1. Be clear on your objectives.
What are you trying to achieve? Who is the target audience? As communicators, you’ll appreciate that if you aren’t clear on your objectives you can end up a long way from where you wanted to be.
2. Detail is good.
You might think the briefer the brief the better, but in our experience the more information a designer has about a project the more likely it is that they will be able to answer your needs. So provide your designer with the context of the project if you can. Is it part of a bigger piece of work or series of projects? Have similar pieces been produced and were they successful? Does or will the creative work need to work across mediums and platforms? Sharing examples of design that you like and dislike is often a great starting point.
3. Be prepared to collaborate.
While having a clear objective is a good thing, try not to start out with a rigid idea of how to get there. Leave room for your designer to be, well, creative. They might be able to suggest a better way of achieving the results you desire. Seek ideas and remain open to them, particularly when a designer tells you that the ‘white space’ is good!
4. Ensure you allow enough time for the creative process.
While great things can be produced under pressure, there are limits. The finishing touches, that silver foil finish or spot varnish that will make all the difference to the result, will take as long as they take to dry. The best advice is always to start from the delivery date and to work back through the process, allowing time for drying and effects, printing, sign off, corrections, layout, idea development and the briefing, of course. While you don’t have to worry about drying when it comes to digital design, you do have similar considerations with regards to development work and testing.
5. Be realistic.
This doesn’t just apply to the time you have to complete a project but your budget too. A good cost saving tip with regards to printed materials is to print the upper limit of what you think you will need in one hit. Never print twice – or pay the price!