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Old 07-17-2006, 01:57 PM   #1
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How to deal with a designer

This is from here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/ post it on your wall and send it to clients anonymously.

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sign efforts and ads... while others languish in mediocrity? I think it has little to do with who they hire and a lot to do with how they work with their agencies and designers.

Here are the things your design team wishes you would know:

1. If you want average (mediocre) work, ask for it. Be really clear up front that you want something beyond reproach, that's in the middle of the road, that will cause no controversy and will echo your competition. It'll save everyone a lot of time.
2. On the other hand, if you want great work, you'll need to embrace some simple facts:
3. It's going to offend someone. If it doesn't offend them, then it will make them nervous. The Vietnam Vets memorial offended a lot of people. The design of Google made plenty of people nervous. Great work from a design team means new work, refreshing and remarkable and bit scary.
4. It's not going to be easy to sell to your boss. That's your job, by the way, not mine. If you want me to do something great, you've got to be prepared to protect it and defend it. Come back too many times for one little compromise, and you'll make it clear that #1 was what you wanted all along.
5. You can't tell me you'll know it when you see it. First, you won't. Second, it wastes too much time. Instead, you'll need to have the patience to invest twenty minutes in accurately describing the strategy. That means you need to be abstract (what is this work trying to accomplish) resistant to pleasing everyone (it needs to do this, this and that) and willing, if the work meets your strategic goal, to embrace it even if it's not to your taste.
6. Help me out by pointing out the work you'd like this to be on a peer with. If you want a website to be like three others (in tone, not in execution) then point it out. In advance.
7. Be clear about dates and costs. Not what you hope for, but what you can live with!
8. You don't know a lot about accounting so you don't backseat drive your accountant. You hired a great designer, please don't backseat drive here, either.
9. If you want to be part of the process, please go to school. Read design magazines or take a course from Milton Glaser or get a subscription to Before & After. By the way, that one link is the single best part of this post.
10. This one may surprise you: don't change your existing design so often. Not when your kids or your colleagues tell you it's time. Do it when your accountant says so.
11. Don't get stressed about your logo.
12. Get very stressed about user interface and product design. And your packaging.
13. Say thank you.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:15 PM   #2
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r nelson is just really nicer nelson is just really nicer nelson is just really nicer nelson is just really nicer nelson is just really nice

"I'll know it when I see it." That's awesome!
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:32 PM   #3
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Heard that a million times over the years. It's usually the point at which I go back to the studio, get on the phone or send out a rash of e-mail, and get a new client to replace that bozo!
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:48 PM   #4
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gawd, yes.
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:32 PM   #5
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Hot Damn, YES!
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:52 PM   #6
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mmm hmm
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:11 PM   #7
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I recently heard "Why don't you send me a half dozen, and I'll pick one". Yeah, that was nice.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:59 AM   #8
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That was so true, its painful. A co-worker thought of a good way to avoid doing several finished designs for a client: tell them that you cant go to a restaurant, order 3-5 different dishes but paying just for one, the one you like the best.

Also, marketing people who think theyre as good at advertising as creative people in an ad agency piss me off. If you were that good, youd be working in an ad agency already, motherfuckers!

And yes, this thread reminds me once again, why Im not working in advertising any more.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:31 AM   #9
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I'm actually through to the final stages of a design jon (in-house) of a marketing company. They sent me a brief to complete in order to see whose of the three candidates was best. I got over halfway through. Then they sent me another.

After calling, e-mailing and... well... stressing, I finally got a response.

"Yeah, I *think* you have to do both briefs. I think that would be best."

Oh, hell.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:33 AM   #10
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I recently stopped doing design work, outside of comics, because people are insane. I usually do a couple rough sketches just to keep my client from getting to crazy. Usually I make the one I like best stand out big time and they usually pick it.

But yeah, I've had people do the same thing. Make me a whole bunch. Riiight... why don't you build me six porches and then I'll decide which one I want. Good luck selling the other ones to clients, who have houses that they won't fit.
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:26 AM   #11
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With this all being said - there is nothing worse than a designer thinking the sun shines out of their ass and that the great Buddha himself came down from limbo in his gold encrusted chariot and touched them ever so slightly on the forehead, thus making them the only artist in the world truly touched by greatness and as such they deign to never change their "art" for the lowly client who just pays the bills.

In all honesty, if one of my designers ever gave one of our clients that sort of lip I would call the wrath of a small cyclone upon him.
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmycakes
I recently stopped doing design work, outside of comics, because people are insane. I usually do a couple rough sketches just to keep my client from getting to crazy. Usually I make the one I like best stand out big time and they usually pick it.

But yeah, I've had people do the same thing. Make me a whole bunch. Riiight... why don't you build me six porches and then I'll decide which one I want. Good luck selling the other ones to clients, who have houses that they won't fit.
i do three mock ups, if we're talking logos and things like that. not finished, but roughs. i work 3 revisions into the original contract, anything more than that they pay for. if you hit the client with "this is how i work" right up front, they tend to respect you more, and no get totally crazy.
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