The Feedback Battle: Graphic Designer Versus Client

Shannel Wheeler
5 min readJul 29, 2022

It’s feedback time — the sometimes scary reality we have to face as designers. The creation part is fun, but now arrives the sometimes dreaded moment where you have to actually show (basically, sell) your design to the client.

One of the biggest roadblocks to completing a successful design project can be communication. Are you able to explain your design decisions to the audience you are designing for (your client, teacher, boss, etc)? On the flip side, do you have a hard time receiving feedback from them? Is it clear and concise? Or it all over the place or like pulling teeth? Do you and the client sometimes struggle to understand each other or speak the same language for the sake of coming to some type of agreement on how to move forward?

Even if you make the most amazing designs, it may still be difficult to explain your design, give proper context to the color, imagery, and layout used, and then intake feedback from the client—especially if you’re new to the field. To make this part of the process more productive, you have to work smarter, not harder. There are many free and easy tools to help you communicate more efficiently and move the project along.

Before we get to a few tools you can use, first consider this when communicating your design concepts for feedback:

  1. Understand your client’s communication style: Some clients communicate better by email, in-person meetings, or maybe by phone. Understanding their optimal communication style will help you receive optimal responses.
  2. Offer communication channels that provide the most clarity: Don’t make it hard for others to give you feedback. If you have a complex project management system that you want to funnel all your clients through, that’s fine. But don’t prohibit them from sending you an email if that’s simpler for them. Try not to force overcomplicated methods of communication.
  3. Be open to various communication tactics but know your boundaries: Try to understand and accommodate the client with their most effective communication style when possible. If the client is most effective and clearest over the phone, then you may need to be open to doing feedback calls. But this doesn’t give the client license to call you at any time they want and however…

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Shannel Wheeler

Left-brain creative | Brand/Design Implementation | Design Instruction and Inspiration | Creating with Purpose: https://shannelwheeler.com