I gained new appreciation for my designer brethren by taking a beginner Adobe Photoshop class last year. It was comical by the second class and hopeless after the third (out of five). I did successfully construct a visual BLT (yes, a bacon/lettuce/tomato sandwich). Despite expert instruction, my assignments after that looked like cheap stock photos of chunky letters on an indecipherable background. Maybe not even that good. My photo “corrections” came out like Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head standing awkwardly outside their strangely-hued Barbie house.
Between that experience and work I’ve done over the years, here are some things to keep in mind next time you work with a designer:
- Not all ideas have an exact visual translation; bring your designer in to brainstorm different concepts that represent your big idea.
- Finding stock photography images that perfectly fit the look & feel of your brand is like finding a needle in 100 haystacks. It’s time consuming. It takes work to customize it.
- When the designer shows you some mock-ups never assume what looks like a small change is really a “small change.”
- Trust their recommendations; think about what your target audience will respond to—not just what you “like.”
- Ask how much time/what’s involved in making suggested changes. That’s good for your budget, your timeline and everyone’s sanity.
The more elegant the final design, the more work went into it. If you have a go-to designer whose ads and other materials get your intended message across in an instant, you’ve got a good thing going. Give that person your highest esteem and appreciation!
Me, I’ll keep my day job.