Speaking to Designers

Walking into a creative agency you see many different things, things that might not be thought of as “normal” in all industries. I’m referring to giant slides used by adults at work, different coloured paint, branded walls, music blasting in the office and a bunch of crazy people (meant in the absolute best way) in their version of controlled chaos and right in the middle of it all, the few individuals known as “the designers”.

Designers are strange people who at some stage in their lives decided that it would be a great idea to spend the rest of their lives listening to crazy ideas, putting those ideas onto multiple mediums and make other people buy into that idea by using imagery, different fonts, colours and some form of statement or call to action.

So with all above in mind, we all still have jobs to do and we do them with passion and the occasional trip to the slide… but the process of working with a creative can become very lengthy and frustrating if one simple thing is missing – clear communication.

This blog post is dedicated to any person who in the future might have to work with a designer, to make your process as smooth as possible and to show you that giving the correct creative brief can save you a lot of time and lead to mind-blowing artwork that you can be proud of.

The purpose of this blog is not to teach you anything design related but to actually help you get what you want.

Getting your idea across:

  • Clarity is essential!
    • Some people tend to mistake designers as mind readers, this is a problem because if we don’t know what you want, we’ll probably just end up doing what we want and that might be light-years away from you vision. The best practice is to tell us as much as you can about who you are, what your company does, where your focus is, what message you are trying to convey and what the purpose is of what we are doing for you. The more information we have the clearer it becomes where we are supposed to be moving towards in terms of your design.
    • Avoid using “generic direction and using words like make it “cool” or “modern”, those words are subjective and might mean complete different things in our heads, it’s okay to say you want the end product to be cool, but at least explain what the word means to you.
  • Show us some…
    • What better way to speak to a designer than showing them the language that they think in? When going into a meeting to tell a creative agency what you want, give examples of what you love and also some of what you really don’t. The more we can see the better. This does not mean ask a designer to copy another designer’s work – that’s just stealing, but we will try to give you our take on the mood that was set by the example we received.
  • Feedback, feedback and more feedback!
    • It is extremely important to give a designer feedback after you’ve received a first draft whether it be good or bad we need to know. Once again, be as clear as possible and be specific about what you like or don’t like. Simply saying “I don’t like it” will only lead to confusion and frustration on both ends.

The raw material:

  • Placeholders don’t work
    • In order for a design to be successful from the beginning, it is important to supply all content when giving the brief, after all, you won’t walk into a grocery store and tell the cashier to just imagine the money but still give you the product =D. It is important for designers to see what they are working with from the get go to ensure we create something successful.
    • Top Tip! Provide your content in a Word or PDF file so that designers can copy and paste.
  • ‘FREE’ is not always good
    • What! What did I just read? Yes, it’s the truth, well at least in this case. I am referring to the use of “Free” images. When you spend a lot of money on creating a design for your brand, why would you compromise the entire design by using a low quality image because it’s “free”. Sourcing high quality free images specific to your brand is extremely difficult and can take hours. The easiest way is to just pay =P

The process of moving from the first idea to the end product will be trial and error, and who knows, what you think you like and what you might end up loving could be different. It is important to trust the agency and the designers that you are working with. Keep in mind that the person behind the screen is just someone trying to do a job, and for what its worth, the job is not a easy one, it’s like coming up with a new colour but getting people to see it in the same way.

So if you’re thinking about doing business with BPD Advertising anytime soon, you are definitely in safe hands, but here is a list of things to discuss when you’re in a meeting with one of our amazing account executives to ensure that the brief gets to the designers in the correct way:

  • What does your business do?
  • What are your goals relating to the product we are designing?
  • Who is the target market?
  • In terms of the design, what do you love and what do you hate?
  • Mention colours, fonts, imagery etc you would like us to include or to leave out.

I came across a post that I found really amusing, as a designer in the industry of course, feel free to go through it and have a laugh, you might even find something that you’ve said before.


Until next time =)

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Written By: Solé Els

Bio: Solé has been working at BPD Advertising since 2016. Her current position is “Graphic & Web Designer / Creative Studio Head”. She is one of four talented designers with a passion for bringing your idea to life! She absolutely LOVES dogs and listening to music every second of the day.

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