How to Give Feedback to Your Designer

You’ve chosen a Brand Designer and received your initial concepts. How exciting! Now, what next?

Typically the next step in the process is to give your designer feedback on the concepts and you’ll refine until the brand is perfect.

You should expect specific questions from your designer on how to provide the most effective feedback. At no point in any part of the process should you be unsure of what to do next. When working with clients at Rhema Design Co, I provide an explanation at the beginning of any feedback questionnaire on what I’m looking for and guiding the client in providing that. Here’s an excerpt from my own feedback form;

When providing feedback, it’s extremely important to avoid getting stuck in personal preference, and instead focus on your target market’s viewpoint. They are who we’re designing for, after all. When providing feedback, always refer back to your target audience and their needs.”

In my feedback forms, I include two form fields for each piece of the concept.

These fields ask; “What aspects (font, color, illustration, etc.) of this design will resonate with your target audience, and why?” and “What aspects (font, color, illustration, etc.) of this design could be improved upon for your target market and why?”. These are key in guiding my clients through the feedback process.

If your designer does not provide specific prompts regarding feedback, here are some tips on how to give it:

  • Don’t give feedback based on your feelings or emotions. The brand isn’t designed with you in mind, it’s designed to appeal to your target audience.
  • Give feedback based on what will and won’t appeal to your target audience. For example; “The color palette will appeal to my target audience because it’s warm and welcoming. However, the type doesn’t come across the same way. Can we refine the type a bit to reflect these keywords?”
  • Don’t be a pixel pusher. This occurs when the client tells the designer exactly what to do. For example; “I don’t like the type in that font. I looked online and found this one. Replace it please.”. The designer has done in depth research strategic creative decisions went into that type choice. That doesn’t mean the designer will always get it right, but this feedback truly isn’t helpful. Rather, point out why your target audience will not be drawn to that decision.

Don’t hold back feedback for fear of hurting our feelings. It’s the designer job to create a beautiful, strategic, and effective brand. Withholding feedback isn’t helpful.

  • Do not show the brand concept to 15 of your closest friends and ask their thoughts. Those friends haven’t gone through the process, seen the strategic foundation laid, and they may not be a part of your target audience.
  • Try not to provide feedback via email. Hopefully, your designer has a project management system or client relationship manager that will be a one stop shop for the whole process (I use Dubsado). When the designer begins to make the refinements, it can be difficult to compile all of the feedback if it was sent via email. It’s far too easy to miss a piece of feedback, which will then extend the project our further.
  • Take some time! I don’t like to hear off the cuff feedback. I encourage my clients to take a look at the concept, sleep on it, then provide feedback when they’ve had time to thoughtfully consider it. However, stick to the project deadlines outlined by the designer.

You, the client, are an integral part of the design process.

You point out things that sometimes the designer may not see and you provide valuable insight. Like I mentioned in my last blog, communication is key to life in general and the design process.

Don’t apologize when you have feedback  — it’s part of the process.

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