How to Give Feedback to Creatives

It may not happen often, but creatives in advertising and marketing can miss the mark on your vision. Whether you are the client or senior to the creative, it can feel strange or weird to give them commentary on their work. Criticism is necessary for every area of work, especially in the creative field, but it can be hard to do so when artists keep their work close to their hearts. Here are some of our best tips to feel more comfortable giving your opinion to creatives without hurting their feelings about their work. 


Start with the positives 


Introducing your critiques, you should start with what they did right and what you like about their work. Although it’s necessary to give criticism, giving praise is just as important and helps to lessen the blow of the critique. 


Be thorough about what you liked about their work, and you should make sure they feel good and validated by receiving your positive feedback. 


Find the problems 


When you are looking to critique work from a creative in advertising, it’s crucial to understand where the problems are. It can be hard at first to identify what about their work doesn’t sit well with you, but for the creative to understand your vision, you have to understand where the problems lie. 


Analyze the work and understand what you want/need from the creative that you are not receiving from them. Having an understanding and having the ability to explain what changes you want to make will help in the communication of the critique. The more direct you are about the criticism, the less likely they will be upset or offended. 


Ask questions 


One of the best ways to understand the mind path and the work that was produced by creatives is to ask questions. Instead of criticizing why you think the work they create is wrong or not what you asked for, ask questions. 


Ask why they picked what they did and have them explain the thoughts that led them to their work and decision making. Asking questions will help you better understand why they choose what they did and help you change the course. It’s valuable to comprehend why they made their decisions and understand how you can move forward.  


Don’t let the critiques be a surprise 


Rather than surprise the creative with a critique session, schedule time within both of your schedules. You shouldn’t blindside them with a last-minute appraisal because it could be more hurtful to the creative. 


The creative will be in a better mindset to receive commentary on their work when you schedule the critique into their workweek. Go into the meeting with specific points and details you would like to assess by using the reference the points above to make the meeting as seamless as possible. 


Solidify and condense the feedback


If there is more than one person than yourself giving feedback to the creative, discuss your critiques before providing commentary. It can feel redundant to convey the same opinion more than once. 


Condensing and discussing the feedback before giving it to the creative can also help to understand where the main problems lie, what other problems there may be, and how to work moving forward. The collaboration will always be a successful skill to use, especially when giving feedback. 


Be honest


The most crucial part about giving your opinion and criticism to others is to be honest. The creative will only understand the work if you are direct and forthright about what changes you would like to make. Being honest doesn’t mean you have to be harsh. There are plenty of ways to give your thoughts and opinion without sounding rigid or bleak. Even if your sentiment is honest, find a way of expressing them kindly. Being honest will help the creative understand honesty without being offended.   


Overall, you should keep in mind that you and the creative are both working towards the same end goal, even if it’s a bumpy road to get there. Creating space for open and honest conversation is going to get you the farthest in your journey of the collaboration of discovering something incredible.