You’ve probably heard of that funny, yet terrifying video “Make My Logo Bigger Cream”. It speaks about a client – designer relationship and some common requests that clients make; requests that sound illogical and absurd at first, but are they really?
Yes, there are clients from hell out there, but aside from them, there is also a bunch of reasonable people who will really make you wonder and reevaluate your decisions. I don’t actually think you should make that logo bigger, but I do have some experience-based tips and tricks that I wish someone had told me years ago.
1. Learn how to explain your design
You should be able to explain your design in a clear manner. True understanding goes hand in hand with simple explanations and if you are having trouble communicating your ideas – something is wrong. People often say that if you really understand a concept, you should be able to explain it in a way a small child could understand.
Having difficulty explaining things clearly and effectively? Take a step back; think about other options and most importantly…
2. Listen to your client!
Everything you can do I can do better? Not in this case. Sometimes your clients know their customers better than you and they want to succeed more that you do. So, if they want a rainbow puking unicorn in a cloud made of tears on their logo, ask a simple question – why? Then explain your solution in a simple manner. Can’t do that? Maybe that’s not a good solution. Then I suggest that you invest some more time.
3. It’s show and tell time
So you came up with an awesome result and you can’t wait to show it. Great! Now tone down your enthusiasm for a second and take some time to prepare your work.
Once I made a logo for a friend who’s a designer. And I was so satisfied and eager to show him what I had done. So I took a screenshot from my Illustrator, sent it and waited for a standing ovation. A couple of minutes later, I got his negative feedback.
So, I was back to square one, made a simple and generic logo with a fantastic presentation to go with.
Then we were there! He was amazed. The key point of the story: try not to show just sneak peeks to a client, but enhance your presentation with a strong context and a good story to go with.
4. Put your ego aside
Are you daydreaming about being Rembrandt? Keep in mind that functional design should be a priority. Sometimes, there’s not enough space and time for refined emotions and artistic freedom, and if you are designing something that articulates great emotion but it doesn’t work for the users, developers or your client – try to iterate it or just upload it on Dribbble and wait for the likes to come.
5. Ask real questions
Make sure that you understand your tasks. If you don’t understand your tasks – you won’t be able to finish them. And I know that’s really something Captain Obvious would say, but it’s also, unfortunately, a very common practice. Designers can’t wait for clients to finish their mumbo-jumbo so they can start working, but in that rush, they often forget to ask the real questions.
6. Done is better than perfect!
It can always be better. In my opinion and long experience, you can’t really reach perfection, but you can easily reach madness. Don’t let yourself burn out – learn when to say “this is good enough”. That’s not easy, but it’s necessary. During the work process, you start exploring, learning, and getting different insights. And that results in inspiration and new ideas which can divert your focus and enchant you in an endless pursuit of perfection.
Remember – you have a deadline! If you don’t, you should, because you’ll never finish anything.
That’s it. This post is good enough for me.
Author: Petar Ačanski