By J’Nel Wright

If you are particularly moved by the imagery of a recent social post, infographic, or website, you have a graphic or web designer to thank for that experience. At Osmond Marketing, we have a talented design team that makes even the most complex design projects look effortless. What’s their secret? Besides talent and years of experience, a project’s success relies on the customer having a clear goal in mind and communicating that vision for the designer.

In the spirit of learning from our mistakes and to ensure your next creative project turns out awesome (and within budget), here are 16 things you should never say to a designer, broken into three categories.

Be Prepared

You know better than anybody what brand you want your business to represent. When you meet with the designer, be specific about the vision you have for your company’s messaging. You will save valuable time in design and money.

1. “Yes, we are anxious for the design. No, we don’t have any copy yet.”

2. “I don’t know what I want it to look like. You’re the designer.”

3. “I don’t care for it. Not sure why. Can you try to make it better?”

4. “Can you make these images pop?”

Don’t Let Short-Term Expenses Interfere with Your Investment

Often, your best intentions at cost-savings end up costing more money in duplicated work. It’s tempting to try to step in with existing images or previous work, but unless these materials were created on design platforms, the designer will need to start from scratch.

5. “Be sure to use a format that we can edit.”

6. “I found this image online . . .”

7. “I started this image in Google Docs. Can you finish it?”

8. “Someone designed this logo for me, but I never got the files.”

9. “You can just recreate this, right? But you only have [insert unrealistic time frame here] to do it.”

Understand That Time Is Money—Literally!

Your biggest expense with creative design projects is time. The more details you can provide upfront, the faster the designer can complete the work. Keep in mind that every change will warrant an additional expense and a potential delay in completion. Change is inevitable. However, if you are still weighing different designs after the designer has started on the project, those changes are going to cost you.

10. “Can we make the logo bigger?”

11. “You can just Photoshop that out, right?”

12. “We’ve got three pages of content we need to fit in our 4×6 handout.”

13. “You can just Photoshop that in, right?”

14. “Quick question for you.” (Turns into a 10-hour project.)

15. “Can we make the logo look 3D?”

16. “Can we add drop shadows?”

Professional graphic design is an essential part of any marketing strategy. To get the most out of your investment, present a specific strategy to the design team, including clear expectations, budget, time limitations, colors, image ideas, etc. With a little preparation, you’ll soon find yourself saying, “Great work.”