An introductory guide to print design for arts and cultural organisations. The guide includes information on understanding the role of a designer; choosing and working with designers; preparing a design brief and costings; the tendering process; design hardware and software; print and paper types; the print process, and proofing.
An introduction to Design and Print
Working with a designer
Graphic design agencies are constantly seeking creative, interesting projects. They will want to work with you, and will help in any way they can to ensure you get the best design service they can provide. A good creative designer will want to establish a successful creative relationship with you, send you away happy so that you will return and will also recommend their services to others.
The Designer's role
The designer's fundamental role is to promote your product or service visually. They will translate your message into a visual statement in whatever form that takes, whether it's a poster, leaflet, brochure, folder, exhibition or website. They can advise you on the best ways to produce this visual statement and the best methods to use. If you give your designer a thorough brief in terms of who your target audience is and what your product/objective is, they should be able to provide you with a creative visual solution that will convey your message to your chosen target market.
Choosing a designer
When choosing a designer, try to put aside your own personal likes and dislikes - you need to find a designer that's right for your project and organisation, that understands your product, who may have experience in designing for your ﬁeld. Have a look around, check out a few websites, look at other print you think is good and see who has designed it. Recommendations are also good — ask other people in your ﬁeld who they use and if they would recommend them.
When you've chosen one or more companies you think are right for you, ask them to come in to show you their portfolio and tell you more about their company. Remember it's about more than design ability. Do you like them? How do they work? What is their processe? Can they work to your timescales? Can they work to your budget? Who will be working on your project?
You may feel you'll get a better service with a larger, well known agency but this is not always the case. Larger agencies often use account managers who will be your contact but the design work will then be re-briefed by them to the designer, who you may never meet, whereas a smaller agency offers the opportunity to meet and work with one designer throughout the project. Al design agencies are keen to take on new clients and will be happy to come and meet you.