Getting Fresh Ideas from your Graphic Designer

I talk with several marketers throughout the day, some clients, but mostly prospective clients. Naturally I’m looking to find out what’s happening in their world and how our creative agency can help them. And I’m quite pleased to hear good things about their current creative partners (be it a freelance graphic designer or a design agency). Many have built solid relationships and are quite happy to stay with their provider.

But when I dig deeper, I find that creative complacency has kicked in and they’re really not happy at all. Some marketers reveal that they’re frustrated with their graphic designer because they’re not getting fresh new ideas. I hear this a lot, and wonder why.

Graphic designers are supposed to be full of great new ideas, aren’t they?

Well, yes, but a good designer should be maintaining your brand and keeping the visuals consistent across the various channels. As you know, your credibility is at stake and having a repetitive look and feel helps with brand recognition. But a great creative partner will often introduce new ideas to freshen up the brand experience to attract more prospects.

So if you’re not getting fresh ideas from your freelance graphic designer or design firm, then maybe try these ideas:

  • Simply tell them you’re looking for something new – and why.
  • Share your vision and have a collaborative discussion.
  • Allow your designer some freedom (but not too much).
  • Avoid asking for ‘outside the box’, but rather give direction and provide samples of what may work for your piece.
  • Tell your creative partner the problem you’re trying to solve or tell them the purpose of the piece.
  • Try introducing new content or new messaging.
  • Maybe provide a different amount of copy –  less is more, right?
  • Let them change the dimensions or shape of the piece.
  • Allow the introduction of a new typeface, breaking free of the corporate guidelines – just once.
  • Ditto for colour. You’d be surprised how a complimentary color can shake things up.
  • Let your creative agency in on the budget and see if there’s room to try additional layouts.

And be brave. What you get back may be way off – or off the wall, but there could be some gold in there. Perhaps their way is better, perhaps not, but work with them by providing feedback. What you think works and what you think doesn’t. And go another round, or two, or three. It may take some time, but they’ll get there and you may just be happy with that fresh new idea.

Greg Carmichael
Greg Carmichael
greg@synergydesign.ca

Greg is the Managing Director of Synergy Design, a creative branding agency in Streetsville (Mississauga), just outside of Toronto. Greg leads a talented team that creates effective marketing collateral for print and online, and he ensures their clients have a great experience working with them. To learn more, visit ca.linkedin.com/in/gregcarmichaelsynergydesign/en