What To Do When You Get A Design You Dislike

Design you dislike image

If you choose the right graphic design partner, 99% of the time you’re going to be thrilled with the designs that they deliver. But there will likely come a time when you get a design in your inbox that is underwhelming, misses the mark or you just plain don’t like.

So what do you do in that situation to ensure that your graphic design partner’s next attempt is a better fit? What do you do when you get a design that you dislike?



The first thing you want to do when you get a design from your graphic design partner that you dislike is to evaluate exactly what it is that you don’t like about it. If you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong with the design, your designer isn’t going to be able to, either.

Look at the design and really try to pinpoint exactly what feels off about it. Are the colors wrong? Do you feel like it’s off brand? Is the typography distracting?

Whatever it is that you dislike in the design (from the large details to the small), write it down. Knowing everything that you don’t like is going to help you give the right feedback to your designer so he can deliver something that you DO like.


Bring Your Issues To Your Designer (In The Right Way)

Once you know exactly what’s wrong with your design, it’s time to bring your issues to your designer. But if you want to get back a design that’s true to your vision (and preserve the relationship with your graphic design partner), you need to approach the conversation in the right way. Clear communication with your graphic design partner is essential, and it’s imperative that you deliver your critiques in a way that’s sensitive to your partner’s design process and offers criticism in a constructive way. Remember, the goal is to get on the same page with your graphic design partner, not insult their design.

A great way to deliver constructive criticism is to use what’s called “the praise sandwich”. Start off by sharing something that you like about the design, then bring up the changes that you need made and end things with another piece of positive feedback so that you’re essentially “sandwiching” the negative comments between two positive ones.

So, for example, you could say “Thanks for sending over this design, Greg. You really nailed the branding! I feel like we need to change the proportions so that the text doesn’t overwhelm the logo and photo. But I really love the placement of everything, so definitely make sure to keep that in the final design”.

Using the praise sandwich softens the blow of the criticism, which will get you the changes you need without unnecessarily offending your graphic design partner.


Set The Right Expectations

Once you’ve discussed your concerns with your graphic design partner, it’s important that you set the right expectations to ensure that you get back a design that’s going to work for you.

Once you’ve gone over all of your design issues with your partner, ask them to explain exactly what changes they’re going to implement to improve the overall aesthetic. Make sure you understand their thought process and the changes that their planning and that it’s in line with the changes that you envision. If it’s not, continue the conversation until you’re both on the same page.

Before you end the conversation, do a final review of your expectations for the new design. Outline everything that you discussed, being as specific as possible, and have your graphic design partner sign off on the changes they’ll be making.

Taking the extra time to make sure that both you and your design partner are in agreement on exactly what needs to change in the design to bring it up to par will significantly lower your chances of getting another design that you’re unhappy with.


Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For More Changes

However, if you DO get a second design and you feel that you’re still not happy with it, don’t be afraid to ask your design partner for additional changes. It’s your partner’s responsibility to bring your design vision to life, and as long as you’re communicating clearly and not continually changing your mind and expectations, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t deliver on that responsibility.


How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope that you found this information and valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.


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