5 tips on how to effectively give/receive feedback on creative work

Often when clients are provided proofs of creative work, they turn to their trusted network of friends, family, and contacts. Knowing how to effectively discern between criticism, feedback, and personal taste is a really important part of the visual process.

When you go from client receiving work to client soliciting opinions on creative, you need to be prepared to take a small glimpse inside the creative world, and be ready for the type of feedback you will receive.

5 tips that we provide to our clients are:

  1. Is the feedback from a trusted source who understands your target market?
  2. Is the feedback valid, or is it personal taste?
  3. Is there a valid explanation provided for the feedback? (This is typically a challenge when looking at visual work, as many people cannot effectively describe what they do or do not like, just simply, “I like it” or “I don’t like it.”)
  4. If you receive vague feedback (i.e. “I like it” or dislike it”), always ask for clarification.
  5. Always evaluate the feedback based on the individual. We all have very opinionated people in our lives — personally and in business. Look for patterns of feedback in other areas to validate their thoughts on creative work. (i.e. – the person who dresses well giving advice on clothing vs. the person who dresses poorly.)


We also find it useful to set up a spreadsheet of feedback to compare in one document, instead of in isolation. If you request feedback from 10 individuals, measure the overall response to look at it objectively, and remember, at the end of the day, you make the final decisions.

Also keep in mind that when it comes to visual work, personal and emotional preferences affect the analysis. That is why we all drive different cars, in different colours, with different options, for different purposes.

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