So you finally found the graphic designer of your dream. Her works are just gorgeous – you can’t wait to see what she will come up with for your branding.

“Working with a graphic designer or brand specialist are a two way collaboration”

It is the process that takes communication and understanding to get to the end result that translates your values, ideas and principal into that creative graphic that tells all the stories.

Along the way, I learned things that there are a few mistakes that are commonly happen, which might restrict the best outcome from your graphic designer/brand specialist.

 

Not taking time to fill in the design brief

Design brief is not made to give you extra things to do (I know how it is, you have a gazillion things to do before the launch of your brand, you don’t need another thing to fill in!). We need the design brief to get better understanding on your business. It helps us to understand about your ideal customers, what you want them to think of you and how we can make the brand engage with them.

In my brief, i also asked clients to send me samples of images, logos or graphics that grab their attention, as some people are more visual than verbal. A picture paints a thousand words…  and the visual moodboard helps your graphic designer to be on the right direction.

“When you run your business, you get distracted by day to day things, it is hard to take time out to think deeply about what your brand is all about. Hence, this process was designed to help business owners to take time to think deeply about what it is that they really want to achieve.”

Most of the questions will already be covered in your business or marketing plans normally – which I highly recommend to have before contacting a brand specialist. I often find, clients who say  “we don’t know know what we want, but will have better ideas when we see the concepts” don’t really have clear vision on their business yet. As with anything business related, having a clear business plan will help you making the business decisions easier.

 

Not being open-minded

Sometimes we come up with concepts that are different from what you expect, and it might freak you out.

“No one in my industry has ever done that. I haven’t seen any of my competitors doing anything like this!”

Next time this happen, please remember why you hire this designer to start with. I am sure one of the reasons you hire him or her is because of their expertise in branding.  Listen to the explanations that your designer give you with an open- mind, on why he chooses the concept to propose to you, and think about it from the marketing point of view.  I am not saying that you need to agree with his arguments, but it could be a start of something that you haven’t thought of before.

“Why fit in when you can be different?”

We always try to think out-of-the box when it comes to problem-solving, so perhaps this is the time for you apply it onto your business decision?

 

Forgetting that it is not about you

I get it, it’s your passion, it’s your baby. The brand, obviously, needs to reflect your values and your visions.

But when we talk about branding, we are trying to communicate all that to the customers. So really, it is about how to get the message across to them.

It is about knowing their style, what they like, what they want to get out of your brand, and what can you offer to them.

It is really about them, not you.

 

Forgetting that not everyone is an expert

Running your own business sometimes mean you are flying solo. No comminte to ask feedback to, no-one to brainstorming ideas and no boss to give you the decision to run.

If you need a feedback, get it from your target audience. Please please don’t ask your uncle, aunties, mum and dad or your cleaner – unless if they are your target market! Everyone can be an expert but they might not be the expert of the products that you are developing.

What it means, if you are targeting your products to mums, you still need to find the best audience to ask. Is your product targeted to mums with baby and toddlers, or are they targeted to mums with older children? Those two are completely two different customers so make sure when you are asking the questions, you are asking them to the right persons.

Everyone will have different opinion on things so chances are – it might not even help you coming to the conclusion.

 

I am a Melbourne graphic and web designer based in Bayside/Kingston Area. I specialise in logo design, branding, marketing collateral and website design and development. I work with small businesses and female entrepreneurs in industries targeting a female audience such as baby & children’s products, crafts, marketers and consultant.

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