We all know it: Creatives are sensitive, weird creatures. As a designer, your work is constantly critiqued. It starts in college (where your work may be thrown out the window of a seven-story building), and it continues throughout your entire career.
For those of you giving feed back to us unique creatures, some words of caution. Please try to avoid the following cliche phrases.
1. “Can I get the layered file?”
Yes, you can! A layered file is our original file that we created in Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Picasso once said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” We know you won’t steal our work, but we are still protective of our personal files being downloaded.
2. “I want it to pop.” (See also: “Turn up the fun factor!” and “Jazz it up a little.”)
Try using a term that provides more information. If the colors feel dull to you, mention that you would love to see more color and saturation. Maybe you want more emphasis on one word. In that case, say that you would like to see hierarchy among the copy.
3. “I like it, but…”
But what?! Starting a conversation like this is not the best way to get a designer to listen. Say that you like it, and tell us what you like! Then go in to what you think needs more work. This way we won’t change the things you love, and we’ll properly change what you don’t love.
4. “Can I get this today?”
The answer is (almost) always yes! But when we rush, we don’t perform at our best. You can get much better work if you ask us how much time we need and then set a reasonable timeline.
5. “Just make it fill up that whole space.” (See also: “It looks empty” and “There is too much white space.”)
Are you sure? Negative space is freeing and comforting. Think of it like your living room: If it was filled wall-to-wall with furniture and coffee tables, you might feel overwhelmed. When there is space, there is room to move, look around, and really understand what the clear message is. Less is more!
6. “Personally, I don’t like it.”
That’s okay! If you personally dislike a piece of work, try to put that aside and think of your audience. Will they like it? Knowing what your audience wants to see is up to you, but that doesn’t mean you have to discard the work you dislike. It’s for them.
7. “Be creative on this one!”
We will! Because that is our job. If you thought a piece of ours was not as creative as it could be, reference that piece and tell us what you think we could have done better.
8. “Make the logo bigger.” (See also: “Just slap our logo on it.”)
We can do that! But is your logo really the most important part of the piece? If your branding is strong enough, you might not even need your logo. Keep in mind the 20% Facebook rule as well. If you want to promote your posts, do you want to give up space for your logo instead of an important CTA?
9. “I don’t get it.”
That’s okay! Instead of jumping to this statement, ask us to explain the creative to you. We have reasons why we chose a certain color or aligned things. Every piece of work has a strategy. Let us take you on a crazy journey into our weird creative minds.
10. “I love it!”
We do too! And we really DO love hearing this! We will only give you our best and most creative work. PERIOD. We don’t want our name on something that we are not proud of. Trust us on this one.