When designer and client don’t agree

posted by Lauren Rauseo on: 07/24/12 in category: design | tags: , ,

It happens. Sometimes I create something so beautiful and captivating, and although I’m sure that everyone who lays eyes on it will love it instantaneously, the one person (or small group of people who make up a review committee) who is supposed to sing its praises and tell me it’s my best work ever — that’s the one who doesn’t like it. It employs the wrong style, uses the wrong color scheme, evokes the wrong feeling, or [insert a number of other reasons why it’s just not what they were looking for].

What does a designer do in this scenario? On one hand, my client is paying me to create something for them, whether it’s a postcard, a flyer or an entire website. They should certainly get a final product that they are happy with, right? Of course, right.

But aren’t they also paying me for my expertise, my creative eye, and my professional opinion? If I say the logo is too big in the dimensions they’re requesting, the stock image they chose is so clip-arty it looks like it belongs on a second-grader’s birthday invitation, or the font they are suggesting is illegible, doesn’t my assessment matter? I’m the designer, aren’t I?

I have struggled with this dilemma a few times in my career as a freelancer, and when the client-designer-disagreement monster rears its ugly head, I try to step back and look at the situation from an outside perspective (as much as I can do so from the inside, that is).

Once I can pinpoint what it is that is not floating the client’s boat, it’s much easier to make adjustments to the piece. My goal is always to turn in a project that not only the client is thrilled about, but also one that I’m proud to put my name on. And that is what I call a win-win.

About the Author

Lauren Rauseo is your one-stop shop for print design, websites, HTML email, and more. When she's not busy working on client projects, Lauren enjoys running, doing yoga, drinking a soy white mocha, and having a dance party in the living room with her kids. Shake it off, people, just shake it off.

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Win-win: When the client is happy AND the designer is happy.
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