Design Talk With Alison

9 Aug

In the past, I have worked with clients who take the work I give them, and come back with very specific instructions on how they want me to adjust the designs. They will ask me to move something two points to the left, and change the green to gray, rotate the logo, and make the block of color transparent. This doesn’t offend me. I like it when people have a good idea of what they want, and honestly, it’s way easier for me when I don’t have to think about a project, and instead just do what the client wants.

But I think it’s a waste of their money to pay me to be their designer when they are going to have such a tight grip on every step of the process.

As a designer, it’s my job to think creatively. I have spent(and still spend) a lot of time studying what looks right, and what principles make it that way. I am constantly looking for inspiration, and I see the world in a different way from most people. When you hire me, you are paying for my perspective and expertise more than you are paying for my ability to use Illustrator. I can come up with things that you wouldn’t have thought to try, mostly because it’s my job to do so.

This isn’t to say I don’t like negative feedback. In fact, I love it when a client can tell me exactly what they don’t/do like about something I’m showing them. The more information you can give me, the closer I can get to making your vision happen. There is, however, a difference between telling me what you like, and don’t like, and telling me how to ‘fix’ it. I put a lot of thought into where things go, and 99% of the time, the clients who tell me how to change things end up not being happy with their fixes anyway.

A better way (for me, at least) is for the client to give me a list of things they don’t like, and elements they do like. That way, I can come up with solutions that have a better chance of being successful.

I love designing for people, and every client I’ve had has been great. But often there is a disconnect between the client and designer. A lot of people aren’t familiar with working with designers, and that can cause problems (clients from hell, anyone?) This is a topic that’s been on my mind as I transition from student into ‘professional’, and as I navigate the waters of wanting to please the client versus wanting to create meaningful, beautiful work that we can all be proud of.

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