If you’re like most people these days, then you’ve got a to-do list that’s three miles long and not enough hours in the day to get it all done—even with late nights at the office or in front of the computer after the kids go to bed.
Hiring a good graphic designer can help you whittle down your list, so you can go home early (or at least on time). Here are the secrets to making it happen with a designer at the wheel.
- Create the overall project scope and budget. You’ve got an objective to meet: let’s say it’s an annual report highlighting the year’s successes. Which format should it take—book, diecut folder with insert sheets, website with infographics? There are plenty of options, so instead of spinning your wheels and guessing what might work, talk to your graphic designer. She’s likely created something similar for other clients and can help you determine the best fit for your specific needs. She’ll also be able to give you an idea of cost, so that you can work on budgeting with a realistic number in mind. There’s nothing worse than getting approval for a budget that’s too low; you’ll waste a ton of time searching for a cheap vendor to meet that requirement, and you’ll likely end up with a low-quality result—totally defeating the purpose.
- Get vendor bids. Once you know what your project scope looks like, you’ll need to know how to get it produced. Depending on your organization rules, that could mean getting multiple bids from different vendors. This can take time, especially if you don’t have trusted vendors you work with regularly. Then, there are the nitty gritty details, some of which you may not even know to include. For example, let’s say you have a print project with paper choices to consider. You’ll need to make decisions regarding weights and styles, bleeds, inks, folds, diecuts, variable data, varnish or fulfillment. The good news is your designer has experience with these types of details and will likely have trusted contacts, so she can easily gather bids for you while you handle other business.
- Do the work. Faster. Sure, you could create that brochure yourself in Word using clip art—but while you’re doing that, what other to-do items are piling up? Let your graphic designer handle it. She’ll have the software and resources to do the job right and the know-how to do it much faster than you. When that clock strikes 5 p.m., you’ll have loads of other tasks completed, and your designer is ready with your brochure…and you can go home for the day.
- See it with a fresh pair of eyes. Creativity takes time, and sometimes it takes a while for inspiration to strike—especially if you have a million other goals to accomplish. By handing the project to your designer, you instantly lighten your load. Your designer will be ready to roll with a fresh pair of eyes for your content, so she can proofread drafts before sending them to you and cut down your review time.
- Get it produced right—the very first time. Nothing ruins great design like a bad print job. Files that aren’t set up properly can cause delays or, worse yet, errors in the final production. Talk about expensive. Instead of risking it, hire a graphic designer to set up the files correctly from the start. Prepping the final files for print takes time and specific know-how, so a good designer is your way of ensuring a great design, stays great.
- Coordinate and deliver it. The project is complete and ready to print. You could spend the time to send those files to the print vendor; confirm the schedule for proofs, printing and delivery; and set multiple reminders for yourself to check-in on the process, but why not have your graphic designer do it? Free up that mental space, and spend your time focusing on more urgent tasks. She’ll keep you in the loop and ensure everything is on track for completion.
Whether you are short on time or experience (or both) when it comes to graphic design, let a professional take the lead. A good designer can help you accomplish your objectives—faster, more accurately and more beautifully—than you can likely do on your own.
If your current designer isn’t making your life easier, or if you’re trying to do everything yourself, then reach out to Weiher Creative for an assist on that task list. It’s time to go home and relax!
And if you’re wondering what it’s like to work with a design agency—or you’re considering a new one—pick up my FREE report, 7 Things to Look for When Hiring a Graphic Designer, and get started on finding the talented, cost-effective provider you deserve.