e-learning collaboration with graphic designers

If you’re fortunate enough to work with a graphic designer on your e-learning projects, you know it’s an important relationship that can really affect the quality and end result. There was recently a great discussion in the E-Learning Heroes community (Tips for Working with Graphic Designers), where community members shared their tips and tricks about working with graphic design pros.

In order to make that relationship as smooth as possible, and to help you get exactly what you need from your graphic designer, follow these helpful tips from the community.

Be Clear About What You Want

People often have a vision about what they’re looking for, but the graphic designer can’t decipher what that vision is unless someone shares it with them. Bob S offered some great tips for what you can do to ensure the graphic designer has a clear understanding of what you’re looking for:

  • Provide the business context for the project
  • Provide a rough mock-up or sketch of your vision
  • Share a copy of your organization’s visual standards
  • Provide a few examples of likes and dislikes
  • Describe the overall look and feel you want

Remember: Be as specific as possible. If your graphic designer is creating a custom character for your course, you might need a certain uniform, or prefer male/female.

Provide a Brief

Community member David Tait shared that, as a graphic designer, a brief is the most important piece of information he gets. What is a graphic design brief? A document that spells out exactly what the client wants to achieve and serves as a point of reference for everyone involved in the project. A graphic design brief usually includes things like:

  • Project overview
  • Company profile
  • Target audience
  • Market position
  • Project objectives
  • Schedules and deadlines

Keep in mind that the brief should focus on the results and business goals, not the aesthetics.

Establish a Clear Process and Timelines

It’s critical to have a clear contract in place that ensures both parties understand the process and timelines involved in the project. It’s best to have a meeting and talk it out to ensure everyone is on the same page. To establish a clear process and timelines with your graphic designer, make sure you agree about the following, and put the following in writing:

  • Number of iterations or changes
  • Process for gaining client approval
  • Turnaround times
  • Due dates
  • Future changes

Get the Proper Files

After all is said and done, it’s important that you end up with the files that you need—such as:

  • .PNG files
  • Source files (depending on project needs)

You might need the files at a certain size and format. A few community members pointed out that you may also want to ask for the graphics to be developed in layers. As community member Nancy Woinoski points out: “Sometimes I need images in layers because I need to animate something. For example, if I have a character I want to make walk across the screen, I would need to have the character as a separate image file.” Keep this in mind when you’re deciding what specific files you need at the end of the day!

Those are four helpful tips for collaborating with graphic designers for your next e-learning project. Thanks to our great community members for all their ideas. Have any tips of your own that I forgot to mention? Leave a comment below, or feel free to jump into the existing forum discussion: Tips for Working with Graphic Designers.

Follow us on Twitter and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.

Tim Davis