How to Explain to a Graphic Designer What You Want

Be Clear About Your Goals and Objectives

Graphic designers are not mind-readers. If you want your project to be done according to your specifications, then you need to be clear about your goals and objectives from the start. This means you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with the project.

To ensure success, you need to answer these questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What message do you want to convey to your users?
  • Where will the design be used, and how?
  • What set of goals shall be achieved? More traffic? Brand awareness? Boost sales?

So you see. These are just some critical questions you need to answer before going to a professional graphic designer. You also need to note that not every project has the same set of questions. It would vary on what you need.

Use Visual References and Inspiration

When it comes to design, always remember that designers are visual people. This means that it would be beneficial to provide them with a visual reference of what you have in mind. You can either bring in printed copies of similar designs or show them digital samples on your laptop or tablet. However, if you can’t meet up with the designer face to face, you can simply send digital copies over the internet.

If you have something specific in mind, don’t hesitate to share it with your designer. The more information they have, the better they will be able to understand your vision.

Here are some sites where you can get inspiration or references from:

Give Feedback Along the Way

Creating the perfect graphics for your project can be a long and arduous process. It’s important that you give feedback along the way to ensure that the project is heading in the right direction.

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you’re happy with the final product. If you’re not satisfied with something, don’t be afraid to speak up and let your designer know. After all, it’s your project, and you should have a say in how it turns out.

Also, don’t forget to answer their queries so that they can proceed with the project. If you delay giving feedback, it will only prolong the process and might even lead to additional costs.

Trust Goes A Long Way

Trusting your graphic designer and their talents will go a long way in ensuring the success of your project. Remember, these professionals have years of experience and training under their belts. They know what they’re doing.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should just sit back and relax while they do all the work. You still need to be involved in the process and give your input when necessary. However, it is essential to trust designers’ expertise and allow them to do what they do best.

Talk About the Specifics of the Project

Design isn’t the only important thing for every project. It would help if you also talked about things like the budget, timeline, number of revisions, extra costs, and other specific details that need to be ironed out before the project can start.

Use Your Feedback to Create a Solution, Not Another Problem

Designers know that you are the one paying for the project, but it wouldn’t help you or them if you give feedback that sounds like orders. For example, “I want it to be bigger,” or “Can you make it red?” These comments don’t help because they don’t explain what you want or why you want it.

A better way to give feedback is to say something like, “I feel like the text is a little too small, can we make it a bit bigger so users can easily read them?” or “I’m not sure if the green color is sending the right message, can we try something else? A bolder color like red, perhaps?” See the difference? The first set of comments sounds like demands, while the latter comes across as suggestions.

Don’ts When Dealing with a Graphic Designer

Don’t Expect Graphic Designers to Be What They Aren’t

Graphic designers are what they say they are… graphic designers. So, don’t expect them to perform copywriting for you or craft copies for your design. What you can do is prepare all the assets that will be used for the design before starting the project.

Don’t Be Scared of Revisions and Giving Feedback

These two are crucial aspects of every project. If you’re not happy with something, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for a revision. It’s better to have something revised than to end up with a design you’re not satisfied with.

Don’t Get Annoyed When They Ask You Questions

Designers need clarification so they can do their job correctly. So, instead of getting annoyed, answer their questions as best as possible. The more information they have, the better they will be able to understand your vision and create something that you’ll love.

Don’t Break the Contract

The initial specifics that you agreed on shouldn’t be changed halfway through the project. If you need to make changes, talk to your designer first and see if it’s possible to do so without breaking the contract.

Don’t Send Each Edit/Revision Separately

It’s essential to send all your feedback in one go. This way, the designer can make all the necessary changes in one go instead of going back and forth between different versions of the design.


Working with a graphic designer can be a great experience if you know how to communicate with them properly. By following the tips above, you can avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication that could lead to delays and additional costs.

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Alex Jakov
Chief Executive Officer
Former co-founder of Opendoor. Early staff at Spotify and Clearbit.

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