In order for a designer to come up with an effective visual message for the client, the designer needs to know and understand what that message is. That sounds simple enough, right?
Years ago, back when I was working at another graphic design studio, my Creative Director gave me a logo project to design. When I asked her what the company did – she replied with “I don’t know.” Even way back then, I knew that was wrong.
Every so often, I encounter a client who doesn’t want to invest the time in their own message and I’m told “You’re the designer – come up with something!”
Here are some basic questions a designer should ask their client. These help define the customer’s brand messaging.
- What does your company do (who are you)?
- Who do you target (all audiences)?
- Why do your customers choose you (what is unique about you)?
- What are you offering (your basic good and services)?
- What is your call-to-action?
A few aesthetic questions can be:
- What do your current marketing materials look like? (This is important because all materials should usually co-brand with each other in some way – even as you move away from an older look into the new image.)
- What imagery do you like/dislike
- What colors do you like/dislike
- What feeling or emotion do you want to convey with this piece?
- What have you done in the past, was it successful?
Graphic Design is visual communication. As long as both the client and the designer realize the necessity of this process, the resulting work should communicate exactly what the client needs.