How to Effectively Communicate Your Designs

Whether you’re fresh out of school or have been working in the design industry for years, it’s easy to become so immersed in the design world that you forget not everyone sees or understands your business the way you do.  The people you will collaborate with while working to bring your product to life will likely come from a variety of industries, each with their own unique ways of expressing ideas. It’s important to be conscious of these differences in communication preferences when speaking to others about your design business, and to tailor your methods of communicating to suit each situation you encounter.

Communicating with Partners & Investors

When sharing ideas with investors and partners, it’s important to note whether or not they have experience with the the design industry.  If they don’t, it’s important to make sure that when presenting your ideas to them,  you provide as many clear illustrations or renderings of your product as possible instead of relying on rough sketches and descriptions. It also may help when speaking to investors to show “social proof” and let them talk to customers that have used your products.

Communicating with Manufacturers

On the other hand, while overall illustrations and renderings may be great when trying to explain a concept or overall idea to some people, manufacturers will generally need you to go a step further in order to properly execute your product.  In addition to renderings, most manufacturers will need technical drawings that express the exact dimensions of your designs.  The more specific and detailed the drawings, the better your manufacturer will understand what it is that you’re trying to create.  Many manufacturers have employees on staff who specialize in working with clients to create these types of drawings.  However, if you are working with a manufacturer that is unable to help you develop these drawings,  you want to maintain complete control over your design and drafting, or technical drawing are not skills you currently possess, you should consider taking a class online using Skillshare or Lynda.

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Taking the time to learn a little bit about drafting and technical drawing now will help you avoid endless revisions to your product later.  Schools like Parsons provide online classes covering subjects such as technical drawing & fashion flat drawing.  And as far as software goes, Adobe has provided list of third-party plugins designed to aid in creating all kinds of technical drawings without having to spend tons of money on professional drafting software.

Learning their Language

Don’t forget that this is a two-way street, and you will inevitably encounter parties outside of the design industry who have their own ways of communicating.  Taking a little time to learn more about communication practices in their industries will go a long way towards ensuring that your product comes to life exactly the way you envisioned it.