8 ways to get the most out of your graphic designer

A couple of weeks ago, our blog featured the 5 types of people we would include on our phone-a-friends list if we were competing on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? entrepreneurial edition. Over the next few weeks, we’re taking it a step further and sharing insights from the actual people who form our amazing network of phone-a-friends. They’ll be answering your burning questions about the best way to work with them and sharing insider DIY tips to give you a little push to take the next step forward toward your goals. Big thanks to Lidia from Biz Mama for helping us with this week’s post! 

Having a graphic design partner can make a huge difference for a small business owner. Since your branding is probably the first thing a potential client notices about you, investing in a well-designed logo and other marketing materials is one of the keys to small business success.  

In my almost 16 years of experience working with branding and marketing design clients, I’ve come up these tips for making the best of working with a graphic designer and helping the process go smoothly on both ends.

1. Let us know what your goals are for the project (aka the “who, what and why”)

This includes WHO you are trying to reach, WHAT you are trying to accomplish, and WHY you chose this type of marketing piece. The more we know about your project and your goals, the better the end result will be.

2. Send us copy that is complete and well-organized

This will cut down on the number of potential edits (saving you time and money). Let us know if you need referrals for a copywriter or editor. Or ask us for help editing your content to fit your message. 

3. Provide graphics that are high-resolution and in usable file formats 

Please, no graphics pulled from the web! Also let us know of any potential copyright issues—if you are unsure about using an image, we can help you investigate or find appropriate images.

4. Inform us of deadlines and crucial project milestones 

It helps us create a working production schedule—and we are happy to keep you on track if necessary!

5. Let us know how and where your project will be used

If you need print materials, a website, online advertising, social media profiles or graphics, promotional or staff apparel, etc., we want to know about it.

6. Provide samples 

If you have existing marketing materials or branding, please provide samples at the start of the project so we can keep everything consistent.


7. Bring up any concerns as they arise

Please let us know as soon as possible of any concerns you have during the design process. Frequent and honest communication is appreciated and will help both of us stay on the same page.

8. Bonus points: If you have Brand Guidelines, please send them!

This helps us keep our designs on-brand (And if you don’t have brand guidelines, we are happy to create them for you)

Above all, know that we are here to help. If you have any questions as we go along, please ask. Remember, our job is to make your business look good so the more we communicate, the better your business branding—and our relationship—will be.

Lidia Varesco Racoma of Lidia Varesco Design helps education-focused organizations share their mission through branding and marketing design. She blogs about juggling motherhood and small business and maintains an online community for moms in business called Biz Mama.