“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”
— Milton Glaser
When it comes to branding, web design, and print marketing, designers (our team included) always aim for “wow.” It’s simply in our nature to want to design something that our clients love as much as we do. Gaining the “wow!” reaction can be a bit tricky, however, if we don’t have the right information and tools to meet and exceed a client’s expectations. With that in mind, here are six ways you can help us create a winning design for you!
1. Plan Ahead
Whenever possible, give your design team plenty of time to complete your project. Doing so helps us adequately work through the design process: brainstorming, research, sketches, samples, client edits, and finishing touches. When you give your design team time, we’re able to give you our best. Deadlines can sneak up on a person, though, so don’t hesitate to see if we can complete your project, even on short notice.
If you’re preparing to find a designer for your digital or print project — whether that’s a new logo, infographics, a website design, shareable content, or something printable like brochures — start by knowing your deadline. When must your project be completed? Is it a hard deadline, such as an upcoming trade show, or is your deadline loose? Even if your deadline is loose, it’s a good idea to have a goal for when you’d like your marketing campaign, new logo, business cards, or website redesign to launch.
2. Know Your Brand’s Identity & Direction
When you approach a design company about your visual marketing needs, make sure you have a firm grasp on your brand’s identity and direction, including what you do and don’t want to see or feel from your visual marketing pieces. Depending on the project, you may want to consider:
- The desired look of your company — is it modern, classic, vintage, trendy, industrial, minimalistic, or some combination of looks? Is your company currently meeting those branding goals?
- How you want your brand to make people feel. Happy, nostalgic, energized, empowered, bold, safe, secure, taken care of, etc. Do your current marketing pieces create this feeling?
- Color combinations that elevate your brand’s look and feel. Clue your designers in on the colors that you do not want to see associated with your brand, as well.
- Brands or companies that successfully portray the look and feel you want your company to exhibit, whether that’s online or in print marketing materials.
3. Provide Samples of Your Idea or Previous Work
The best way for your digital design team to meet your expectations is to give them a visual example of your idea. Maybe that’s a hand-drawn sketch or a flyer you found at a national conference, or maybe it’s a website design you just can’t take your eyes off of. Either way, if your designers can see it the way you see it, they have a much better chance of making those design dreams a reality (with your brand’s own visual identity).
Help your design team by sketching your ideas (they don’t have to be perfect), collecting URLs of ideal website layouts, or creating a Pinterest board of designs (infographics, logos, printed materials) you’d love to see work for your business. Bring or share those with your design team! Conversely, if your company already has a strong design direction, provide your designers with examples of previously completed work — doing so will help them create consistent, on-brand work.
4. Have a Plan for Content
What do you want your designed work to say? Should your content help your audience learn something (about you, your business, or your industry), or should it entice a particular action (likes, clicks, shares, signups, engagement, etc.)?
Furthermore, do you plan to write this content or do you need help writing it? Our design team can write — or re-write — your marketing material’s content, but it will be much stronger when we’re assisted by your industry-specific expertise. If you need help writing content for your designed elements (website, Facebook ads, display ads, or marketing materials), here are a few ways you can help us:
- Make a list of items, areas, and keywords you’d like covered.
- Provide insight into your products, services, or the focal point of the design.
- Provide a quick bio or resumé for your about page.
- Tell us a bit about your company’s history.
- Provide your mission statement, company slogan, or work motto.
- Tell us what makes you, your products, or your services unique.
- What message do you want to convey in digital ads, such as Facebook ads and display ads? Along with the visual components, what are you trying to accomplish with your digital ads, and what actions do you want people to take when they see it? This also applies to any print marketing materials.
5. Organize & Share Your Design Files
Creating an organized system for design files can do wonders for your internal marketing team. However, if you ever need outside design assistance, the best way to do that is to create and share an organized system of design files. Doing so means that anyone involved in your company’s design work — yourself, employees, current designers, future designers — can work efficiently and accurately to produce the best possible designs. When contracting graphic designers, web developers, or print marketers, make sure they have access to:
- Your logo in .ai and .png formats. Reworking existing logos will require the original .ai file (or certain .pdfs), otherwise, your designer will have to start from scratch.
- Branded typography and fonts.
- Branded colors or HEX codes.
- Any artwork or graphics.
- Company photos.
- Past versions of the file being updated or reworked (if possible, in the original format, such as .indd or .ai files. If a .pdf is the only option available, your designer may have to start from scratch).
- Examples of past marketing materials that you’d like new marketing materials to stay consistent with.
- A brand guide or style book, if you have one.
Google Docs is a great way to store and share files with your design team, but there’s also Dropbox.
6. Send All of Your Design Changes At Once
Each stage of the design process includes receiving feedback from the client. From samples and initial designs all the way to the finished product, we actually want to know what you like, what you don’t, and what changes you’d like to see! And, while we can’t always meet every request, as we may be limited by what a program can do or the budget of the project, we’d still like your feedback, nonetheless. One caveat, however — and one way to get on your design team’s good side — is to try to consolidate all of your changes from each phase into one request. Implementing mass changes at once allows us to work more efficiently, which can also reduce the cost of your project proposal. Don’t be afraid to send any forgotten changes after sending your list, though!
Wow-Worthy Digital Marketing Designs
Wow-worthy design is a must in the digital and print marketing world. As a digital marketing company, we really like to make sure your online presence is just as good — if not better — than your offline presence. For us, that starts with a beautiful, consistent-with-your-brand website, but if you need a new logo design, stunning social media posts, blog images, or any type of digital marketing collateral pieces (infographics, Facebook ads, display ads, SlideShares, white papers, downloadable .pdfs, and more), don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We even do some traditional print marketing materials — business cards, brochures, and more — here and there. No matter what you need to fulfill the highly visual digital marketing or print marketing world, we’d love to be the ones that help drive your business to the next stage of successful digital marketing.