10 Things You Should Never Say to a Graphic Designer

10 Things You Should Never Say to a Graphic Designer

The thing about communication is that, if done right, the project completion becomes a cakewalk for, both, the client and the service provider. But, if done wrong, it can become a nightmare.

Out of all business communications, one of the most colorful and interesting ones is that between graphic designers and their clients. And, that’s precisely what we’ll be discussing today.

It is understandable that sometimes, it can be really difficult to communicate with designers with all their design jargon being used. Similarly, for designers, it can be really difficult to get on to a common ground with their clients with regards to what exactly do they need in a design.

So, in order to help all you business owners out there looking to make communicating with your designers easier, we have come up with a list of 10 things you should never say to a designer that are commonly said.

1.       “This should not take you more than an hour to complete”

Graphic design tips

You don’t know that! When it comes to creating a professional design, quality is of paramount importance and, a professional graphic designer knows that very well. And, quality work takes time; certainly more than an hour!

So, not that you should not fix upon a timeline but, discuss it with your designer first and ask them how much time they think it would take for them to complete the design.

2.       “The content would take a while. Can you provide some design samples in the meantime?”

Graphic design tips

A good part of ideation behind designing graphics relies on the content with which it will be coupled before sharing it with the audience. Without content, the design may simply be out of context.

So, you cannot expect the designer to create something without even understanding what they are designing the graphic for.

3.       “Give me several versions of it, so I’ll pick one”

Graphic design tips

Just because graphic designing is a digital concept, it doesn’t mean that the designer can be expected to keep making several variations for one project, only for you to discard all the hard work and pick only one.

Additionally, what you are indirectly doing is making the designer work 5x more and paying for just 1x.

It is, therefore, a good practice to brainstorm a little with the designer and come up with a layout draft of your expected design.



4.       “Can you make it ‘pop’ a little more?”

Graphic design tips

That’s vague! That’s a really-really vague term you’re using to communicate with the designer which will give them no clarity whatsoever of what exactly you are asking them to do.

Imagine the designer using hardcore graphic terms such as Kernel, bleeding, Typeface, etc. to make you understand their approach. Would that make any sense to you? Of course not!

The same happens when you use such vague words with your designer; such as pop, edgy, fancy, etc. Try to be a little more clear and specific with your requirements.



5.       “I’m not sure if I like it but, you are the designer you’d know what to do.”

Graphic design tips

So, by saying this, what you are communicating is that you don’t agree with what your designer has created but, you still believe in their skill and leaving the ball in their court.

This will only make the project completion stretch longer because the designer won’t know what made you didn’t like the current design and, what they should do next.

You need to give your designer some inputs about what you want and what they must add to their designs in order to make it perfect.


6.       “Take the logo from our website.”

Graphic design tips

A logo is the main identity of your business and, will be used at several places; both, online and offline. Now, if you ask the designer to use the logo from your website and use it in the design you are getting created, it may not turn out the same way on a printed design than on the digital design.  

It is, therefore, a good practice to keep the vector file of your logo handy and provide it to the designer as and when required.



7.       “There’s just one last quick edit that I want you to do in the design.”

Graphic design tips

A seasoned designer expects to get several changes and edit requests from the client before coming up with the final version.

So, it is advisable to rather be frank about it and make a polite request to the designer for the change you need in the design. Acknowledging the fact that you are taking more of their time than promised will at least give them that scope of respect and encouragement.

And, anyway, saying something like “I’m so sorry to keep taking up your time like this, but I found another change I’d like to make. Can you change this [word / font / graphic / color]? Feel free to add the extra time for these edits to your invoice.”  won’t really hurt. 

8.       “Check out this design by another designer. Can you do it exactly the same? But don’t copy.

Graphic design tips

Being a graphic designer is all about being creative in your work by providing a unique and fresh perspective to design. When you ask a designer to copy the design of someone else, it is not only unethical but, also can create legal copyright issues for your brand.

Instead, of course, you can point out specific elements that you liked in the other design and ask your designer to do their own take on it.


9.       “Can you quickly just Photoshop it?”

Graphic design tips

Okay! So, this is something that every non-designer needs to understand that not everything is meant to be – or, rather, should be – edited on Photoshop. Yes, the tool is definitely a great way to make some quirky and amazing designs but, that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything or everything can be edited using Photoshop tool.

It is, therefore, a good idea to let your designer decide whether to use the tool for a particular design or not because sometimes, Photoshop designs too can backfire.

10.   “There are others who’d do this for half of what you are charging.”

Graphic design tips

Okay! That itself sounds very immoral and distasteful even if it is been said to any service provider; and not necessarily a designer.

A designer sets their service cost on the basis of a lot of parameters; such as their place of living (metro or non-metro), their experience, their skill set, and more. So, you are simply paying for what you are expecting to get. If you expect a high-quality job, you are expected to be open with your budget as well.

The best way to go about it is to see for yourself and decide what characteristics are most valuable to you in a designer. Is it the speed, the quality, the originality, the reputation, or the personality?

Special Mentions:

Along with the ones we have discussed so far, here are some special mentions on what you should never say to a graphic designer;

      - “Let’s just forget everything and go back to the original concept you had shared.”

      - “I can’t pay you but, this would be a great learning experience for you.”   

      - “Can you use this image I found on another website?”

      - “Our target audience is everyone.”

      - “It looks pretty empty. Try and make everything bolder and bigger.”

Graphic design tips

To conclude...

Clear communication is the key to success for every project; irrespective of the industry you are from. As a client, if you want to get the best of the design work from the designer or agency you have hired, always try to be as clear with your requirements as possible. Also, it won’t hurt to be polite and patient with your designer in order to make them feel comfortable and trust you.

In fact, most designers are more than happy to guide you through the often-foreign design process and answer any questions you might have, and they like nothing better than being asked for recommendations.

So, if you are looking for professional graphic design services, you don’t have to look any further. Simply contact us at support@graphicszoo.com and let us connect you with the best-skilled designer for your project.