How to talk to a Graphic Designer


The interaction between designers and their clients is one of the most talked (and teased) about in the business world.

Bring together a creative professional (armed with the tools and skills to build something from scratch) and a client (who may or may not know exactly what he wants for the project), and you’ve got the recipe for a collaboration that may be wrought with plenty of confusion, backtracking, misinterpretation, and changes along the way—but inevitably results in a beautiful, functional and impressive finished product.

Clients want an asset built for their business, and designers aim to deliver the best possible results. This can be done if clients take time to understand the designers’ perspective when it comes to their work processes.

And so, to bring harmony and success to the collaboration, here are 10 comments that you should avoid when talking to a graphic designer.

  1. I like this designer’s work. Can you do this same thing for me?

You should hire a designer because you prefer their creative style and vision, and not because they look like they may be able to copy another person’s work.

  1. I need something done real quick, can you handle it?

Out of respect for your designer’s time, it’s best that you let him know about any extra details or tasks that you may require as soon as you know that you need it, and give him time to consider how to make the necessary adjustments at a reasonable timeframe or pace.

  1. I’m not sure what I want exactly. Could you come up with different versions, and I’ll choose?

Designers pour their time, effort, skill and insight into each project and cannot be expected to produce several different versions of a product just so you can pick one out and discard the rest (especially if the budget is only meant for one product).

  1. Can I make one last change?

It’s a fact that designers expect their clients to realize, somewhere in the middle of the project, that they want to make changes, and so the designer would have to go back to the drawing board to apply them. However, it is very inconsiderate of a client to assume that designers have all the time in the world to keep revising one product.

  1. I found this image online and liked it, can you use it for my project?

Using someone else’s random image, taken from the Internet, can cause copyright issues to emerge. Even if you were able to get permission, the resolution and quality of the image may not be right for your needs, so it’s better to use original images or free stock images from the right resources.

  1. Why do you charge this much, while this other designer’s rate is half of yours?

Different designers compute their rates based on variables that are specific to them. Each designer will also have his own professional traits and specializations (speed, quality, style, personality, etc.) that contribute to their rates. Try not to lowball designers, especially if you know that you are getting top-notch work for the price.

  1. I want something modern/fresh/trendy/timeless/vintage.

Designers are skilled at producing excellent results according to client specifications, but when it comes to such terms, it’s best to describe the effect you want to see in detail so that you and the designer remain on the same page and the results you get will be what you expect.

  1. Are you available via phone or email anytime?

Like anyone else who works for a living, designers know that taking breaks and days off is important. Keep in mind that your designer will have days off from work or will be taking on projects from other clients throughout the week, so only get in touch during the times when he is available for you.

  1. Can I request as many revisions as I need to get it perfect?

It’s only standard practice to limit the number of revisions that can be made on the project. The work requires time, money, planning, and actual execution, and designers simply cannot keep re-doing the product because the client keeps wanting to modify it.

  1. I don’t have enough to pay you. Are you willing to work in exchange for publicity?

Designers are happy to gain as much exposure for their work as possible, but like anyone who works, they need to eat, pay rent, support families, buy equipment for their business, and so on. It’s only fair to pay the correct rates for a job well done.

Designers Life - MGR Blog

What do you think?  What is your experience working with graphic and website designers?  Feel free to share your thoughts below.


Thank you for reading.  Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)