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  • Writer's pictureJudith Davison

Ask A Designer! Common Client Questions (Part 1)

The answer is no! But why?

A recent survey of design studios found that not a design day goes by without being asked one of the following questions from clients. This blog (across three parts) will take a look at the top 10 questions we commonly get asked and provide a more in-depth answer (than yes or no!). If there’s a burning question you want to know, shoot us a message – we would love to answer it for you!

Common Design Question #1. “Can't you just copy it from the internet?”

There are free sites to legally download photos. Your designer will likely belong to premium photo sites also.

The answer the majority of the time – is a firm “no”. There’s two good reasons (and not because we want to create work for ourselves!). Firstly, images on the internet are low-resolution. To copy something from the internet means you are not using the original file. Invariably, it will not be good enough to replicate in print. “Ah, but I just want to use it online”….. Okay, that brings me to the second reason – copyright. Proceed with caution when it comes to not seeking permission to use someone else’s image in a commercial way. Designers are generally goody-two shoes (yes we are) when it comes to copying other people's work without asking.

Top Tip: The best way forward is to ask permission or ask your designer to source images legally from an image library. We belong to one of the largest stock libraries online (Canva) giving access to a huge resource of high quality professional photos. All the images in this blog are downloaded legally from Canva.

Common Design Question #2: “Can you send me the file so that I can edit it?”

Your designer uses specific programs (such as Adobe Photoshop) to create your designs.

Ok, we get it - this sounds like such a reasonable request. Unfortunately the answer, 99% of the time, is no for two main reasons. Firstly, designers use industry-specific software to create your work (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign to name the most common). The editable files (otherwise known as the artwork or working files) are specific to that program. For example, unless you have InDesign on your computer, you won’t be able to open a file to edit yourself. Secondly, some designers can be a little sensitive about handing over their beautifully crafted work to be tinkered / edited / polished by someone else.

Top Tip: The best course of action is to make sure your content / copy / wording is as near to finished as you can before passing it over to your designer. This will save editing time which in the end will save you money.

Common Design Question #3: “The image I looked at on my phone was crystal clear so why is the brochure so blurry?”

Photos will always look sharper on your phone then in print (or on a larger screen)

The design you see on screen is in RGB colour mode and on a very small screen….. most images appear crystal clear with this combination. Your printed brochure is in CMYK colour mode. CMYK has a much smaller range of color than a screen is capable of so you will never have the same depth and clarity in print.

Top Tip: If you are doing an important print production, to avoid disappointment always check a printer proof in actual size first or even print it at home to check the clarity of the image rather than approving it from your phone.


Watch out for Part 2 of our blog where we will be answering these common design questions:

  • “How do you come up with a design?”

  • “How many logos do I need?”

  • “It’s urgent. Can I have it back today?”

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