Work Remotely with a Graphic Designer
The tools you need and how the process works.
There are a multitude of reasons as to why you may need to work remotely with a graphic designer, web designer, product designer, hell, any designer. But, if you’re used to working traditionally through a series of in-person meetings, then going solely online can seem a bit daunting. So, we thought it would be a good idea to break the whole process down, so you can feel confident that a remote working process isn’t any less creative, exciting and productive.
ChoosinG a DesiGner
Choosing a designer is no different from choosing one to work with traditionally. Find one you like, check out their previous work, go through their website and see how they present themselves. Do you like what you see? Are they creative? Is their previous work top quality? If so, get in touch to arrange an initial meeting.
Meet Them Face to Face
Thanks to tools like Skype, Zoom and even Facebook Messenger you’re able to have a face to face meeting with your potential new designer. All three of these services are free to use (although there are paid versions of Zoom). However, Facebook Messenger doesn’t have a screen sharing feature and Zoom’s free plan limits calls to 45 minutes before having to dial back in. So, for that reason, we recommend using Skype for your video calls.
It’s important to have a face to face with your designer as it helps you both to work out if you’ll get on. This may seem like a strange thing to put into your decision-making process. But, getting on with your chosen designer is hugely important as you’re going to be working with them. You want to feel comfortable with raising any concerns or queries with the person you’re trusting with your project. Not only that, a face to face meeting normally delivers more ideas, answers more questions and generally creates a much stronger foundation to build on.
Just because you’re not in person, doesn’t mean you can’t be face to face.
Once you’ve chosen your designer it’s time to start the project. This will involve the sharing of information in the form of files and system access details like passwords and usernames.
The easiest way to share files is to place everything into a folder and email it to your designer. However, realistically that folder is going to be a pretty large file size which means it won’t get through email servers. But never fear, there’s always a way in the world of remote working. And again, there are lots of options to send files back and forth between you and your designer. Our favourites are:
You can send files up to 2GB for free and it’s super simple to use. You enter your email address, the recipients email address, drag and drop your files and hit send. The recipient will then get a download link to get the files at their end. The only catch is that if the files aren’t downloaded within 7 days the link expires and it will need to be sent again.
A standard Google Drive account gives you 15GB of free storage space. Which is more than enough to run several projects simultaneously. You’ll need a Google Account to be able to use the Drive service, but again, this is free. The simplest way to work with Google Drive is to get your chosen designer to create a folder on their account and share it with you. Once you accept the folder both you and your designer will be able to upload files that you’ll both be able to access at any time.
This is similar to Google Drive, in that it’s a shared online folder with no time limits and you have to have a Dropbox account to use the service. The main difference is that a free Dropbox account is limited to 2GB of storage, so can be filled up pretty quickly. It’s great for small projects, quick turnarounds and people who don’t like Google.
“The red fox flies at night. Do you have the files?”
Please, please, please make sure anything that includes sensitive information is password protected before you send it to your designer. The more complex password the better. By far the best way to give your designer the passwords they need is over the phone. But if that’s not possible, for whatever reason, the next best option is to send them via an online password vault such as LastPass. Or, failing that, send them across an encrypted messaging service such as WhatsApp or Signal.
If they need access to systems such as your hosting or email service then a good option is to set up a user account for them. Create it with their email address and then generate a password reset link. This means they can then create their own secure password, negating the need for you to send one to them at all.
Throughout the project your designer will send you mock-ups, proofs and various elements of your project for sign off. These will generally be sent as low resolution or watermarked files, to protect the designer’s work. If you’re working on a website, then you’ll have access to a password-protected version of your new site so you can check it over before it goes live to the public.
As well as that, you’ll have regular project update calls and/or video chats to talk through the project at each stage. This gives you the opportunity to give your feedback. It also gives your designer the chance to talk through the design and for you both to agree on the next stage of the project.
It’s not unusual, in fact it’s best practice, for a design agency to require full payment before they release the final artwork or website. As you can imagine, it would be very easy for unscrupulous people to try and take advantage and not pay once they have the completed work. Resulting in a very unpleasant situation of chasing payment through debt collectors and the courts. Don’t be offended if you’re refused credit terms, it’s not personal, it’s just paying for goods you want to take away with you – a bit like doing your grocery shopping.
And that’s it. In reality, working remotely with a graphic designer isn’t really that different to working traditionally through a series of face to face meetings. And it’s definitely no less creative or productive.
If you think there’s something we can help you with, either remotely or traditionally, please get in touch and let’s have a chat about how we can help.
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