A strong project manager can make the difference between a design that brings your company to the top, or a design that flops. One of the biggest advantages of hiring a Graphic Design Agency over a freelancer is that as a client, you are provided with a person dedicated to ensuring that the design meets your standards and deadlines. Project managers play an essential role in mediating client-artist relations, and do their best to ensure that any idea brought to their desk reaches its fullest potential. They break down the goals, needs, budget and timeline of the project, and keep the team in line with the client’s values.
The most necessary talent every good project manager possesses is an ability to maintain a culture of honest, prompt, and clear communication amongst the agency and it’s network. A project manager’s primary goal is to establish happy client relations and build a successful long term relationship. If you reach out to a graphic design agency, your main line of contact will be a project manager. Project managers take the time to get to know your goals, aesthetic preferences, values, and audience. They organize this information and convey it to their team, ensuring that your needs are met every step of the way. Good project managers keep their clients updated and their team ready to respond to any challenges that arise.
It is extremely rare for any design to be completed without a bit of revision. Project managers must listen to and interpret the client’s feedback to effectively convey it to their team. They must also weigh the clients feedback against the industry standards and nature of the project. Expert project managers understand when and how to provide specific, clear suggestions that will resonate with each individual designer. Extensive feedback and review may be essential for people who are new to the industry. An experienced designer, however, may thrive under looser guidance.
A crucial aspect of a qualified project manager’s position is the intimate knowledge of people and the arts they bring to the table. As in any other management title, project managers must implement conflict resolution techniques, provide support to their team and help with any decisions they don’t make themselves. Project managers are equipped to handle stress either on your end as the client, or the agency’s, and keep a steady eye on the project’s target. They also have keen observational and delegating skills. This is helpful as they work to align designers with projects they’ll feel passionately about and are prepared to embark on. Which means that they should also have a firm grasp on the nature of various media, and be able to ensure that the designers on the project are comfortable providing content that meets industry standards. “A happy team will perform much better than a miserable team,” and project managers work to keep their team and clients happy and on track.
The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.
-Kobe Bryant: was an American professional basketball player
Project managers play an indispensable part in organizing and scheduling every person and task throughout the job. They work to establish and follow the project’s timeline based on your budget and expectations. They account for the speed and volume of each team member’s workflow, and keep a close eye on the calendar in case they need to add more hands to a project to complete it in time. They also know how to find the balance “between sticking to the schedule, and fostering creativity.” Talented project managers are also up to date on the best organizational tools to keep things running smoothly. Creative Repute uses apps and sites such as Google Calendar, Tasks, and Drive as well as Intuit Quickbooks and T sheets to keep everything in order while handling multiple clients.
Any idiot can point out a problem… A leader is willing to do something about it! Leaders solve problems!
-Tony Robbins: American author, public speaker, life coach, and philanthropist
Ultimately, project managers are as vital to a graphic design project as any managerial role is to a workplace. They make sure that everyone on the job is prepared to create designs that each client can be proud of, and help guide both sides over every hurdle on the path. When you hire an freelancer, they may not be able to bridge a communication gap with you themselves, and they may not be able to adequately adjust their schedule to meet your deadlines when issues arrive. A solo designer has much more to manage when they take on a project alone. One person simply cannot provide the checks and balances that a team with good project manager can provide. Project managers offer a compassionate ear and a concise voice for everyone involved, as well as experienced hands to hold their team accountable. It is a project manager’s job to make your goals their own, and see to it that they are achieved.
Blog Post written by Anna Nix Rieker