content is king

Designers v. Clients: Does this mean War?

The simple answer is no!

I have found with my numerous meeting with clients, that they have the impression that design and designers work only on computer. This may be because of the intrinsic link between the term Graphics and computers. The truth is that designers are Artists and the computer is but one of the mediums that we use. Often I have heard Designers immediately go on the offensive due to this misunderstanding, causing tension between them and the client from the start, with the designer treating the client like they know nothing at all.

I always use a pencil and paper to create my initial designs, and i will go through several iterations in this manner before I go anywhere near my computer. When my clients are presented with these sketched designs, they all seem genuinely shocked that I ‘Still’ use paper and pencil and that the designs are not print-outs. However having kept my calm and let the client finnish before i go on the offensive, I find that they like this as it gives the design a sense of personality.

I have found that if I explain my process and the fact that the term “Graphic design” was first coined before computers were ever invented let alone used for this type of work, (Back in 1922 Morris Fuller Benton first used the term), and all work at that time was created by an artist sat in front of a sheet of paper and painstakingly created. and the style is still evolving even now. My clients have far more respect and knowledge of the process and the work that goes into creating their graphics. And we get on a lot better and the work reflects this.

I am quite a traditionalist when it comes to the creation of works for my clients. I find that my best work comes when I include a sense of personality in a piece, and I find that i can achieve this more effectively when I sit with a client, paper and pencil and just start sketching. The feedback that I have had from these clients is that they feel more attached to the final product as they had played an active role in its creation.

Amongst this feedback I have also taken notice of another slightly worrying trend.

“I was so pleased to actually meet with my designer, it is not something I have had the option of before with some of the larger companies.” now I don’t want to imply that all larger agencies lack a personal touch, but obviously those that my clients have used in the past have made them feel less than valued.

So to summarize, designers need to engage more with their clients and explain the process and workflow they employ and even get their clients more involved in the process. And to those future Graphic Design clients, Please remember that most designers are artists and take their craft seriously, please do not dismiss their input out of hand.