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Client vs. Designer – The Game of Thrones

Hey… Regarding the call we had yesterday at 2 PM in the afternoon. I really loved your presentation for our brand and even though I said it’s good to go, I still feel we are missing something.

Hey, can you elaborate on that, please?

Nevermind, our in-house design guy will look into it.

Hi! I think it would be best if we keep the current logo as it looks very appealing on our website. My partner in the company also likes its design and says it is a good balance of abstract and realistic. Please ignore my last email and let’s talk about the presentation only.

We’ll be happy to help you! It would be great if you could take some time tomorrow and share all of the feedback/suggestions you may have. That will help us get a solid understanding of what you want – in one go; and help us give you the best results possible.

I’ll be in meetings all day tomorrow but I’ll get back to you after work. Does that work?

Umm.. Okay sure.

He said ‘okay sure’ but we all know he didn’t mean that.

The thread is an accurate representation of ‘client and agency’ relationship. It shines light on the fact that clients very often (due to genuine concerns) get anxious about whether the project would succeed. For that, collaborating with the right agency that values clear communication helps.

It’s essential that both sides understand potholes unique to their situation. When there are undefined roles, unclear objectives and (more than required) written communication, someone is ought to get confused. Like all other relationships, the client-agency relationship too is founded on understanding, trust, and patience – at every step of the way.

Here are 3 easy-to-follow steps for success:

Step #1

Collaborate, not Delegate.

The art of collaborating makes you more receptive to unpopular opinions and unconventional ideas. It paves way for ideas that might challenge yours. And that’s great when it comes to getting the job done in the best way there is. The end goal is to make the project shine, not the differences. When designers don’t understand clients and clients don’t understand designers, it wastes time and may also increase project costs. As much as a client’s opinion is important, so is the designer’s expertise. It’s important that both find a common ground to see great results.

Step #2

Value the Design. And the Designer.

A designer would never (knowingly) allow the client to ruin their own project. That’s why you’ll see designers always keep the context in perspective and expect more detailed briefs. Because at the end, it will not about who was right or wrong, but more about what fit the criteria, and helped achieve the end goal of: form and functionality. That is why it is important for both parties to be on the same page and the follow these questions as a guiding line:

· How will this design appeal to the end-user?

· How will it solve the problem in question?

· How will it benefit the business in the long term?

· How well will it align with the brand identity?

Step #3

Understand that Perfection is Relative.

What the client may deem as perfect, may not actually be. Same goes for the designer. If a client really wants colors on their website, it’s essential that the designer takes note and gives them options, possibilities and more to help them realize their vision. If they think that a certain theme is what they want, go all in. If they send multiple emails with their feedback, patiently understand their needs, and get on a quick call to consolidate the feedback. As a designer, explain any inclusions and exclusions instead of expecting the client to blindly trust your decisions. Client input is essential and helps outcomes be collaborative; and not outsourced.

As brand th3oreticists, we’re in harmony with the aforementioned principles. Here’s our list of clients who can vouch for that. To start (brand)ing your business today, click here.

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