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Keeping Your Cool as a Graphic Designer: Part I

Sure, you get to do what you love as a graphic designer. Yes, you get to be creative for a living and exercise those artistic talents. But, this does not mean that you are free from sticky moments. Deadlines, last-minute changes, absurd requests, and demanding clients are all a part of the job for a graphic designer.

Before you throw your Mac from your loft-turned-office window, take a deep breath and let’s consider how to handle these “situations.”

Tight Deadlines

A client wants to know what the “timeline” is when they approach you about a job. ┬áThe first step in managing their expectations and your workload is to give a thoughtful and honest estimate.

Consider the client:

  • How long does the client have to make comments on a draft?
  • How many redesigns are you going to allow?

Consider other similar jobs and how long they took to complete:

  • How many vendors, such as printers or copywriters, need to be involved?

Consider your workload:

  • If you are bogged down with multiple time-sensitive projects, those have to be factors in the timeline for a new one. You don’t want to make one client happy at the sacrifice of another.

Once you are confident with proposing a realistic timeline, it’s time for your creative brief or proposal. Hopefully, they taught you this in college or your online degree program. Never enter a project without the client’s signature on this document. It details deliverables, expectations, and most importantly, the timeline!

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