Designers: Ask & It Shall Be Given Unto You

Ok. I haven’t written anything that goes directly for my graphic design demographic in some time and  I will be remedying that tonight. After writing all those mini articles I feel lazy, but I think this is something that I need to write about.

Now, as graphic designers, our job is to use what info the clients give us to create the perfect graphic to sell the client’s idea right? Now that’s all well and good, but what if you have one of those clients who just says hey I need x done. Just make it look good. Ok sure, what’s the info? Then they hit you with a brick wall. It’s as if some of these clients expect you to create something out of nothing.

This is what they expect to receive right?

Over the last couple years I have realized that there are some clients who expect to give you less than the bare minimum and expect the Sistine Chapel as the result. I realized that there is a quick work-a-round for this and all you have to do is ask a few questions. It is basically one main question with multiple support questions.

What is the product?

What are you trying to sell? Let’s say for example the client says home entertainment (not so awesome answer but one I actually have received a couple times before). You now know that there may be some electronics involved so you might start to have some images flash in your mind. However, please bear in mind that a vague answer like that can result in you doing up a complete design only to have the client then tell you that’s not what they had in mind or that’s not what they do.

What we need to do at this point is to use some support questions to draw the information out.

A little patience makes for great tea…and designs.

Ask them to be specific and let them know that unless you understand fully what the concept/product is, you won’t be able to produce a good design. Please, do not proceed until you understand. It is better for this stage to be lengthy now than for you to dive headlong into the project only to find out a few days in that you dove into the wrong pool.

Something’s missing here…

You should of course find out what’s the message the company is looking to send. Top quality? Fast turnaround time? Everything you can expect from a good company…and more? The aim of the graphic designer is to create a piece or set of pieces which tell a story, or send a message to the target audience. Have you ever tried telling a story with no words or movements? That’s graphic design without a message…doesn’t sound interesting does it?

You should strive to ensure that you do everything in your power to get the client to open up for you about the type of products, company philosophy and message to be sent as these are intrinsic to you designing an image that evokes emotions in customers.

Remember, if you don’t do this from the onset, it is you who will be left to suffer in the end.


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