Stop wasting time with DIY graphic design tools that never seem to get the flier, postcard or print ad looking the way you want — or in line with what your competition is doing.
Working with a professional graphic designer or creative marketing agency doesn’t have to eat up your entire marketing budget. Save time and money by being organized and having a plan. Here are some ways you can cut costs when working with a professional graphic designer.
Assign a dedicated staff member in charge of the graphic design subscriptions
If you’re too busy working on your business, appoint someone on your team who is organized, a good communicator and interested in your business’ design.
This person should be the professional graphic designers main point of contact, someone who can make decisions on:
- size of project
- overall aesthetic
- main points in messaging
- brand colors and typography
- final approval of mock-ups
Give good, clear information about your designs
When it comes to anything data, any CPA will tell you “it’s garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, your designs will only be as good as the information our design team receives. Our design team can’t read your minds. They depend on your information to create a successful design project.
When you make a design request, be as descriptive as possible:
- What is the size of the project?
- If applicable, how will it be printed?
- What message do you want to convey?
- What type of graphic design or design elements do you hate?
- What do you like?
- What colors should the designer use?
Graphic Design Projects
Professional, convenient, flat-rate graphic design
Bonus Points: Know your printer specifications
Most professional graphic designers don’t serve as a liaison with printers or packaging companies. At Bragg Media, we have relationships with reputable printers, which makes the project creation seamless.
However, in some cases, it’s your job to ensure that your design team has all of the information they need. For specialty print projects such as food packaging design, this could mean packaging layout templates, bleed specifications and color formatting specifications.
Unless you have worked something out with your marketing agency, the projects will not include coming up with campaign ideas or writing content. If you have a design project that requires a lot of text, it’s your job to provide the headlines, subheads, infobox content, body copy, captions, etc.
During the onboarding process, we ask our clients to fill out a brand questionnaire for fonts or typography, branded colors, description for aesthetic, type of imagery that best fits your design, your competitors, etc. We use all of this information to create a style guide that everyone on our team uses to fulfill your design requests. This allows us to offer brand consistency.
Have more projects? Keep up to 10 design projects queued at one time
Try to keep 10 design projects in your queue at one time. You can make as many design requests as you want. You also can delete a queued request if you change your mind. If you need to re-prioritize your projects, make sure to communicate this with your professional graphic designer.
Ask your printer for all the details
When it comes to special print projects, know how to talk to the professional printer.
When we work with design clients, we have to pay attention to the following details. These are great tips if you’re DIY-ing your own graphic design:
- If your project is on a deadline, then be sure to find out what your printer’s turnaround times are before starting the project. If you miss their deadline, then that means your project might have to wait until they are freed up. It’s also a good idea to add extra “just-in-case” time for potential errors in printing or other unexpected delays.
- Print size and file format matters. Be sure to gather all of the information on your printer’s requirements. This includes whether or not fonts need to be embedded, file size dimensions with bleeds (if there are any), DPI or resolution, CMYK settings, etc.
- Proof your document thoroughly. Double and triple check spellings, website address, phone numbers, etc. There’s nothing worse than a print product with the wrong information!
Create a Pinterest mood board
Creative marketing can be abstract. How do you explain a design project in words when what you want to relay is a feeling or vibe?
If you are establishing a brand identity for a first time, a Pinterest mood board will allow you to convey to your design team the colors, the look, the feel, the fonts that appeal to what you want to accomplish with your brand.
If you have a complex design project, a Pinterest mood board gives you the opportunity to see how others accomplished similar designs. It also allows you to do some competitive analysis!
Share a link to the Pinterest board with your project manager and be able to explain why these Pins appeal to you and why this approach best describes your brand.
Ask for a Canva Brand Kit with templates
Do-it-yourselfers love Canva’s free online graphic design platform. However, many struggle to create designs that communicate their brand’s aesthetic without looking templated. Canva’s design templates are beautiful but they also are used over and over again by all of their customers.
You can still benefit from the drag-and-drop platform with editable templates provided by Bragg Media’s graphic design team. Our team can get you organized so that you have easy access to your logo, colors, typography, customer imagery and even templates that you can edit as needed.
The key to success: Stay organized
Your business can save thousands of dollars on professional graphic design. However, it requires your participation in order to be successful. If there’s one takeaway from this blog, it’s to find a dedicated member of your team to take charge of using the graphic design subscriptions.
By staying organized, you can achieve professional design.
Here are some productivity hacks that have worked for our clients:
- Develop a Creative Work Plan. This should be done for each project that defines deadlines, goals, messaging, audience, aesthetic, etc.
- Work with deadlines. Configure the designer’s turnaround times into the completion date.
- Define priorities. Which project needs to be completed first? Communicate your priorities with your project manager any time.
- Good communication. Keep everyone on the same page with clear communication and information.
Use Bragg Media’s free resources
All of us at Bragg Media want you to make the most of your time with us, we have several free online resources to keep the creative wheels turning.
- Crafting the right campaign messages can be tough. Download Bragg Media’s Creative Work Plan, a document that will help you strategize and plan campaigns that meet your goals.
- Enjoy all of Bragg Media’s free ebooks, guides and workbooks here.