9 things you can't forget when requesting your design tasks

finding lost keys

I hate forgetting things. Do you?

Whenever you misplace your keys, it takes 10 minutes (or hours, sometimes) turning the house upside down just to find them in the fridge. You want to blame your toddler but you remember: you don’t even have a kid! 🤷‍♀️

But don’t be too harsh on yourself since psychologists believe that forgetting helps you remember the essential stuff. Perhaps you’re simply anxious and sleep-deprived, which makes you forgetful.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Toronto, the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus seems to increase forgetfulness.

Forgetting certain little details helps us to concentrate on more general facts, which are much easier to process.

– “Hippo, what?”

Simply put, our brain is just making room for more important memories, and forgetting is totally natural.

Excuses, excuses, I know.

Why do we hate forgetting?

Even though research says it’s fine, we despise forgetting because it makes us look sloppy, irresponsible, and unprofessional. It affects not only our productivity, but everyone’s because others rely on us to do their jobs.

You’re the boss, remember?

Put yourself in the shoes of a subordinate: you had a 2-hour meeting with your manager about a new client who needed a social media campaign done. Following that, you dive in to complete the collaterals – all 44 of them.

Then, two days later, your boss pings you to say that he neglected to tell you that the client’s brand colours had changed from blue to orange.

Don’t you just want to strangle the guy? No offence, Jerry.

As a high-performing leader, you want to be on top of everything, remembering all of your business’ critical information. There is a lot to remember and hundreds of projects to juggle, and we understand that you need help remembering things.

Here is a list of frequently overlooked details when requesting graphic designs:

A meaningful description

A great description is one that is clear, detailed and precise. This is especially important if you don’t have a peg or design inspiration.

If you can’t find similar inspiration, it’s probably because you were the first to think of it. Therefore, you need to provide a detailed description for the graphic designer to execute it well.

When I request designs with a specific concept in mind, I always use this method so I don’t forget.

I “scan” the intended finished output in my head from left to right, top to bottom. I make a mental note of the elements I wish to see and describe them thoroughly.

For instance, if I want to create this image of a cartoon at a Zoom meeting wearing Deer Designer merch, I’ll submit it to the designer as follows:

 
  • I’d like to see a guy, in a Zoom meeting, having a coffee and wearing Deer Designer’s merch
  • Plain white background
  • Add a few shape elements from the brand guide and a blob behind the character to add depth
  • Cap, shirt, and mug all the same colour (#43b5a0), with the white version of the logo on them
  • Add the Zoom meeting interface at the bottom (cartoonized, not a screenshot of the actual thing)
how to survey a design

 

You can never be too specific with your design requests. Your details will serve as “the walls of the box” that the designer is attempting to match or fit inside. If your designer knows the box, they can think outside of it – if you let them! wink, wink

Format / Sizes/ Dimensions

social media sizes

If you do not know the sizes for social media banners, it is ok, we have a guide for that.

However, if you are requesting custom packaging design, billboards, or tarpaulins, you need to specify the correct dimensions as it’s bespoke to your needs.

– “But I don’t have a measuring tape!”

Did you know you can your phone to figure out dimensions?

If you’ve got an iPhone, here is a cool trick. You can gauge the size of objects, automatically detect the dimensions, and save a photo of the measurement by using the Measure App.

This cool app uses Augmented Reality technology to turn your device into a tape measure. Some android phones have a similar app.

measuring app in smart phone

You don’t have to wait for the ad agency to provide you with the billboard specs using this. Simply stand in front of the billboard, scan it with the Measuring App, and voilà! #YoureWelcome

Examples/Inspiration

We occasionally get design requests that say: “I want it to look like the official poster of .” However, if your designer googles it, here’s what they find: a dozen different variations of the same poster!

black panther poster variation
Errr...which one?

This is why you should always include the right example or a direct link to the source of inspiration you have in mind. If not, your designer will get in touch to confirm (which might take a while).

We are not in the business of wasting your time as it’s far too valuable.

DOs, but also DON’Ts

When you tell your designer exactly what you like, that may be enough. However, by stating what you don’t like, you improve the accuracy of your directions.

– “I want vegetables in the cart but I don’t want to see carrots.”

– “I want to include a background of the night sky, without the moon.”

– “Please include all the colours of the rainbow, except indigo.”

Doesn’t it make the design request on point?

The target audience

This is a crucial aspect that should not be overlooked. It’d be a sin!

Whenever you send in a design request, your design team will do some research on the brand before creating the designs.

However, if you’re going to ask them to create a separate design for your new client or a top-secret project that’s off tangent from your brand, your designer won’t be able to figure it out without your instructions.

target market

The new client (or project) may have a different target audience, and neglecting to express this can result in a design failure.

Let’s say you’ve been requesting social media posts for corsets but suddenly you have a post-partum line. Your design team might make the tragic mistake of creating an ad for single women rather than moms!

A mismatch in the intended demographic will change everything about the design, not just the colours. You understand what that means for you and your graphic designer, right? Back to the drawing board, with hours, efforts, and money wasted.

Fonts

Designers will either use the fonts you have detailed on your brand guide, or what they believe would match the design. But then again, the requested design might be for a new client or an experimental project, and your designer could be wrong.

Typefaces convey meaning in and of themselves, and certain fonts may be paired with one another. Because of the typefaces, your content will be more valuable as it enhances the readers’ perception of the message conveyed by the digital design.

The right colour, font, and text size combination can help you attract your target audience. There are at least half a million fonts to choose from, so please, for Pete’s sake, please choose a nice font!

Or get your designer to do it for you and trust them.

Logo or watermark

Every graphic design material, offline or online, must have your brand or logo, so make sure to give instructions on where to place it.

They are often placed in the corner, but there are alternative methods to hide the logo in plain sight, such as in this award-winning commercial for BMW.

Without the right placement direction, the graphic designer might have simply put the iconic BMW logo in the lower right corner – simply following design standards.

BMW would have kissed the award goodbye! It’s a good thing the client was clear about where the logo should appear.

Copy

Your copy is not the description of the design. People often make this mistake. The copy is the words (or the content) you want to include in the design itself.

When writing the copy, you get to decide which words to highlight, the placements of the words, and line breaks.

Wireframe

A wireframe is a skeletal outline of a webpage. Wireframes show the page’s structure, layout, information architecture, user flow, functionality, and expected behaviours in detail.

It doesn’t need to be pretty. Even a pen and paper sketch will do. This will channel your designer’s creativity and avoid time being wasted on layout revisions.

Even if the wireframe is just an initial concept, it is important especially for web designers to visualize what that specific page will look like.

For example, it’s a page dedicated to blog posts, they might create a grid-like layout to entice the visitors to read. With a wireframe, the designer can create according to utility and user experience.

We can help you forget

Sometimes, we survive by forgetting…

If you have a design team, such as Deer Designer, they’ll remember your brand and your preferences for each design request you make.

Even if your first weeks feel like a bumpy ride with a few back-and-forth revisions, the more tasks you submit and the more feedback you provide, the more they’ll build a relationship with you and create exactly what you need.

After a while working with your design team, you will be able to relax knowing that they’ll have your back if you ever forget anything.

We encourage you to make time for what matters in your business. Why? Because you bear the vision of each project you launch.

That is more important than remembering social media sizes, don’t you think?

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