Tony skinner 00:03
Welcome to the podcast channel podcast my business and today we have Lindy from agency 99 design.com.au with Lindys Briefs: How to Brief a Designer
Hi, Lindy, how you doing?
Hi, Tony. I’m great. How are you? Thank you for having me.
Tony skinner 00:19
Oh, no problem, how am I looking up the event we’re coming on the other side of the event. So we all need to look forward rather than backwards. So how’s things going with you in relation to the business?
Well, we were pretty much dead in the water for a few weeks there when lockdown first started other than printing a lot of hand sanitizer labels for a couple of clients that we had. Because a lot of my clients are franchise retail clients and in the retail space or their pubs or something like that. So a lot of them had their doors closed and we’re forced into doing nothing and a lot of other clients by Basically just holding their breath waiting to see was the wait and see game to see what was actually going to happen not spending any money. But we’re actually just Sturm these last couple of weeks have on boarded a few couple of new clients and my normal clients are coming back. Some of them are sort of opening up again as well. So it’ll all start to flow again. As people get back to a little bit more normal.
Tony skinner 01:23
Well, yeah, because I mean, you do a lot of different things. So all those businesses out there that are looking to get back and get restarted, what would they be looking for, for from you?
Well, what we can help them with is basically we are graphic designers and visual communicators. And while we do work with a lot of multinational franchises, like McDonald’s have been a client for nearly 20 years. Mrs. fields and cookie man for 15 years we’ve worked with Michelle’s patisserie, hire a hobby and New Zealand natural ice cream and those sorts of companies. I really do love them. Working with startups and small businesses and helping them grow and communicate their brand, through various channels and platforms, we do specialize in printers, we have a 20 year background in all sorts of print. But we also design digitally so in the digital space in helping you with your idioms and your templates, and, and all of those sorts of things. So we are a whole solutions company. And we like to work with our clients establish long term relationships and help them with their day to day needs as well as campaigns that might come come up you know, throughout the year, etc. But it’s all about building that relationship and we know their brand inside and out. We know their ethos, we know their company, and it makes it so much easier for the marketing team or the manager or whoever we liaise with to just get the job done painless. You know without all the hair tearing and then frustration Where do I find these? Who do I go to? What do I do next kind of thing. We We take all that pain away.
Tony skinner 03:03
Well, looking at, the suite of services that you offer, you could become a company’s marketing department, pretty much all of it,
we pretty much can. And that’s what we do like to do is manage that for them. And we’re the go to person basically, they’re not having to call half a dozen different people from half a dozen different companies to manage all their creative. So and it means the brand is consistent. You know, I see myself as the protector of a company brand. So that when it’s out there in the marketplace, it is visually representing who they are, what their beliefs are, what their values are. And keeping that consistent brand means their customers and their clients are not confused. You know, their brand is it’s, it’s stable, it’s easily recognizable, and it’s clear messaging, basically.
Tony skinner 03:57
Okay, I’m gonna put you on the spot what do you think of the podcast my business brand?
Well, I haven’t looked at it really, really closely, because it wasn’t something that I was expecting. But I had I actually had your website up here a minute ago. And is it still there? Might have closed it, because I had too many windows open.
Tony skinner 04:22
I understand. I’m just doing it just for fun. Look, there’s different ways of getting a brand and everything done for you. I use different things for different purposes and different countries with different things. But I wanted a simple name and a simple brand to get across the message. And those who can’t see it. It’s got it’s actually smart. It’s got a pair of headphones and a microphone but actually looks like a little person.
Tony skinner 04:52
yeah. And when I when I saw that, I thought all that’s like the one with ANZ bank. and the kid yelling or whatever, I even printed out t shirts with that.
I quite like him. I’m looking back now.
Tony skinner 05:12
Yeah, I look, I wanted something different. non traditional, because podcasts for businesses a bit different a bit non traditional and attention grabbing because I’m just like that.
Yep. I think it’s great that you don’t have some guy in a suit. You know. And I know it’s podcast my business and it’s about business owners, but I think it’s refreshing that you don’t have business displayed in the in the, the typical way that people do. And I think you need to stand out from the crowd and you need to get through the noise these days. So thinking outside the box a little bit more, trying to be a little bit different without losing your brand message is a good thing to do.
Tony skinner 05:55
Right. So there’s, again, lots of businesses Coming out of the lockdown and out of the event, can you see that as an opportunity for them to start looking outside the box at their brand, and being a bit more creative for them?
Absolutely they can. A lot of people have businesses have already pivoted and have found new opportunities through COVID. But it’s been a bit of a scramble for a lot of businesses as well. So as we come out, there’s new opportunities that they’ve discovered. And it might be a new product launch, it might be a new service and might be a new way of selling. And they need to keep rolling with that and have their visuals and their creative and their marketing up to date with that as well. Because it may be that they haven’t had time to concentrate on all of that and they’ve just been trying to get it done and stay afloat and keep some revenue coming in and looking at that business side of it. But a lot of these things that companies have taken on board, they’ll keep running It’s not just a hot, we’ll do this through COVID and then discard it. Once everything’s back to normal, these are new revenue streams for people. So I feel that a lot of this is gonna stay there. And they need to be able to market that in a different way post COVID or post the event. So it is great opportunities to then look at your overall brand and your overall marketing. What do we need to design? What marketing collateral? Do we need to get out there? Do we need different signage on our shop windows now? So, you know, they might have updated their website or because they were doing online selling or they might have been putting out a few social media posts, but they need to think bigger picture now. So now’s the time to go okay, how do we really how do we really get some growth on this and give it some legs and get it out there to the masses, focus on our current climate client base, and really just not sell sell sell because customers don’t want sell, sell, sell these days, they want education, they want little freebies. And then you can sell so you need to intersperse it. But it’s all the creative, the creative ties it all together. If you don’t have the right visuals, the right messaging, and don’t do it in the right way, then you’re not going to gain customers, you’re going to lose customers.
Tony skinner 08:21
And it’s actually quite true. I’ve seen lots of coffee shops, doing painting and maybe some sanding back of furniture and redoing the furniture and whatever. So this is a good opportunity for every business’s brand to do exactly the same thing. Yeah,
yeah, it’s a refresh. You know, lots of businesses can might want to do a refresh at their brand now, because they might have a lot of businesses got a lot of growth through COVID. So it’s, you know, not all businesses struggled. A lot of businesses, you know, did get a lot of growth, and have gotten new clients. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re in that struggles. straight on struggle street or whether you’ve actually done really well, it’s still a good time to actually sit back, look at your brand, look at your message. How am I conveying my brand? How am I visually representing that in the marketplace? What is my customer seeing? So knowing who your avatar is, who is your customer? Where do they hang out? What do they want to see? Am I what problem Am I solving for that customer, and then your creative, your design work, your marketing collateral can all be geared towards that. So if you can sit down and have a good understanding of those things, who your avatar is, where they hang out, what problem do they want me to solve, then that’s a great place to start when working with a designer with regard to you know, a brace, etc, on what things I want to put in place. And I love to have conversations with my clients. I’m like, these are all the things that we can do together. And it might be that you can do them all now. But if we have some goals and we have some targets, then they The things that we can start to implement what I need to get out there right now, what will help my customers right now. And let’s do that. And then these other things might be bigger jobs that we work on. Let’s work on those over a tight certain time period. So, the great conversations that you can have with your designer.
Tony skinner 10:19
And that leads us nicely. Thank you. That’s a great segue. I always like to ask for tips and I did ask Lindy for a tip and Connie offered to help us me mortals in how we can do or help or work with designers in a much better way.
Well, I do feel that mere mortals do need some help sometimes. Because as creative gods are on struggle street ourselves when we don’t get a good brief from our clients. So, some tips on preparing a brief whether you’re hiring a graphic designer for the first time or whether you’ve used them before. If you’re hiring a designer for the first time, then your brace should provide more background noise. Information about your company, your brand, your style, what you do and don’t like and the reasons for that. It’s important that you understand your brand so that you can communicate this to your designer. Because the more your designer understands, the more they’re going to hit the target with the design that they they come up with for you. If you work with the your design on a regular basis, and that’s how I work with, you know, 99% of my clients, then they already have are familiar with your brand and your company ethos, and the brief can be solely about the job you’re asking them to undertake at that time. But preparing a good brief will allow all parties to stay clear on the goal and the messaging, and it’ll set the time for the entire project. So it’ll give you a designer the necessary insight background and foundation for the effective creation of your design, and it saves a lot of time and frustration on both sides. So for an overview, I think a design brief should always include your company profile, especially if it’s you working with a designer for the first Time, because they do need to understand your company. For any brief you give them whether it be a flyer, a website design, you might be developing a brand or logo, you still need to know and communicate who your target audience is. So are you. Is it aimed at millennials? Is it you know, you’re a beauty parlor. So you’re looking at women aged between x and x, or you might be semi retired professionals, that kind of thing. So who is your target audience, we also need to know who your competition is.
So especially if we’re developing a new brand, or a website or something like that, especially if it’s a very competitive space, who are your main competitors, because the last thing we want to do is come up with a logo concept that’s very similar to, you know, your biggest competitor, we might use individually use the same colors, for example. So we need to know who your competition is. And especially when we’re doing marketing collateral, we want to point of difference. So we want Make sure that you stand out against your competitor. And while we’re not copywriters, we we engage copywriters when we need to, whether that’s part of the brief that you give or not, they need to know that as well.
So it’s not just about the visuals and the graphics and the colors. It’s also about the copy or the content that goes into your project as well. So what is the project that we’re undertaking any reference materials so we will you be providing any graphics or photography or you’ll be providing all the content or text that goes into the partner logos that we need to include those kinds of things, you know, you might be a member of an association and we’ve got to include those logos on there. Are there any definite do’s and don’ts with the colors and the design? So if there’s a style guide for your company, that’s perfect. That’s what a style guide is for to provide to creators to allow them to ensure that your brand stays on track.
They use the right colors, they use the right fonts, they use the right style and tone of voice, etc, etc. That’s the point of a style guide. So if you have one, perfect if you don’t, you need to give your designer a little bit of a guide in that respect. So that any they can even if you’ve got examples of work that’s been out there before, so that that designer can stay on track and keep your work as consistent as possible. We also need to know what the timeframe is or what deadline you have, do you need it tomorrow? Or do we have you know, three or four weeks to to work on that, that project for you? And a list of deliverables? So is it for print? Is it digital? Is it both sort of what platforms is going to be used on? All those kinds of things. So they’re the basic overview of what you need to give your designer and the more information you can give, the easier it’s going to be on both parties. The designer is going to have a clear understanding of what you want and just be able to get stuck into the design. They’re pretty much going to hit the mark hopefully the first time and they’re not going to be coming back to you asking a lot of questions and you’re thinking I thought I’d already told you that. So it allows that easy process of preparing a proper brief saves everybody time and money.
Tony skinner 15:15
Absolutely. Really important. Great. Okay. Well, thank you for that. Lindy. Okay. And you are at agency 99 design.com.au. Correct. And people can make contact with you there.
Thank you very much for your time, Tony. And thanks, everyone, for listening. I hope you got some tips on preparing briefs for designer today.
Tony skinner 15:42