A lot of business owners, small, corporate, freelancers, and just your everyday person use or need a graphic designer to create a vision they have in their head. I dabble in graphic design, I am not a professional but growing more and more toward that goal every day. As such I have discovered that there are things that make my job easier that comes from what the client can provide me.
1. A general description: As the client coming to the graphic designer you know what you are after and have a semi decent idea in your mind what it looks like. You need to be able to articulate that to me so I can understand what you are after. I am not a mind reader, my mind works differently and may go in a different direction, added to that you know your needs or business I do not. You need to make sure I understand those needs to get the best design.
2. Accurate and correct copy: Again you know your business, if it is things like ads for specific events with dates and locations, it is your job to make sure I have that information and it is correct. I am not privy to your calendar nor aware of everything going on every in the world even if it is down the street from my home, try not to get annoyed if you don't provide this information and I hound you for it. Typography (copy- the typed words) are every bit as important to my designs as images contained within, changing them can change the design sometimes.
3. Know how you are going to use the designs: I can save files in many formats, or have it printed. I do not know your business needs and my general packages are designed for the digital business person. I will deliver standard digitals unless contracted otherwise.
4. Use re-designs correctly: Re-designs should be used to fix something that doesn't meet what you are after. Be aware that even a mine thing as changing font or copy can alter the design and take an hour or more to accomplish. Be thoughtful when asking for re-designs because of the time and consider what you are asking. Be aware that graphic designers may give one free re-design then charge added fees, because it is a time consuming process.
5. Do not try and use the graphic designer as your personal secretary: It is not the graphic designers job to get the designs to multiple people who weren't involved with the contract and may not be affiliated with your actual business. Do not ask us to email an ad to a venue because you don't want to, it isn't our job nor are we under your employ for more than design creation. It is insulting to us, as if saying 'oh you aren't that busy just hitting buttons send it to so and so for me because the event is x and they want it.' I run my own business my time is well valued and I deliver where it is stipulated in contract. This merely taunts you don't value our work.
6. Never say 'Oh I thought you just hit buttons': Graphic design like photography is more than hitting a button. It is hours of work, education, trying and failing before succeeding. It is making something out of nothing that visually compelling, draws and sells items or services. It takes many hours for one design with many different elements, to say 'hit a button' is as insulting as saying the pen wrote a great novel.
As a graphic designer you'd think we do not hear any of this or encounter this every often but the truth is every one of those above items happened in the last two days. Clients like this stick out because I have the ability to choose my contracts, and these ones generally don't merit being worked with again. At the end of the day respect the person creating for you, we love what we do but we can say no to clients who do not respect our business.