Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Clients Can Miss the Benefits of a Good Graphic Designer

One of the most perplexing things I've experienced as a professional graphic designer is a client who wants me to perfectly create their ideas. In other words, they see me as a person who simply executes their plans, like a construction worker following blueprints.

I really don't have a problem with working out a client's ideas. But I find it odd that some of these clients do not utilize the vast storehouse of creative and innovative thought acquired through years of training and experience. They rather I limit my creativity to whatever they can perceive.

As a result, they end up with whatever they can think up -- which is rather limited. It seems like such a waste because they miss the opportunity to get the full benefits of a professional.

And what is really odd is that these types of clients spend most of my time trying to perfect their design. There is a lot of strange back-and-forth. Discussion about type fonts, sizes, and colors dominate the interaction. And issues like clear communication, appropriate audience, and expected results take a back seat. And this leads to designs that may be just what a client wants, but will not achieve what the client expects.

But what I really find strange are those clients who not only operates this way, but are hostile in doing so. Here's what I mean. They have an idea of what they want. As I always do, I may ask some questions to clarify what they want. And their response is, "Don't ask me any questions! Just do what I say!"

At that point, I'll just do whatever they've requested. Then when we are ready to get it printed or launched, they inevitably want to make a major change with no adjustments to the timeline. If I respond that it's an unreasonable request, they see it as a complaint born out of laziness.

However, most clients who operate in this very limiting way are not hostile. They just don't understand what I can do for them. And some are even willing to learn about the potential that exists when working with a graphic designer as professionals.

I don't mind working with clients who want me to execute their ideas as long as they are willing to accept their limitations. But hostile clients are another story.

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