Tips and Tricks

The Straightforward Guide to Graphic Design – Part 3

What makes you tick

The Straightforward Guide to Graphic Design – Part 3
A designer needs to understand why there is a requirement for a particular piece of design

What makes you tick – 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 post, we explore what makes you tick?

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…


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, providing an insight into established branding and visual styles. It also helps us understand what stage in the buying process your customer may currently be at. Plus, how this particular piece of creative should perform.


The more clearly you can define your target market, the more a designer can 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 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.


The design should be designed 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 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 satisfied with the results.


In some instances, there may well be obstacles or challenges that your business faces. 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 relating to your business. Be they small or significant – we need to know about them.


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. This is so your designer understands them too and can convey them in your creative.


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. We can then 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 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 do 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!

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