You’ve seen the concepts. They’ve been passed around and decisions have been made. It’s time to feed back to your agency. Hooray! In all the excitement it’s tempting to rush this part as everyone is naturally eager to reach the finish line and launch the project. But if you take stock, slow down and follow a few simple steps, you can help to ensure the you deliver your feedback effectively. And get the results you expected.

1. Gather
Make sure all the relevant people have been consulted. Collate everyone’s comments and combine them to form one set of amends. It’s really simple, but often gets overlooked, sometimes resulting in major changes when the project is nearing completion and creating a stressful time for all involved.

2. Maintain
Wherever possible the same person from both sides should be involved in all stages of the feedback/amends. This will ensure a smooth process and also build up a strong relationship between client and agency.

3. Be specific
Avoid sweeping general statements which are difficult to interpret – designers are natural problem solvers, but when facing comments such as ‘change the colour to blue’ this results in a lot of head scratching and wondering which exact shade or hue of blue it could possibly be – and believe us there are many! If you have seen a specific colour, send examples of this to your designer (see point 7). If you’re happy to leave it up to your designer, then describing the feeling you want to convey will help.

4. It’s okay to not like something
If you don’t like the first round of ideas, don’t be afraid to say so. It could be that the ideas you thought would work actually don’t when you see them in reality. This is fine, agencies are well used to changing tact and going back to the drawing board is not a backward step at this point. It’s also the agencies job to meet the brief and not get carried away creating ideas which are way off the mark! So if you are faced with something that doesn’t meet the brief, let your agency know.

5. Stick to one
If you like more than one concept, it’s tempting to combine all the elements into one shiny new design. Bingo, the result will be awesome right? In reality, the chances are this won’t work. Agencies spend a lot of time thinking about the ideas and routes which will work to meet your brief. The ideas will be presented to you as singular options to represent the strongest idea for each potential route. Combining elements will result in a watered down version of the idea which won’t look coherent and probably won’t have the longevity of a well thought-out logo.

6. Refer, refer, refer
Always have the initial brief to hand. Ask yourself, if we make this change will the result still fit the brief? How will it impact on the other pieces of collateral further down the line? Keep the bigger picture in mind.

7. Expect pushback (sometimes)
Occasionally, the agency will step in and pushback against some of the feedback you give. It may be that the ‘perfect’ blue you have chosen really isn’t appropriate in your marketplace or will lead to legibility issues when used on other media. Please don’t be offended if this does happen, the agency is working for you and ultimately aiming for the best result.

8. Phone or write?
This best way to deliver your feedback is almost always via email. Having the ability to cross reference comments when the designs come back for review is invaluable to both client and agency. If possible, attach a document which is clearly highlighted – a PDF file which has utilised ‘comments’ is a really good way to do this. If you don’t have access to this, be really clear about which elements of the design you are talking about (is it the typography, or images for example?) and go through your points step-by-step. Using a different colour to highlight your comments is a simple and effective way to highlight your changes.

As an agency we love the anticipation that comes with waiting for feedback – finding out whether we have met your specific challenge is one of the most exciting/nervewracking parts of the process and ultimately lets us know how well we’re doing.

If you are looking for design support on a project, get in touch. We’d love to help you with your challenge!

Nicki, Senior Designer