How to Art Direct Your Graphics
for Voice-over, Part 2

The Secret

It’s imperative when presenting yourself as a professional voice talent today you have a complete professional package.  This means having an effective logo to help forward your name as a brand.  

When working with a graphic artist here’s the most effective way to art direct your graphics:

  • Look at other designs the graphic artist has created and use these as points of reference. Tell the graphic artist, “I like the fonts you used on these designs.” “The color story (color combinations) you used on these are great.  And I like these shapes—or this layout”  
  • If the graphic artist has very little to show you, or if you found a few magazine ads and/or Web sites with images, graphic shapes, logos, colors, and fonts that you feel suit you, forward them to your graphic artist as references. A word of caution here: do this gingerly. Offering three to five references would be plenty. Again, it’s not your job to design your graphics, especially in your head! (It will always become something very different than you had intended.  And not necessarily for the better.) Use tangible references to create tangible results
  • Whenever and where ever possible be sure to hire a professional graphic artist rather than a relative or friend for the simple reasons that there is no free lunch and to maintain your relationship.*  Of course, friends and family want to help, but they have bills to pay too and it’s for this very reason paying gigs will always come before your (freebie/on-the-cheap) graphics. Besides, should you need or want changes or if you mandate a timeline, you’re likely to hear, “I’m doing you a favor!” If your graphics remain in limbo indefinitely, then your ability to generate an income from your demos will be dramatically diminished. And that’s a problem. So keep it professional and go with a graphic artist you can do business with
  • Keep your graphic artist and your web designer SEPARATE! The skill sets of a graphic designer is a world away from those of a web designer.  These are two distinctly different professions.  Do not confuse the two.  They do NOT do the same things by any stretch of the imagination.  You want your graphic artist to create a memorable, appropriate logo, and the web designer to have the ability to translate that design into a web page that appears on a tablet (i.e. iPad, iPhone, etc) precisely how you’d view it on a laptop in any browser without requiring you leave the initial page to hear your demos or utilize your contact information. Trust me that’s saying a mouthful. (I’ll have to offer another blog on web design alone at a later date.) In all my years of art directing graphics for literally thousands of talent, I’ve only met ONE individual who was proficient in both arenas to effectively deliver the goods.  Even then it required a great deal of art direction and professional guidance. In the meantime, save yourself a great deal of trouble and take my word for it.  Graphics are NOT to be designed by the web designer, and web design should NEVER be offered by the graphic artist.  One (if not BOTH) of these key elements will ultimately suffer!
  • Now, sit back and let your graphic artist create a couple of things. They will likely create three or four roughs. You may love one of the images offered right from the start or like the overall design on image #1 and the fonts used in the logo from image #3. Fine. Ask to see that combination and work from there

Remember, the onus falls to you to ensure that all of your contact info is spelled correctly, your return address is correct, and the numbers are all accurate. This is NOT the job of the graphic artist. So, be sure to triple check EVERYTHING before signing off and giving final approval! 

The information offered in this blog is an excerpt from our book, THE SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & the Business of Being a Working Talentby founder and casting director, Kate McClanaghan.  Click here to purchase a digital (or ‘analog’) copy for yourself through our website: http://voiceoverinfo.com/services/encyclopedia

Kate McClanaghan, Inc. © 2013 All rights reserved.