Communicating with a Designer 101

Have you ever had trouble communicating to the design team working on your project? Have you had a tough time understanding the reasons certain things might not work for your designer/design team?

The process behind the art indubitably affects the visual impact of your brand. So, it’s important to get it right and keep the process tight.

Well, below you will find a few design fundamentals that will help when communicating the process with the design team:



There are a lot of resolutions that a designer can work with, but for the sake of time we will talk about the two most important resolutions: 72 PPI and 300 DPI.

D.P.I. stands for Dots Per Inch, which technically relates to the amount of dots per inch the printer prints.

P.P.I. stands for Pixels Per Inch.

The higher the D.P.I./P.P.I., the better the quality of the image will be. So for most print jobs, you will want an image that is at least 300 D.P.I. That way, if the image has to be resized or manipulated, the designer will be able to manipulate the image without worrying about pixelation.

Almost all digital designs will be at 72 P.P.I. because screens are made to that resolution. If the resolution is higher than that, the image size will be too large for most mediums.



These letters might sound unfamiliar to you, but you have used them your whole life. They are the two color spaces designers work in most, so they will know which (and when) to use each color space.  Here’s an overview:

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) is the color space that you commonly use for printing, because printers have the four plates in their printer and can calculate how much of each of the four colors they need to make a color you want.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the color space you use for digital. The reason is because all screens are programmed to RGB standards and these three colors are mixed together to make any color in the visible spectrum.

Why does this matter? You pick your exact color for your brand for a reason. When you look at something on your computer and then print it (in color), the art might not look the same? That’s because of the printer prints in CMYK, not RGB.

Best practice is to print something out and look at it in hand if it is printed collateral.



You might be saying “I already know all this stuff” and “what about pixel?” Pixels are common, but do you know what a vector is? A vector is a file made usually in Adobe Illustrator that used shapes, points, and lines to create pieces of art that can be stretched and scaled infinitely without losing any quality to the art. Vector art also keeps it so that when an image is stretched, your color will not be made into multiple shades like raster files do.

This is most important for when you need your logo printed. If you don’t have a vector file of your logo and need it larger, it will look very pixelated. The best practice is to get your design team to remake the logo in Illustrator so you have the vector file toyour disposal.

Is that a little better? Do you feel more comfortable talking to your designer/design team? Good, you should. Now stop asking, “Can’t you just Photoshop that?” You’re doing a good job,
Rini Malo.

PS. Cohesion and communication is necessary for all parts of your agency, especially for optimal sales and marketing. For pointers on aligning your team download the free Sales-Marketing Checklist.