Creating an Effective Graphic with the Right Questions

December 7, 2012
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When designing for a client, a designer or a graphic company, you need to understand entirely what the project requires. Clients hire professionals to translate their ideas but it is up to the designer to draw out the details from them by asking the right questions. Clear communication with the client is the key to creating an effective graphic for any designer.

Through asking, you will not only get to know what the client needs but also get to know the clients themselves. The interaction will gain you a loyal customer as well as a good reputation for listening for what your clients wants.

Creating ideas for the graphic will be less difficult if you have the right information. So do not hesitate to ask. Clients may actually appreciate that you want to make clear whatever aspects are needed for the exact outcome of the graphic.

So what questions should you ask to get you started? Ask about…

1. The nature of their business

Understand your client by probing into the nature of their business. Build rapport with them and ask how they began and grew. This will help you figure out how you will design the graphic effectively in relation to the context of their business.

By starting off your communication in this manner shows your sincerity about the project. It exhibits professionalism as well as concern for your client. This ethic may set you apart from other competitors in the graphic design industry.

2. Their preliminary ideas

Fish out their thoughts. What kind of “look and feel” are they expecting from the graphic? Inquire about where the graphic will be used so that you can somehow conceptualize the kind of image you will create. Hear them out. This is the time where you need to listen well to what they want to see in the image. Take note of the details such as color, size, preferred font, etc. that your client wants incorporated in the graphic.

3. The complexity of the output

Identify their expected output — does your client want a simple image or a complex illustration? It would be futile to think of an illustrative and complex image when all the client really needs is a simple typography. Here you can suggest ideas that they may have not considered yet. Explain design terminologies in words they can comprehend and avoid jargon.

Send them one or two drafts of what you have understood from their explanation and ask them if you have accurately grasped the picture they have in their minds. If in case it is far from it, you may be able to adjust accordingly to nail exactly the graphic your client needs.

This may also be an avenue for you to inform your client about your design methods and to show them the list of other services you offer. In other words, this is where you open and close the business deal.

4. The deadline

It is important to know when the client needs the graphic. You have to clear this at the onset to avoid any confusion in delivering the output. This will guide you and help you determine the priority level of the project. You may also be able to map out how you will work on it especially if you also have other design projects in the pipe line.

5. The projected impact

After knowing all the information about your client and fetching their ideas as well as pitching in your design solutions and all the technicalities that go with it, this question wraps up everything.

Ask your client what message they want to tell their market with the graphic. This will direct you to how you will design the graphic with the kind of impact they want it to bring. It will encapsulate all the information that has been gathered and will guide you properly in making the best graphic to convey the message of your client.

Never assume that you have got all things well pat with just the initial communication. Ask questions and clarify any details you may have missed. Your clients expect to work with professionals so give them that. Asking questions does not mean you have difficulty in picking up but actually shows your effectiveness as a designer. Make it a habit to clear it with your clients through inquiries before embarking on the design and create a graphic that your clients will love.

This is a guest post by Celina Conner; a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Diploma of business from Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.Follow her adventures on her Twitter.
Photo Credit to Eleaf

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Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Diploma of business from Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.Follow her adventures on her Twitter.