In our previous post, we explored the importance of information and understanding between designer and client (if you haven’t read it already, you can do so here).
In this latest instalment, we’ll be expanding on that to provide a more detailed insight into some of the things that designers need to know to make sure your creative project is a success.
First and foremost a designer needs to understand why there is a requirement for a particular piece of design. Have you seen a decline in sales, do you have a new product or service to launch? Way before a designer should be putting ‘pen to paper’ (or mouse to mac), they need to have a solid grasp of the context for a project, plus an understanding of where it sits in relation to the longer-term strategy and objectives. This ‘bigger picture’ insight is an important foundation and in our experience, it fuels the creative process and allows for more imaginative thinking.
Beyond this, of course, there are a host of additional factors to think about, the answers to which all contribute to making sure that the creative delivers the desired results...
IS YOUR PROJECT PART OF A WIDER CAMPAIGN?
If so, a designer will need to know what has come before, what will be running alongside and what will come after. Not only is this critical in terms of providing an insight into established branding and visual styles, but it also helps us understand what stage in the buying process your customer may currently be at and therefore how this particular piece of creative should perform.
WHO IS YOUR TARGET MARKET?
The more clearly you can define your target market, the more a designer can tailor their work according to their individual motivations. There is a well-known saying that ‘you can’t be all things to all people’ and this is certainly true in the case of design. If you have evidence to support why previous campaigns have (or haven’t) worked well with your target market, that information is particularly valuable.
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE?
Design should be crafted to prompt a reaction, generate a specific response or to encourage a particular action. Without knowing what response you’d like, or what you think ‘success’ looks like, how can your designer truly hit the nail on the head? If you’re measuring success based on an uplift in sales revenue but your designer is basing it on an increase in brand awareness or social engagement, you may not be entirely satisfied with the results.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES?
In some instances, there may well be obstacles or challenges that your business faces that your designer will need to bear in mind during the creative process. These may be linked to the competitive environment, factors in the wider market or could even something specifically relating to your business. Be they small or significant – we need to know about them.
WHAT ARE THE KEY MESSAGES/SELLING POINTS?
All businesses have something that sets them apart from their competition, but not everyone is great at identifying or summarising what that is. It’s important that you understand your own key messages and selling points so that your designer understands them too and can clearly (and concisely) convey them in your creative.
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
Do you have a ballpark budget in mind? If, so your designer needs to know. This isn’t so that we can go away and start planning our next holiday on the proceeds, it’s so that we understand the full scope and feasibility of what you’re asking for and can come up with viable suggestions that will deliver against both your brief and your budget.
As we've already established, when it comes to working in partnership with a designer, information sharing is at the heart of that relationship.
If you fall into the trap of not providing all of the facts on the basis that you want your designer to have complete creative freedom (or if you want them to prove their worth) you’re doing yourself (and them) an injustice. Sure, you may not want to stifle the creative itself, but to not provide a comprehensive overview of the purpose and scope of that creative, means you may not get the results you’re hoping for.
Talking of results (and how to get the best from your designer), in the next post we'll be discussing the pitfalls of the creative pitch, so be sure to check back!