Everyone is told that working with a client can be tricky, yet design schools actively preach the importance of the idea over everything else. I guess, in a perfect world, strong ideas would be able to stand on their own and defend themselves against often ruthless and demanding crowd. However would ‘The Carousel’ seem like such a ground breaking, avant-garde idea without Don’s fantastic pitch that didn’t only leave the Kodak representatives speechless but did the same to Mad Men fans?
Recently I took part in a live brief, which gave my colleagues and I the opportunity sell our idea to the client– an actual client.
For weeks we have been cautiously developing a project that could potentially change the face of the company, improve the marketing strategy and thus increase their position on the market. But it seems that in whirlpool of perfecting the logos, making sure the swoosh on letter ‘K’ looks right or checking the consistency of the colour scheme, many have forgotten to balance two most essential elements. ‘What does the client need, and what do they want?’
Designers often moan about how difficult it is to work with clients, how frequently it seems that they are just unable to understand what is important. Recently I was in frustrating situation, when while asking my boss for an opinion on typographical choices for new promotional campaign, the thing he picked up the most was my non-consumer-friendly files names.
At first, I was confused on just how much our priorities stood apart form each other, but how could they not – we were both talking in different language.
When working in a design environment, it is easy to forget about the fact that people outside your studio probably won’t relate to your typeface dilemmas, layout predicaments and other, similar conundrums – and neither will your client. Therefore it is important to keep the seemingly professional jargon to minimum and concentrate on delivering what clients want and need.
Maybe instead of constantly moaning, like some irritating teenager we should just accept that getting a perfect client is near impossible, and instead we should prepare the delivery of a perfect pitch. Being a salesman in this industry is part of the job, even if it is not within the job description.