It’s always great to work with clients that have an incredible optimism and energy towards their new venture. Yet sometimes there are clients with a bad enthusiasm. They approach an agency or freelancer with the wishes of having a funky logo that stands out and can communicate all the dreams, aspirations and intentions they have. These goals are great, though naive, but that energy is much needed for great brands to form. It is when working alongside certain clients their eagerness tends to get in the way of these aims. Designers are thought to make pretty pictures, and their work to be about their preference of aesthetics. Often, when designers have been hired their skill set in visual communication is overlooked, which if otherwise utilized ultimately means sales.
Business owners often want their logo to communicate all the dreams they have, however they do not understand the intricacies of how brands work, ie; what the function of a logo is, or how the visual elements applied consistently create the identification of the brand, etc. Much like a person who goes to the mechanic and tells him that the fuel pump needs changing because they are convinced it is causing their car to stall. Or a patient that goes to the doctor to ask the doctor for medication because they are out of breath after walking upstairs. The hopeful client will steer the ship off course if designers are inexperienced or become apathetic.
Clients are never blind to great brands nor great design, however, they are unaware of why things work and why others don’t. And during the design process, with this obliviousness, the options with the most potential to solve the intentions of the client are often discarded. There are, however, designers who can preempt a client’s unintentional self-sabotage, they are, however, far and few in between and more pricey. But perhaps more cost-effective in the long term.
For the business owner to separate the wheat from the chaff may be a challenge. Perhaps first and foremost they need to see the profession as a language and the designer as someone who speaks that language. It may not be entirely impossible to know whether they can create grammatical sentences and use this language to communicate abstract concepts being uneducated on it, but just like how communication between people is mostly nonverbal, design has a ‘body-language’, so to speak, that communicates tacitly, and the effects are always apparent.
For a client to make the most when collaborating with a designer, to maximize the potential for the best solution, one should trust they have their goals in mind. It is not easy to articulate and provide a rationale for every detail or give a crash course on why things have been done or point out that there is an intention to what seems like an arbitrary configuration. Especially, since designers are not trained on such things and tend to be visually and conceptually inclined and solitary. Much like how doctors and mechanics tend to not discuss nor debate their courses of action. The process of branding and solving design challenges is best when the enthusiasm of the client does not restrict the process of the designer but fuels it. That is a whole other post but there is a balancing act of control and trust, once the creative or agency has been found.
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