Everything You Need to Know About Working With Graphic Designers, Part 2

In the a previous issue of The Golden Thread, we were treated to Part 1 of Lori Haller's tips for working effectively with graphic designers. We discovered things you should do to get the design process started on the right foot. Today, we'll learn what you can do to keep the process running smoothly and further increase your chances of creating a successful promotion:

  1. Look at the Sketch/Design as Soon as Possible.

    When the designer sends draft sketches to you, don't wait till the last minute to review them. Review the sketches as soon as possible so you won't feel rushed when you look over everything. Give your comments to the designer with plenty of time to make your changes.

  2. Give Feedback in a Positive Manner.

    Be aware of how you relay your comments to the designer. Tell him what you like about the layout first. Then make specific suggestions for what you would like him to change. "Can we put this in red?" "Let's try moving the photo over there." Keep it positive, but make your comments very clear. Also, be clear about when you'll need to see the next draft so you stay on track to meet the deadline.

  3. Make Sure Order Information Is on Each Separate Element.

    It's not unusual for a prospect to put a package aside before ordering. Placing order information on each element ensures she will be able to place her order even if she loses the order device or other parts of the package.

  4. Work With the Designer to Make Sure the Order Device Is Easy to Use.

    Always make sure it's very easy to place the order. The offer and instructions for placing the order must be clear. Also, there should be enough space for the prospect to write in the appropriate information.

  5. Ask the Designer to Add Copy When Appropriate.

    If you've written a long piece, such as a magalog, you may want to add the 800 number (or any other appropriate ordering information) to the last few pages of the promo. This will help move the prospect toward the sale. Instead of putting the 800 number on each page yourself, you can just ask the artist to add it after you've seen the draft design.

  6. Check Everything Thoroughly Before Sending the Package to Your Client.

    For example: Check all art; all copy must be easy to read; comma styles should be consistent; make sure all product and premium cover titles are correct; check that all pages are numbered correctly; the format of subheads and titles must be consistent throughout the package; etc.

Learning to work successfully with graphic designers will not only help you create winning direct-mail pieces, but it can also dramatically expand your network. And who knows? You might even make a few good friends!

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Published: January 5, 2004

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