Graphic design projects can go haywire in no time if you don’t use your graphic design agency or branding company wisely.
After managing about, who knows, let’s say over 20,000 graphic design and branding projects across multiple industries in the last 10 years, I thought I would share a few thoughts on what I have determined to be actions that guarantee the failure of a graphic design project.
It’s really quite simple — don’t micromanage your graphic design project.
You hired the graphic design agency or branding company to work on your project because of the skills they possess, and most likely, because of the skills you DO NOT possess.
They have experience in what works and what doesn’t work. They’ve traveled down this road, hopefully more than one time, and they know how to get to the end alive.
Therefore, it would make more sense for you to do what you’re good at and allow the graphic design agency or branding company you hired to do the job that you’re paying them to do.
If you can’t trust, you probably should just do the job yourself. Truthfully, it will come out better.
You’ve got to trust — one, that you have hired a graphic design agency or branding company that possesses the skills to successfully complete the job laid before them, and two, that your agency has your best interest in mind from a business perspective.
This most likely means that personal opinions, on your end and on their end, have to quietly leave the room. Yes, graphic designers are people with personal opinions, too!
Too many times we have worked with clients who just can’t leave their personal objectives or opinions or beliefs off the table to propel their business forward.
We get it. Your business is your baby and you’ve worked your tail off to grow it to this point; but sometimes, to keep it moving forward, you personally need to back off, bud!
Another thing to note is that when hiring a graphic design agency or branding company to do a job, there is a vision in place from the very beginning that is not always easy to dictate to a client. Really, it’s just not even always easy to dictate it at all.
The agency is committed to carrying that vision to fruition to provide you a visually appealing and successfully executed project. Without fully executing this vision, the success of the project is on the line.
If you, the client, are stepping in and stepping out and stepping in and stepping out, you better just go ahead and bury your head in the sand now.
By giving your opinion on one piece of the project here and another piece of the project there, just because you want to see something this way or that way, you can ensure your project is not going to be what it could be.
A good example would be noting what your favorite colors are during the logo development process and forcing the graphic design agency or branding company to use those colors.
A few projects down the line, those colors aren’t looking so hot anymore, and now, the project must go backward before it goes forward.
Let’s take, for example, an interior branding project.
You’ve gone through the proper research steps with the branding agency. They understand your history, your target customer, and the goals of the project.
You’ve agreed on a direction and a brand board, and now the agency’s job is to bring that brand to life through the walls of your space and give your customers something to talk about.
There are multiple elements that are paired together to build a brand or experience, whether it be within an environment or throughout multiple marketing pieces.
The way these elements work together play a huge role in executing a successful project.
The second you start dictating the direction of specific pieces, not taking into consideration the bigger picture, is the same second the success meter on the project starts to go the wrong way.
If you decide you don’t like a chair and change that, there’s one strike.
Next, let’s say you don’t like a pattern and want to remove that. Two strikes.
Third, you decide that you don’t like a finish and want to remove that. Three strikes. Yep, you know. You’re out.
The biggest thing to get here is that it is A-OK for you to have an opinion; however, before bringing that opinion to the project, you must first consider a few things.
Is the issue at hand a personal opinion, or does it relate in a professional manner to the betterment of the project?
If it’s a personal design aesthetic opinion, it may be best to bring it to the table but remain open-minded regarding the response.
Does the revision requested directly contradict the direction of the project, or does it support the overall goal of the project?
If those questions are asked internally before bringing the concerns to the table, there’s probably a better chance that your project will remain on track.
As always, the goal is to produce a successful end product that aligns your brand in such a way that it becomes irresistible to your potential customers. For this magic to happen, we’ve got to stay on track.
So, let’s just regroup — it’s important to set a goal at the beginning of your project so that you and the graphic design agency or branding company you have hired have clarity on what success in your project looks like.
Once the goal is laid out and other imperative details have been discussed, such as what content must be included, existing brand guidelines, brand colors, target customer, etc., it’s important that you take a step back and allow the agency to see your project through to completion.
With this we are not suggesting that you pay absolutely no attention to your project and don’t bring up any concerns along the course of the project. We aren’t suggesting that your opinion is not valid or does not matter.
But we are simply suggesting that you take a look at the larger picture and larger goal of the project before indicating small changes that are opinion-based and may highly influence the final outcome of the project.
Go ahead. It’s OK to trust them (us!). See it through to the end, and if you have legitimate ill will toward the project at that point, bring it to the table so that you (we!) can come together on a solution to correct the issue.
Get Your Nice Swag On.