How to work with a graphic designer: Q&A with Andi Moller

When it comes to partnering with other independents for freelance projects, a graphic designer is always someone you want in your network. Graphic designers are experts at helping brands visually communicate their message, whether on a website, through social media, or on a billboard.

If you’re curious about how to work with a graphic designer, we’ve got you covered. We spoke with digital marketing designer, Andi Moller to get an idea of the process — from things to consider before hiring a designer to what makes for a successful collaboration.

Tell us about yourself! What type of design work do you do?

The name’s Andi! I’ve been working in the design industry for about 6 years now and studying it for 10+. I primarily work within digital marketing and user experience design, with a passion and focus on product inclusion and accessibility.

One fun fact about myself is that I’m obsessed with paper in all its various forms (which is ironic because I’m a digital designer). Whether it’s mail, beautifully crafted cardstock, a hardcover book, letterpress or screen printed paper, (the list goes on and on), I fall in love.

If someone wants to work with a graphic designer, what should they consider before reaching out to one?

Your project’s budget and the “why” behind wanting to work with a graphic designer. Here are a few questions to consider: 

  • Are you able and prepared to properly pay them? 
  • Have you done research on what the price range is? 
  • Do you have a defined problem you’d like the graphic designer to solve for or do you solely need visual design support? 

The more clarity you can bring to the conversation on these two things, the better the working relationship will be.

Once you’ve booked a project, what do you need from the client before you start designing?

Any and all helpful references pertaining to the project. It could be moodboards, previous materials/brand assets, content, or strategy.

How can clients communicate changes or feedback with you?

I usually like to communicate with my clients over both email and in-person/virtual meetings. When I’m ready to share a deliverable, I’ll first send it through email to give them space to review in their own time and gather any questions. This step will often decrease the chance of reactive feedback (if instead, the first time they see it is during your meeting). 

Then we’ll meet so that I can speak to any specific design decisions and go over any initial concerns or questions. To make sure everything is clear and mitigate any back and forth, I’ll also email a recap of this feedback phase and next steps. The message here is, overcommunication is key!

What’s a common misconception people have about working with a graphic designer?

People often assume that graphic designers make creative decisions based on appealing visuals, but it’s quite the opposite and probably only about 10% of what I do. There is so much research, strategy, and sketching that goes into a project before there is any thought about typefaces, colors, imagery, etc.

What makes for a successful collaboration?

To me, a successful collaboration is much more about communication and gutsiness than it is about the technical chops you bring to the table. If everyone is able to provide honest, clear and productive feedback, be okay with taking risks, and leave their ego at the door, then you and your team will be able to make some badass work.

Which discipline outside of your own would you like to team up with for a project?

I don’t often get to work with hardware and code development technologies, so I would be so jazzed to be able to team up with a group of creatives to create a large-scale interactive installation. Any takers? 🙂

Ready to team up with fellow independents?