Graphic Design Best Practices

This guide is developed by our graphic designers Jacqueline Simpson & Jennifer Gagnon. You can view printer-friendly PDF of this page.

BEFORE THE MEETING

Research and Come up with Questions 

Take some time to learn as much as you can about the company, and come to the meeting with lots of questions. For example:

  • What colours do they like?
  • What is the tone of the company?
  • Who are they trying to target?
  • What visual styles do they like?

FIRST MEETING

Communication is Key

Ensure you communicate clearly with your client about what kind of assets they will require. Discuss your process, the client’s needs and directions, and deadlines for your next meeting.

FIRST DRAFT

Show Your Best Ideas

Between the first meeting and the next, prepare moodboards and rough sketches for logos (see example of rough sketch). Communicate to your client why you feel a certain direction will be the best for their company, but be open to feedback and always listen to what they want.

DIGITAL ROUGHS

Keep Refining!

Show clients your digital rough work but do not add colour yet. This will allow them to see the strength of your ideas without being influenced by colour. You can show colour palettes and type separately. Be prepared to do as many versions as the client requests, and be open in communication.

REFINED VERSIONS

Apply Type and Colour

After the client has decided on a direction they would like you to pursue, refine the ideas and present three options to refine. Do not show them too many as it will be overwhelming. Apply type and colour so that they can begin to visualize the final logo.

FINALIZING THE LOGO

Once you have decided on a final logo, ensure that your client is happy with it. Make any tweaks as necessary, and then provide them with files for print and web (png and eps), as well as black and knockout versions. Make sure to give them any fonts and colour swatches they will need.

OTHER DELIVERABLES

Expanding the Brand

Make sure that you are delivering all assets that were agreed upon in the first meeting. For business cards and social media assets, etc., you can follow the same process of presenting roughs and refining as you did for the logo.

TIPS

  • Be clear with what you say. Use as little “designer lingo” as possible, as the client may not understand some terms, especially through email.
  • Try to have meetings in person or through video chat as often as possible. Face-to-face communication is often faster than email.
  • When showing any work, be sure to always be clear about the reasons why you chose to do things, and never feel offended when the client gives you feedback. You’re helping to bring their vision to life!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible, especially if communicating over email.
  • Proofread emails, reach out to your manager for help if you need it, and make sure that you are copying all necessary people on your emails.
  • Be polite, friendly, and creative!

FINAL FILE STRUCTURE

Share files on Google Drive so that your client can easily access them. Make sure you keep your file structure organized, as in this example. This will help your teammates as well.

EMAIL

The following template is an example of an email that is polite, sets clear expectations, and properly communicates your process and timeline with the client.

In this email, you can see how previous conversations were summarized to ensure that communication was clear