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Giving feedback to a designer can be intimidating if you know a design isn’t right, but you don’t know what direction to give to make it right. Knowing your designer spent hours upon hours on a design can make the feedback process even more intimidating, but don’t worry we designers are professional & you’d be surprised how little we become attached to our designs.

Don’t be afraid to give direct feedback! Feedback is important! It is the only way to get to the final design. If you’re unsure about how to give feedback, read below for tips on how to critique without crushing the creative ego.

ALWAYS Give Feedback

Even if the initial design a designer sends seems perfect to you, take some time and sleep on it. Give the design a few days to marinate. The last thing you want to do is sign off on a design, only to pay for it and realize that it’s not right for your brand. There is always something that can be changed to become more aligned with your brand.

Write it Out

To make sure you don’t miss any points of feedback, try writing it out and reading over your feedback before you tell your designer. Writing out feedback first can help to soften any harsh blows you might have to deliver too.

Be Specific

The KEY to giving design feedback is being as specific as possible. If you want the design to “pop” tell us how we can make it pop! If you’re unsure of what colors, fonts, or placement to use, then try using descriptive language like, I want the design to feel more minimal and neutral or provide reference/inspiration photos.

Don’t Ask for Outside Opinions

Theeeee worst thing you can do when compiling feedback for a designer is ask your friends or family what they think. No one outside of your team should be giving feedback on any stage of the design process. Outside opinions can start to warp your own perception and understanding of your brand. As tempting as it could be, keep all design comps internal—after all, who know your brand better than you!


Keep It Professional

I can’t tell you how many times people have tried to use jokes when giving me feedback. It irks my soul. Keep in mind that designers are typically spending hours on a design, so when it’s time for feedback we’d prefer you get to the main points and remain as professional as possible. Your jokes won’t land—especially when you’re making a joke of someone’s work. 

Ask Questions

If you know the direction of a design isn’t working, but you’re not sure what direction to move forward in—ask your designer! Not asking a question could prolong the design process and lead to a looooong back-and-forth email thread between you and your designer. If you’re not sure of what question or what feedback to even give, just ask your designer what they think of the design as it relates to your brand.

Don’t Hold Back

If you don’t like something, say it! Don’t feel like you have to hold back when giving feedback. As long as you're direct, professional, and specific about the design changes you want to see, your designer will only appreciate what you have to say. Holding back on feedback will only result in an end product you're not happy with.

Consolidate Your Feedback

This goes back to writing your feedback out. Compile all your talking points so that when it’s time to deliver feedback, you can give it all at once. Nothings worse than a client that keeps sending one-off emails about design changes!!!!! 

Don’t Sandwich Your Feedback

You may have heard of the “sandwich” feedback approach—when you sandwich your negative feedback in between two compliments. Don’t sandwich. It’s disingenuous and it can make a designer feel like they’re being coddled. Just be direct and deliver your  feedback in the most professional way you can. 

Temi OyelolaComment