Monday, August 2, 2010

How To Deal (or) They Know What They Hate When They See It

If my years of a designer have taught me anything, it's how to maintain your cool when the bottom drops out of a project. When the program crashes, your client absolutely hates every idea proposed, or the printer is double-booked on the press that can handle your job; keeping a calm head is often the only answer. Stepping back for a moment might very well give you a solution that is better than the original direction.

Successful designing is a kind of psychology. You not only need to understand what the client wants, but what drives them and their business, if they need to keep tight control of all things in their realm, or if they like to see what happens next. Often, you're reading minds, because the client's not quite sure what they're looking for, but you need to come up with a proof by tomorrow. So again, stepping back a little before going forward with a design can many times be the best tack.

These three projects were all examples of making the best of the situation:
The brochure was a project that lasted months, due to a high number of approvals to get for every step of the process. It took a number of lunches at my desk, but everyone was happy at the final result!

The shower invitation was a freelance piece for a new client. Several versions in, she still wanted something different, so I completely changed the layout, image and typestyle, and it was a hit.

The VSA Support ad was a one-day turnaround request, and all my client knew was that the previous year's ad did not go over well, so it had to be great, and fast. Interesting point of note; after this ad had run, she noted several arts ads around town looked very (very) similar. Sincerest form of flattery...?

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