How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Designer

Marley Elise
Feb 6, 2023

You've just received a draft design from your designer, and now you're ready to provide some feedback. But how can you make sure your feedback is effective, without making your designer feel like they've been hit by a bus? We know this part of the process can be tricky, especially because we're not all experts in articulating our thoughts. But the biggest thing to know is that your designer absolutely wants to deliver something you love, and your feedback helps them to do that.

So, let's get into our 7 tips to help you give better feedback and get the design you want.

1. Start with a compliment. 

First things first, flattery will get you everywhere. A little praise can go a long way in motivating your designer, so don't hold back. Let them know what you like about the design and what elements are working for you. Your designer will appreciate the positive feedback, and it will set a constructive tone for the rest of the feedback session. 

2. Be specific. 

When it comes to feedback, specificity is key. Vague statements like "I don't like it" or "It's not quite right" won't help your designer understand what changes they need to make. Instead, be as specific as possible about what you do and don't like. For example, "I love the color palette, but the font feels a bit too formal for our brand" or "The layout is great, but the iconography could use some refinement." The more detailed and specific you are, the easier it is for your designer to make the necessary changes. But at the same time…

3. Don't micromanage.               

Saying "I want it to be more vibrant" is helpful, but saying "I want the logo to be purple with a yellow outline and a cursive font" is not. You’ve hired a designer for a reason– they have the skills, the eye, and the creative flair to bring your brand to life. It's important to stay involved in the design process, but remember to give your designer room to breathe and create. When you trust your designer to do what they do best, you open up the possibility for innovative and fresh design solutions that you may not have thought of on your own.

If you're unsure about a certain element, offer constructive feedback and suggestions, but avoid dictating every little detail of the design.

4. Trust your designer.

Remember, these folks are pros, and chances are, you’ve hired your designer because you admire their work. They've gone through the wringer of schooling and continuing education, and they've racked up some serious experience creating effective designs for all kinds of businesses. They have a deep understanding of design principles, color theory, typography, and other design elements that can make or break your brand.

When you trust your designer, you are showing them that you value their knowledge and experience, which leads to a more collaborative and productive working relationship.

5. Stay open minded. 

We get it. You have an idea of what you want your design to look like. But sometimes that idea might not be the best for your business or your customers. So, stay open-minded and be willing to let go of your preconceived notions.

6. Direct your feedback to the design, not the designer. 

No one likes to be insulted. If you don't like the design, that's completely fine! But do your best to not insult the designer. We put a lot of time and effort into creating each design, and we take our work seriously. Instead of criticizing the designer, direct your feedback to the design itself. For example, "I think the logo could be simplified" is a lot more constructive than "You did this wrong".

7. Don't be afraid to ask questions. 

If you're not sure about a particular design element, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. A good designer should be able to explain why they made certain choices and how they align with your brand strategy. Asking questions is a great way to ensure that you and your designer are on the same page.

Remember, feedback is a crucial part of the design process. By providing clear, specific, and constructive feedback, you can help your designer create a design that truly captures your brand's essence.