Working with a communication design team 101

Bees on a honeycomb
Bees are notoriously great at seamless collaboration / Photo by Pixabay

Tips for a successful design collaboration

Have you ever worked with a designer and it wasn’t quite the right fit? Maybe they didn’t understand your business, goals, or project vision. It might have felt like you were communicating on two different wavelengths. It can be frustrating (and time consuming) when that happens, because it distracts you from your project. 

At iilo, nurturing collaborative, long-term relationships with our clients is one of the main reasons we’re in business. We’re inspired by changemakers like you and the opportunity to help you elevate the amazing work you do. 

Establishing solid working relationships takes time and attention. That’s why we start each new engagement with a clear onboarding process and discovery conversations to listen, get to know you, your business and your vision — and so you can get to know us too, and we can build trust. 

While these steps may seem simple, there’s a little more strategy that comes into play. A common misconception is that once we’ve been hired, it’s our job to do everything. Yes, you did hire us to deliver communication design services and help you achieve desired results. But, we need your help and input at every project phase. A collaborative approach always equals better results. 

To help you get the most out of working with us (or any designer), here are some golden rules to follow:

  • You’re the subject matter expert: The best way to learn is by having you educate us, especially at the beginning. While we can (and will) research the subject matter, we get a better understanding of your industry when you share your wisdom and experience. Your input also gives us an important window into who you are, which will work its way into the layers of your project. 
  • Let’s be partners in purpose: We’re creating a professional partnership that values respect and collaboration. When you’re hands on and we work in parallel, we can get to the heart of your project, meet your goals, and find solutions faster. 
  • You’re in the driver’s seat: Our goal is to deliver communication design work that aligns with your business goals and deepens your impact. We always give you our best recommendations at each project phase. It’s up to you to decide what recommendations we move forward with and to make sure we’re meeting your goals.
  • Keep us in the loop: The more descriptive and detailed you can be in your communications with us, both in meetings and emails, the more efficient we can be in delivering work that hits the mark, or refining work when something’s not working. Things may change on your end during our project, or you may get swamped. Keeping us informed allows us to pivot and plan to pick up your work when you’re ready.
  • Plan to invest a bit of time: We promote your active participation in your project because it not only keeps us on schedule, but it also leads to a level of creative brainstorming that brings incredible results. We need more of your time at the beginning to get clear and aligned. Once we have clarity and consensus, you will spend a bit of time reviewing our work and providing feedback. The more involved you are in this process, the smoother it will go. Need help getting started? Check out our FREE Brand Worksheet.

Want to know more about working with iilo? Fill out our Let’s Connect form to begin the process.

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