Communicating what you want isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Doing your own preparation work before you work with a designer is important. As the person that is frequently on the receiving end of trying to understand what someone wants when building a website, my role was recently reversed as I found myself communicating to someone what I wanted in a graphic that I needed to be created. After receiving the first draft of the graphic that I had requested, I realized that I had not taken the time to clearly articulate what I had in mind. While I spend a lot of time in my own business feeling into what people want, it’s a lot easier when someone can tell me more about what they have in mind and what they want. It ended up taking me several hours to figure out in my head what I wanted so that I could send back clarity to the person creating the graphic for me.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Unless you have one of those magic gifts of clear visions in your head, you’ll need to spend some time doing research. If you need a graphic created, then search for graphics that you like and don’t like. Finding things in the theme of what you like helps you to get clear. Example: If you need a banner for social media (that’s what I needed), then search google to look for examples or browse other business pages on Facebook to see what you like. Some search terms I used were:
  • best social media headers 2018
  • social media banner examples
  • Facebook page header templates
Download the graphics or keep the links so that you can communicate with the designer what you have in mind. Be sure to take some notes on what you liked and why for each graphic.

Step 2: Think about How You Want People to Feel

When we create something, there is a feeling that we want people to have when they experience our creations. If you are having something designed for you, you need to be clear on what you want people to feel when they experience the graphic you are having created.
  • Do you want them to feel happy? That might imply light happy colors or fonts.
  • Do you want them to get moving? That might imply bolder colors or fonts.
  • Do you want them to feel calm? That might imply softer colors and fonts.

Step 3: Get Clear on Colors and Fonts

Now that you have an idea of what you like and what you want people to feel, it’s time to identify some real colors and fonts that you would like the person on the other end to consider. Part of the design is to allow the ‘designer’ their creativity. Yet, my experience is that it’s important to help give them some basic parameters so that they know what you like and don’t. My favorite way to find design ideas that I like and don’t like is Pinterest. You can also use google, but there is something about how graphical Pinterest is that makes it really fun. On Pinterest, try searching for some of these terms:
  • soft color palettes
  • bold color palettes
  • modern fonts
  • script fonts
  • cool font combinations
  • serene font combinations
  • soft textures
  • nature color schemes
  • ocean color palette
The great thing about Pinterest is that you can create a private board and save all your ideas there. Once you have selected 20-30 pins that you like, look at the board and see what themes emerge. What have you consistently selected? Now you have a better idea of what you need to communicate with your designer!