How to Provide Useful Design Feedback

Feeding back on design can be a difficult task; here are some pointers for getting what you need from your design project.

After a brief, providing feedback to your graphic designer is the most powerful tool you have to achieve the project you want. It's important that you remain analytical and rational at this stage. Simply saying 'I don't like it' to your designer isn't helpful, as that implies that it's a matter of taste and not function.

  1. Give instructional guidance, for example 'move the logo to the top left' or 'can we try this in purple?' is far more effective.
  2. Read the brief you agreed upon at the project commencement. Does the proposed artwork align with that? If not, emphasise which aspects of the brief are most important to you.
  3. Don't ask family or friends who aren't connected to your business for advice. If they haven't read the brief, their opinion won't hold water with your designer.
  4. If you provided the copy, the spelling and grammar errors are yours. Clients who blame their mistakes on their designers aren't prioritised for future projects. It's unfair on the designer and makes you appear to shirk responsibility for your project's success.
  5. Hire a proofreader who can act as a third pair of eyes. Proofreaders don't just hunt spelling errors, but often suggest better ways for copy to be written. They'll also look out for errors in photographs or other graphics used.
  6. Be kind and honest. Amendments are part of every project. Designers are professionals, so we don't take error requests personally, it's just a part of the job.
  7. Finally, listen to your designer. Ask questions on why they have done something a certain way. They'll certainly have a reason for making every design decision. Trusting their expertise is why you hired them in the first place.