Being a designer is, all-in-all, a pretty awesome career. Designers get to combine artistic visions with practical knowledge; they work on diverse projects that keep their days from becoming mundane; they get to create beautiful things and then see people interact with their creations. Not to mention, their exquisite sense of style ranks them really high on the coolest professions’ list. Yet, not all aspects of the work are rosy. Sometimes, interactions with colleagues or clients can get… well, frustrating.
Designers are in constant contact with people who don’t really know much about design work yet feel quite comfortable telling them how to do their job. Whether they are commissioned by a client to create a website or instructed by account managers to create an ad, designers are often confronted with requests, demands and statements that require nerves of steel and the patience of a Buddhist monk.
The following 15 lines are sure to get you in trouble with your designer.
Flattery will not get you out of this one. Designers know all too well that creating a draft without receiving a clear explanation of the project in advance almost always leads to misunderstanding and creates more work. If you’re too lazy to write a detailed brief, don’t be surprised when you end up with a design that has nothing in common with what you had in mind.
You hear that? That’s the sound of a lawsuit coming your way. Instead of spending your time looking for fun pics on Google images, let the designers do their work and they will find you a perfect visual that doesn’t violate anyone’s copyrights. Better yet, they can create that visual just for you!
You’re paying your designer for the creativity and skill they put into their work, not for the number of pixels the project entails. Sometimes what looks like a simple design is actually the result of a complex work process.
Some of the reasons designers despise this line include:
While it is possible that your product or organization will be universally adored and unite all different groups and cultures on the face of the earth, applying this logic to branding and design is not a good idea. Designers need to understand who is being addressed when they work on any type of project. It is instrumental in creating an effective and impressionable design. If you’re not sure, read this article on how to determine your target market.
And you know this because you have years of experience working as a designer yourself? No? Then maybe you shouldn’t be making these assumptions. Trust us. You never want half-baked designs. If you want your designer to deliver fast results, the best way is to determine a deadline together that will work for both parties.
Last time we checked, exposure in and of itself doesn’t pay the rent. While every professional is interested in getting their name and portfolio out there, the exchange of labor for recognition is simply not right. Designers may choose to do pro-bono work but it should be their decision, not your demand.
Maybe, if you make your request clearer. What are the weak spots? What is missing? Be as detailed and specific with your comments as possible. Communicate your expectations and your vision in clear terms and your designer will reward you with a killer draft.
This workflow is a sure way to bring your designer to tears. But let’s set their feelings aside for a second. Requesting revisions again and again probably means that you are not entirely sure what the project is about. When you have a clear idea of what the design is supposed to achieve, you should be able to provide the designer with a detailed brief that explains it all. Some measure of revisions always takes place – and that’s a good thing! But changes should be performed in a smart and productive manner that saves everyone time and effort.
We get it. You want to see more purchases on your online store. That’s entirely natural. What you should ask yourself, though, is whether a gigantic BUY NOW button spread across half the screen is actually going to get you those sales. In web design, bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Ah! The magic design word. People have this concept of photoshopping that seems to be drawn directly from the Harry Potter universe. Newsflash: Photoshop doesn’t work that way. We know many designers who are Photoshop wizards, but that doesn’t mean they can make every possible request materialize just by adding a layer.
Unless you’re in the midst of a real emergency, and unless you can afford to pay for it, there’s absolutely no justification to expect a designer to complete a task within hours. You are a professional as well, so you can appreciate what it means to have a full schedule. Besides, as we mentioned earlier, you really don’t want to compromise quality for speed when it comes to your brand’s visibility.
There are so many levels of wrong in this one. First, why would you want to model your branding after something that was already done? Second, blatantly copying ideas is not really ethical. It’s just lazy. Third, you’re working with a professional designer to create something great. Aren’t you curious to see what awesome things they could make for your brand? Don’t stifle their inspiration. Let it go wild!
Would you go into a restaurant and tell the chef that you’re doing them a favor by bringing your own spice mix? Probably not. Let the designer do the work. If you don’t like they logo they create for you, you can always use the one you designed. But honestly, you probably shouldn’t.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting your designs to stand out and leave a truly memorable impression. But don’t confuse this with a design that is totally and utterly out of this world. For one thing, it is an impossible demand. More importantly, though, your brand’s ads, your website, newsletters or package design, are not meant to shock your target market. They’re meant to stir interest and desire, and as such, they should be engaging and relatable. Originality and innovation are great, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of your marketing success.
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