Collaborating with a graphic designer on an e-learning project seems like a great way to create a beautiful-looking, professional course. But as with any collaborative relationship, you need to make a plan for success. That means thinking through how you’ll communicate effectively with one another, how you’ll inspire your designer’s creativity and provide feedback, and how you’ll manage expectations for timing and delivery of the finished work. It can all feel a little overwhelming if you’ve never been fortunate enough to partner with a graphic designer before! That’s why we’ve pulled together the following tips to help you build a smooth working relationship with graphic designers.  

Tip #1: Determine the Need 

Before setting up a meeting with a graphic designer, it’s helpful to consider the business goals driving the need for a graphic designer. Do you need help deciding the best creative treatment for your content? Or maybe you need a design pro to create custom assets for complex interactions? Getting clear on the needs will give your graphic designer context into your organization’s needs and priorities, and will help ensure the project is within their scope and abilities.  

Tip #2: Be Specific

As e-learning designers, you may have heard the question, “Can you make this look prettier?” But what does that mean? This is why it’s so important to be specific about what you’re looking for with the graphic designer. One way to do this is by showing examples, sketches, or mock-ups of your vision. Providing a few examples of what you like can help the graphic designer incorporate a similar design into your project. Try to be as specific as possible. Too much information is always better than not enough information. 

Tip #3: Agree On Project Details

While the creative aspect of a project is important, it’s also essential to establish concrete project details to ensure both parties are on the same page. Make sure you agree on the following and put it in writing:



Set reasonable timeframes for each stage of the process. If you expect the graphic designer to deliver files on time, then make sure you also provide feedback on time. 


Number of Revisions 

Establish how many revisions are expected. You don’t want to end up in an endless cycle of asking the graphic designer to make changes over and over again. Setting expectations from the start will help you build a solid relationship and keep your project on time.  



It’s also important that you end up with the files you need, such as .PNG, .JPG, source files, etc. Describe the items you expect to be delivered and include the file size and format in the plan. 



If you’re outsourcing a graphic designer, include the payment terms. Decide how they’ll be compensated and the amount to be paid up front versus at the end of the project. 

And don’t forget to schedule a meeting to discuss the overall plan to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

Tip #4: Keep an Open Mind

At the end of the day, you’re hiring the graphic designer for their fresh perspective and their expertise, so it’s important to keep an open mind. The graphic designer’s job is to bring ideas to life, and sometimes that might look a bit different than what you had originally envisioned. By bringing your ideas together, you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. 

In Summary

These are just a few tips that can help you successfully collaborate with graphic designers on your e-learning projects. Have you worked with graphic designers on your e-learning projects before? Share your own tips in the comments below.

Want to get more creative and grow your graphic design skills? Then check out the following articles:

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Tim Davis