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11 Ways To Keep Your Contract Designers From Plotting Your Death

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Contractors are an integral part of many businesses and it’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with them. If your business outsource projects to graphic designers, you’ve likely encountered a hiccup here and there, and possibly even ruined a relationship.

Here are 11 ways to prevent your contractors from turning on you.


Don’t Be Confusing

Provide clear instructions and expectations to designers when starting a project. Tell them what you expect from them, what timeline you have, what you are able to provide to them and allow them to ask questions before beginning. If you want to use a specific color or font, NOW is the time to include that information. Not AFTER the design has been made.



Give The Gift Of Required Elements

Working with you shouldn’t be a scavenger hunt. Provide your designer with everything they need up front. This includes vector logos, font files, branded colors, specific imagery you want to use. Don’t expect them to have all of these things beforehand.



Don’t Be A Rush-hole

Give your designer a reasonable deadline. For example, “I need a 20-page eBook, designed, branded and ready for production by tomorrow morning,” isn’t going to work. A designer will put a rush on projects for clients they have frequently worked with you, but they won’t let it become a habit. They have lives too you know. Plus, a rushed job often turns into a shoddy job.



Avoid Sending Multiple Batches Of Edits

Hey, it happens to the best of us! But to be respectful of your designers' time and sanity, it is best to accumulate all of your feedback, change requests and edits, and send them over to him/her in a single batch so that they can make all of them at once. Often you will still need to go through two or three proofs, however. But two or three proofs is much better than nine or 10.



Be Polite

Be constructive with your criticism. If you don’t like something, tell them, but make sure to include why you don’t like it or why you feel it’s going in the wrong direction. This will help them understand what you want and ultimately design something that rocks.



Keep An Open Line Of Communication

Make sure your designer feels comfortable reaching out to you with any questions or concerns they may have.



Don’t Keep Them Waiting

Respond to their questions in a timely manner, provide quick feedback and wrap up projects as soon as they are completed.



Don’t Act Like A Know-It-All

You may have design experience or just have really good taste, but no designer likes to be treated like they know less about design than their client does. Try not to be condescending or bossy when it comes to things that they should know best about. Ultimately, they are a resource to you — you should give their advice or opinion the weight it deserves.



If They Do A Good Job, Send Them More Work

This is just common sense. Let them know you appreciate them as a designer by sending them more than just one project every couple of months. They will start to view you as a regular client and treat your projects as top priority. You can also establish a mutual trust for each other's work.



Pay Them In A Timely Matter

No one likes to wait for a paycheck. Paying your designer in a timely manner is an easy way to keep the relationship healthy. If they've gone above and beyond, consider giving them a little bonus.



Give Them Compliments

Don’t be a brown noser, but be complimentary when they have done a good job. If you’re going to tell them when they have done something you don’t like, it only makes sense that you do the same when they have created something you love.

Maintaining a good client-contractor relationship with your graphic designers can be challenging, but it’s necessary. Remember that these contractors are helping you execute projects for YOUR clients. Treat contractor designers well, and they can become a powerful partner in your business’s marketing efforts.



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