (CYMK, Pantone); and where your design will end up being viewed – is it online or in print? Tell the designer your requirements for size, format, resolution/pixels, file types, font types. If you want it, ask or it.

Be present and responsive – The best client-designer relationship is reciprocal. Try to give regular, concise feedback about the designs you receive. You can use email, instant messaging, Skype or online feedback tools to give feedback on style, color palette, typography, and layout of the design concept. If you don’t like a concept than eliminate the design so that the designer can move on and you can focus on getting the design you want.

Visualize your ideas – Designers are hyper-visual. Talk their language by getting ‘moody’.  In other words knock up a quick presentation that displays samples of design concepts you do like. Include patterns, shapes, colors, styles to packaging design, logo design, imagery and more that captures your idea. Useful presentation tools include apps like Pinterest, or you can go old-school and create a PowerPoint to share your ideas with designers.

Communicate concepts to avoid – Telling designers what you don’t want seems counter-intuitive but if you think about it there are probably a bunch of design trends, colors, styles, and more that you want designers to avoid. State this clearly in your brief or include a section in your mood board that includes ‘don’t likes’ – and don’t worry, constraints are good for creativity and innovation.

Leverage the talent – Your designer should be the first port of call for advice and tips if you have hired them directly.  If you’re crowdsourcing design, email or phone the client support team for support, and utilize these support channels if you get stuck.

If you want to refresh your brand or perhaps you have a new design project in mind, following these six tips will ensure you get a design you’ll love.

We also encourage you to take advantage of the special deal that we have prepared for MyCorporation members.  Click here to unlock the deal!

Josephine Sabin is the community manager at DesignCrowd, a crowdsourcing marketplace with offices in San Francisco, Sydney and Manila offering professional logo, web and graphic design – powered by over 400,000 designers and artists from around the globe.

Why Are Your Designers Leaving You?

Why Are Your Designers Leaving You?Whether your firm is small and speaks to niche-based needs or you are a large company that is trying to be everything to everyone, you won’t get far if you lose designers along the way! A good UX designer is hard to come by, and if you find them and keep losing them, you may need to consider some of the factors going into play as to why you’re losing quality professionals.

You’re Not Paying Enough

Everyone likes to talk about how a great work environment and perks really matter in the workplace, but at the end of the day, it’s all about money. If you are not paying a competitive wage, you are going to find that great professionals may end up at your company, but aren’t going to stay there. Design is an industry that is notorious about underpaying the people who work in it, and if you are guilty of this, word will get around. Make sure that you know what the industry standard is. Depending on the designer that you hire and what their experiences in the field might be, you can be looking at anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 a year. Good designers expect to get paid for their efforts, and if you do not step up, they’re going to step out!

Continue reading

3 Keys to Crafting the Perfect Logo

3 Keys to Crafting the Perfect Logo No exceptions: all entrepreneurs need attention.

There are many things you can do to get attention. But start by asking, attention to what? What will people see and instantly recognize as being your business? It’s all about your logo, the first-and-always visual ambassador of your brand. In that sense, it’s the foundation and future of your entire business. What makes a great logo, a great ambassador? Here are five keys to ensure that your logo will match the “look and feel” of your business.

1. Simplicity is your friend.

Day in and day out, you constantly see incredible amounts of visuals and colors. But just because something sticks out visually, doesn’t mean you’ll remember it or feel good about it. Clean design is key. Graphics professionals spend years in training to consistently translate ideas into clean design: the right shape, size and proportions without distracting bells and whistles. “Civilians” like us can get professional-looking results by using a make-it-yourself website like LogoGarden.com. Often these sites are free, so you can experiment and get a finished, clean-design logo quickly with no risk.

Continue reading

5 Signs That It’s Time to Update Your Logo Design

5 Signs That It’s Time to Update Your Logo DesignHave you heard? Netflix just redesigned its logo. Just a few months prior, so did Black & Decker, Yahoo, VISA, Absolut Vodka, and a long list of other major companies. That’s because every logo design has a shelf life, one that varies from business to business. So how do you know if your logo is becoming stale? Good question. Here are the answers.

1) Revamp your logo design if it looks unprofessional or too generic. Your logo conveys the quality and professionalism of your company and should reflect your corporate mission and values. A poor quality logo does damage to any company, at any size. Often early-stage businesses choose overly complicated, obscure or cluttered logo designs that screams old fashioned. Aim for a simple, clean design with a stylish flourish.  Another common mistake is to choose a logo that looks too similar to a competitor’s. Your logo design should always be unique to your unique brand.

Continue reading

How Small Businesses Can Optimize Their Websites for the Visually Impaired

Not everyone is born with the gift of 20/20 eyesight. Some cannot see at all. The visually impaired are marginalized, and unfortunately, the impaired are rarely the target niche for any business. However, it would serve businesses, large and small alike, well to realize that there are an estimated 21.2 million adults in the United States, who have trouble seeing, even with the help of contact lenses or glasses, with some of these adults also completely blind.

A small business can take advantage of these statistics and include the visually impaired as part of their target niche. All you need to do is hire a web design company to optimize your website to make it suitable for those with both perfect vision and those that have trouble seeing. Since it’s not exactly easy to put Braille up on a computer screen, here are my tips on how a business can optimize its website with ease.

Continue reading

Reconnect With Customers By Holidizing Your Business!

The holidays are here and hopefully you’ve used this time to reconnect with your customers!  One way many businesses are standing out during the holiday season is by holidizing.

If you’re unfamiliar, holidizing is when you add a bit of the holiday season into your brand’s designs.  Add a holiday touch it on your logo, company emails, website and more.  Holidizing your brand’s designs is a great way to distinguish your business and in turn, increase revenue. Continue reading