Graphic design is a continually changing and subjective medium. Most designers can’t just sit down, crank out some designs and call it a day. Designers need feedback in order to learn and improve. Sometimes feedback can be a scary thing. We all want to hear that our work is spectacular and doesn’t need to be changed, but usually that isn’t the case.
Whether the design is for a client or something else, there are endless ways to start a project. This means that there are endless ways for the project to end up. The creative process can lead designers in many different ways that they weren’t thinking of when the project was first introduced. Because of this, feedback is needed to perfect the project.
Designers need to seek out their feedback most of the time. It may be scary at first, but in the end it is highly beneficial to that project and to a designer’s overall skills. Accepting feedback, and especially criticism, is one of the hardest things to do as a designer. A couple tips for accepting feedback are below:
They are critiquing your work, not you.
A lot of times, you can feel like you are being criticized personally for your work. You need to take a step back and realize that this one project doesn’t define who you are.
Listen, listen, listen.
Critiques are meant to be helpful! If you just blow off the negative comments, you will never improve. Listening to the critiques and really taking them to heart will help you in your overall designs.
Stand up for your design.
While criticism is helpful, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for the design choices that you made. Defend your designs, but also know when to admit that you’re wrong.
Feedback is essential for a designer to be the best they can be. Now while accepting feedback can be difficult, actually giving feedback may be even more difficult. The trick is to be critical and clear while still being respectful. Below are some things that critiquers often do:
Take the design personally.
When critiquing a design, it’s important not to let personal distaste dictate your feedback. If you dislike triangles, keep that out of your mind when you critique
Not give clear feedback.
Saying “I love it” or “It looks good” are not well thought out critiques. Be specific in what you like or dislike and give the designer something he/she can actually work with
Attack the designers skills.
Each designer has his/her own set of skills and abilities. Let’s say the designer isn’t too great at typography and you only critique the fonts in the design. That’s unfair to the designer if you just focus on their abilities.
Give indecisive responses.
“I’m not sure” may be the worst feedback of all. You will always have an opinion on something; saying “I don’t know” is just a cop-out.
Design critique is important for any project. Without it, designers can create things that make other designers want to cringe. Be helpful and respectful when you are critiquing designers, and for the designers, never be afraid to stand up for yourself and your designs!