Practical Tips for Providing Creative Feedback
Have you ever received a proof of a brochure, billboard, or other type of advertisement and it just wasn’t what you were expecting? At times, it can be difficult to express what you’re looking for when it comes to creative content. But sometimes, feedback can elongate the process of completing a project, and can launch you into rounds of revisions long email chains that no one has the time for. Here are a few tips for providing creative feedback that is clear, direct, and will help you complete creative projects more efficiently:
- Filter feedback through one source
Most people can relate to the frustration of hearing conflicting opinions from different people. When it comes to creative projects, it can be hard to discern who is the ultimate authority if feedback is coming from several people. Even if you gather critique from multiple sources, be sure to compile it in one place and filter it through one person so that the expectations are clear.
- Avoid generic language
It’s easy to fall into the habit of saying things like “I don’t like this font” or “I like that color.” But, the more specific you can be, the less ambiguity there is for a designer. If a font is not readable or doesn’t align with your brand standards, that’s a good reason not to like it. If a certain color will make your product pop on the shelves or will resonate with your target audience, that’s a reason to like it!
- Rely on your brand values to guide your feedback
As Simon Sinek famously coined, “Start With Why.” This mantra not only applies to your business strategy at large, but can also help you express your creative feedback. Your creative team wants to create something that reflects your brand values, so if a certain headline or photo does not align with your why, it may be a good starting point for your conversation.
- Provide feedback consistently in one form
Along with the importance of filtering feedback through one source, it’s also important to provide feedback in one form. Some people choose to use software like adobe acrobat to make notes and edits within a pdf; while some prefer to handwrite edits on a printed version. Others may type their edits in an email. Using a number system can also help when it comes to clarifying questions (i.e. I have a question on edit #6).
- Be thorough
It can be tempting to shoot back an email response with the first few things that you see that need updating. However, it’s important to take the time to read the document in full and send a complete list of edits so that you can make the most of your allotted rounds of revisions.
Following these tips when providing feedback on creative projects will help you create meaningful, impactful work that will help you accomplish your goals- without the frustrating rounds of revisions.