How to ensure success working with your design team


Picking the right design company to create the packaging and branding for your product can mean the difference between a successful product launch that runs smoothly or a process that is filled with headaches of delays and blown budgets. After you have selected the team with the right experience in the right price range, then comes the real challenge: working together on the project to ensure that your needs are met and that the project is successful for everyone.

The whole back and forth process boils down to one key thing: trust. You need to be able to trust your design team to do their job, and it is their responsibility to deliver quality results while simultaneously earning your trust.

We've developed a checklist for you to help guide you through process of working with your design team to ensure the success of your project.

1. Request to see their work samples

Before beginning a project with your design team, ask to see samples of their previous work. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to give them a test on a small budget to get a good feel on their process and quality of work.

2. Understand their process

A good packaging design company should follow a specific process with progress reviews throughout the length of the project. If you are unclear with the process, always ask before work begins. Then you will know what to expect and when changes or revisions happen, everybody will be on the same page. A great design team also would be able to back lead you, guiding you through the process to help you understand what is the best solution for the product you are trying to market to your targeted audience.

3. Set deadlines & expectations

Setting a clear deadline for the project ensure both you and the design team are working towards the same goal. Signing off and review the revisions according to your directions and the schedule will keep the project progressing towards the successful final delivery on time and on budget.

4. Communicate clearly

To get the most out of your design team efficiently and cost effectively, it is crucial that you clearly communicate your direction, and or what you are trying to achieve. Also, it is important to reply to their questions clearly and quickly to avoid any schedule delays. Don't be vague with your feedback. Instead of saying "I don't think I like it…” it would help the design team to understand what you don’t like about what they have produced. A good way is to find references of other packagings that you love (or hate) would be a great reference for your team to understand the style you are looking for. Without a clear explanation doesn't help the team figure out what you DO want. It also helps tremendously if you know your targeted audience and help your team understand what makes your product unique to that market. The more clearly you can describe your customer group, the more easily your design team can design the packaging and branding that appeals to your ideal customers.

Avoid micro-managing your design team. It slows down the process and may delay the delivery. Trust their years of experience and listen to their advices. A reputable design company is always working with your best interest in mind. They understand what their process is, and more than likely know what work and don’t.

5. Think long term

When working with your design team, try to establish an ongoing relationship instead of working with them for a one time project. A long term relationship with a trusted design team would help your business operate more efficiently. It reduces your time spent on looking for new talents, lowering the risk of project delays, and you can have peace of mind trusting the quality of their work. A reputable design company also values establishing long term relationship than just a one off sale. Some of them offer discount for repeating businesses, or you can ask if they offer retainer - an affordable alternative to dedicated ongoing design service for a reduced fixed rate instead of investing in an in house design team for your business. Once you have developed trust and have found a team that offers excellent and timely support - they become a valuable asset to your business.

Eugenia Chen