Designers and clients. War and peace.

There comes a time in which you realize you don’t want to take care of the visuals of your business anymore and you need to hire a graphic designer for that. But, due to previous bad experiences of your own or of people you know, you’re not quite sure about trusting the visual identity of your business to somebody else.

As a designer myself, I’ve heard all kinds of reasons for not working with designers: “Designers do what they want instead of doing what the client wants.” “Designers charge big amounts of money for something I could do myself.” “I paid but I didn’t know what was I going to receive.”

And you know what? I’m sure that these situations happen. Now, even if these reasons are similar to your reason for not hiring a designer you still don’t have the time (or the energy, or the skills, etc.) to take care of the design aspect of your brand on your own.

Can the client and designer work together in harmony? I like to think that is possible and here are some things you and your designer can try:

Be clear.

Client: Give context, the designer might not be aware of the details of your industry. Then, tell the designer exactly what you need, for which purpose, for which audience, in which formats, etc. Explain what you like and what you don’t.

Designer: The designer should be explicit about the process, time frames, what are you (the client) going to receive, rates, and payment methods.

Set realistic time frames.

Client: Sometimes things come out of the blue and you need graphic material as soon as possible. As designers, we are used to dealing with crazy time frames but if it’s not essential, please don’t make your designer run and risk the quality of their work.

Designer: The designer shouldn’t pretend to work faster than they do to impress you. It’s better to set a longer time frame and deliver it when expected.


Client: Ask anything you consider important. Seriously. As a client you have the right to know how you’re going to be charged, what are you going to receive, how the designer came to a specific idea, etc.

Designer: The same. It’s better if the designer asks for anything that they think might be helpful for their work. Context, feedback, etc.

In my opinion, the key is teamwork. If you and your designer think of yourselves as some kind of partner and none of you adopts a bossy or smarty attitude towards the other, results are going to be positive and they might lead to a great business relationship.

You and your designer don’t have to be best friends (unless you want to) but if you have a good dialogue it’ll be more fun to work together and there’ll be more chances to achieve the results you’re aiming for.

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