Sometimes what you get back from a designer is not what you envisioned in your head. Creative work is subjective, but going multiple rounds back and forth with exhibit designers can be costly. Use these five simple tips to provide more clear and constructive feedback to your design team, saving time and budget.
- Provide branding standards at the beginning
A professional designer will always follow your branding standards and preferences, but only if they know what they are, so always provide them upfront. In addition to what’s written in the standards, make sure to provide any other relevant information about the company’s brand usage that may be helpful. For example, maybe your CEO doesn’t like the color yellow and you want to avoid it if possible.
- Be honest, but specific
At some point in their career, those in the creative business have most likely heard negative feedback such as “that sucks” or “looks terrible.” It takes thick skin to be creative and most can take it. But that doesn’t get you to a better end product. If you’re unhappy with the design of something, make sure and communicate with your designer using adjectives that describe what you like and don’t like. For example, instead of “the logo looks bad”, you can say, “I don’t like the placement of the logo. We want it to be twice as large and on the top half of the banner so people can easily see it.”
- Consolidate feedback
If you have multiple members of your team who want to provide input on a design, make sure to consolidate the feedback before passing it on to the designer. Not only will this save time and budget, but you reduce the chance of providing the designer with conflicting feedback.
- Be open to recommendations
Unless you want the same results over and over again, it’s always good to be open to recommendations from your design team. You might also ask why they chose to do what they did. Is there a reason they left white space or chose a specific image? Remember: you hired them for their expertise. Even the most experienced marketing or exhibit managers are often pleasantly surprised at the outcome when they give designers some creative leeway.
- Don’t forget the logic
While feedback such as “I don’t like the font color” is clear, the logic about how you came to that conclusion may also be helpful. For example, rather than “the font’s too blue” you can say “our competition’s logo is blue so we try to stay away from it. Can you change the font to green instead?” This type of background information may also be useful to the designers when it comes to other aspects of your exhibit.
While there’s no set rules or formula for communicating with your design team, using the tips above will certainly help streamline the process.
About Peggy Swords
Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.