There are some professional relationships that just work. You just get each other, the job is done, everyone knows you’re a team and you do it with a huge dollop mutual respect. Over the duration of my professional career, I have worked with Brand Managers that have delivered a range of experiences and it has been eye opening…so if there is something I would like to share, its how the beauty of the Graphic Designer/Brand Manager relationship works and how it can produce wonderful marketing campaigns and design pieces.
The Mutual Respect Button – Press it!
I know Graphic Design and I know about marketing. But I am the owner of the overall look and design. My Brand Manager-client knows a little about design but is the owner of their brand and this is their baby. Once we both know this, we can bring fireworks to the party and let it happen! I know what I can advise on and get advice on and we can work together to achieve that. There is never a problem making suggestions or recommendations but it is always good to back down and know that they have a vision that you, the Graphic Designer, need to translate. I love being the creative spark and letting them hit the decision button. For me, it is listening to what they want and translating that to a visual.
Does your Brand Manager have to have years of experience?
Absolutely not! It’s about caring about what you do. It’s about caring about the personality of the product. Its knowing how to portray that personality and trusting each other to know you can do it. It’s about confidence in what you’ve learned, wither from each other, in university or from previous job opportunities. I have 20 years experience but sometimes, the best work and the best decision maker Brand Manager is the one who has worked hard to get where they are and their career light has only possibly been switched on.
Briefly does it.
Get the brief right I say. I’m not a stickler for briefs but I know I’ve mentioned them here before. I’ve had verbal briefs and I’ve been given scribbles on the back of beer mats. Either works. As long as there is a clear direction. I’m a hound for asking questions at briefing stage and usually spend most of it listening, silently, scribbling notes and taking down information. And I never expect to hit it bang on first time. No designer should. Work the design until you get where you need it. I have a client who tells me to show her something and she’ll know what she doesn’t want and I LOVE that, we have a direction. Same client also send images she finds on a Google search at 2am! Which leads me to say:
Bring the passion for what you do.
I love being a Graphic Designer. It’s my absolute identity. I had many years of not being a good enough artist before I learned I was far too commercial to spend my years at a canvas with paints. But once that clicked, my love for design took off. We are blessed that we have access to almost every Graphic Designer in the world let alone Graphic Designers in Dublin via the web and inspiration is at every turn. Being able to connect with these images on a constant basis helps me understand the meaning of design in a commercial capacity. And I love it. It is my goal to put every ounce into my work and trust that shines via my professional approach and the end product. Once you have that, your Brand Manager can feel that and the sparks will fly! If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life!