Trust Me – I’m A Designer

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When you hired a professional designer, it was no doubt because you were impressed with their portfolio of completed projects.  Their eye catching work led you to believe that they could complete your project successfully.  Their experience and qualifications reinforced this and when you spoke to them directly, they seemed to fully understand your requirements.

So why don’t you trust them?

sign with prices for professional graphic design

Oh you may think that you trust your designer implicitly to create the most breath-taking, appropriate and timeless design for your company logo, brochure, poster and / or website.  But take a good look at your behaviour – are you truly allowing your designer’s creative juices to flow freely?  Or are you guilty of confusing and slowing down the project by what you consider to be helpful interventions?

Professional graphic designers know what they are doing.  Those that work within the brand development field are masters of creating a unique and memorable visual brand identity.  They have studied hard at college to learn their trade and with time have perfected their skills.  They see the world from a very different angle compared to most business men and women.  They know all about clever use of visuals, how to use complementary colour in a design and which typography will look best.  And most importantly they can produce a final product that clearly and concisely sends out the precise message to the viewer.

When you are working with a professional graphic designer to create the right visual messages for your marketing materials, make sure you don’t fall into any of the categories below.  Here follows an example for a law office, but you’ll get the jist – it could apply to any type of industry:

Mr Suggestions

Before the designer has even thought about the creative, this client is firing off design suggestions.

“Maybe a light turquoise background for the brochure would look good – not too overwhelming. And black font on top would give a really great contrast.  I know that readability is so important.”

At this point the designer will of course listen to all of the client’s suggestions – some may even have a grain of possibility.

Mr Minor Changes

After extensive research to understand the business, the target market and the competition, the designer will get to work, creating two or three design options that they believe visually encapsulate the company and its objectives.  And the client loves it.  Except…..

“Awesome.  Really love it.  I do.  Except, perhaps you could put the image lower down the front page and the main title higher.  And while you’re at it, try it in lime green – all the rage nowadays.  And don’t you think that Helvetica font is a bit old hat?”

The designer maintains their professional facade and promises to adjust the design in line with the client’s requests.  After all, the client is always right.

Mr Market Research

Having strayed slightly away from their original creative plans, the designer now produces the modified design.  At this stage the designer is in a bit of a conundrum. Just because lime green is fashionable, doesn’t mean it will send out the right message for a legal office.  Perhaps it’s just too modern and may put off potential clients who expect their lawyers to be branded with safe and conservative blues, greys and whites.  But the client loves it!

“Oh yes.  Look at that green.  Vivid – really vivid.  I love it – so fresh and alive.  You know what?  I’m going to ask my colleagues for their opinion.  They’ve worked in lots of different law offices and have plenty of experience about what kind of brochures appeal to clients.”

Riiiight is what the designer is thinking as they realise the direction of the project is now out of their hands.

Mr Make-it-pop

“OK so after discussions with my colleagues, I think the main photo looks a little insipid against the lime green.  And the font colour….hmm.  Can you do something to make the whole thing really pop?  My wife suggested a cute mascot in the corner.  I don’t know, a kitten or a lizard or something.  That Gecko did quite well didn’t he?  What do you think?”

At this point, a professional designer will realise the project is doomed.  They know with an absolute certainty that the final design is straying way off target and destined to drive customers away rather than drive more business to the office.

So do you recognise yourself in any of these scenarios?  For some reason, everyone has an amateur graphic designer lurking within their soul.  Admit it – when you want new marketing material, don’t you already have an inkling of how you want the final product to look?  It’s human nature – you are bombarded by fabulous designs on a daily basis and in your enthusiasm to have something to top them all, you have already decided on what you want.

However if you hire a lawyer to draw up a contract or a new will, do you suggest what legal jargon they should use?  If you visit a doctor when you are ill, do you disregard their recommended treatments?  I think not.  So why do so many nice and intelligent clients think they know best when it comes to graphic design?

So here’s advice from a professional graphic design company with many successfully completed projects under its belt………don’t waste time, extend timelines and increase costs by unnecessary interventions – just trust your designer to create a unique and memorable product that will result in more sales for your business.