First off, let me start by saying most clients DO NOT have this type of feedback. As a designer, I have come across some of the most interesting clients in the world, both good and bad. Most of my clients are wonderful and a delight to work with!! However, some clients have some of the most gear grinding feedback that to which every designer can relate. In the spirit of being helpful I have listed 8 types of feedback that designers the world over hate hearing. Please, take note, and don’t be your designers worst nightmare when it comes to project feedback.
1.) “I like what you did. But what we’re really looking for is [unrelated thing]…”
Some clients know what they want. And then there are some clients who rack their brains around a concept that they think should represent their company. Some of those concepts should really be shown the round file (aka, wastebasket). For example, there’s nothing more frustrating than doing a design for a farming company and they come back with … “well were were actually wanting this giraffe riding a unicycle as our logo because my niece drew it and she really wants it to be the logo.” No. That has nothing to do with farming. Then, you have to explain the process of why this would not fit their brand, and in the end waste more time that could be used to actually design a good brand for their company. Trust your designer. They most likely know what they’re doing.
2.) “When I said ‘Just do your thing,’ … I was really thinking …”
Now, I’m not one to be put in a poor mood easily. However, when a client comes back with this response it really grinds my gears. Especially when I took about 2-3 hours to create 4-6 different concepts for their company. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really upset me as much as it does confuse the living brain cells out of me. It just boggles my mind. Why would a client ask me to use my creative judgement, then turn around and say something like, “no no no, all wrong. This is actually what I had in mind from the start.” If they knew what they wanted to begin with, why wouldn’t they just explain it right off the bat to allow the design process to run more smoothly. Always give your designer as much information as you possibly can before they start the design. Otherwise, your designer is going to waste a lot of time and money.
3.) “This ‘logo’ is just letters. I could have done that.”
This response makes me laugh, honestly. Some clients do not know the true value of good design. For starters, let me just say that as designers we do not just put something there because it looks “pretty.” Every aspect of a design, every line, shape, box, and point has a purpose. Nothing is random. Just because something is “just letters” does not mean that the client could’ve put those letters in a specific orientation to portray a direct message and an accurate representation of their brand. Font choice is a big deal with professional designers. Again, its best to have a serious discussion prior to the project to go over your brand. This will help your designer know what kind of font to choose.
4.) “I’ll know what I want when I see it.”
There isn’t quite a response that is more unproductive than this one. Not only does this kind of response leave us (the designer) in a constant curious stage as to what it is exactly that you want, but it also holds up productivity. When I design a logo for a company I usually create four to six (4-6) different concepts for the client to choose from, then, we start to narrow down the options to find the final concept. However, if I provide a client with four to six (4-6) concepts and they come back with “Ill know it when I see it” I’m sort of left in the dark like … okay? This starts the process all over again, and if they keep coming back to the same response, it results in more money the client will have to dish out for more concepts/redesigns/mock ups, etc., therefore, resulting in more time on the designers hands. Give your designer as much feedback as possible so you aren’t wasting their time, and yours.
5.) “I thought you were good at this.”
This sort of feedback is a little aggravating. Granted, there are some “designers” out there that are really nothing more than “graphic designer wanna-bes”. Before meeting with a designer, ask to look at their portfolio. Ask them about the nature of the project and the story behind the brand. The back story is just as important than what you see in the design itself. Most good designers have gone to school to hone their craft. They’re professionals in every sense of the word. Be nice to your designer. They really are good at what they do. Communication is the key in working with your designer. The future of your companies brand is in their hands.
6.) “My wife likes it in this other font I found.”
Ahh yes. However, your wife did not go to design school. She didn’t spend 10+ years to develop an affinity for the art of design. And she probably doesn’t know how to properly choose a complimenting font to the design that best represents your brand. Yes, your wife’s’ opinion matters to me. No, I’m not trying to be mean. I’m just simply stating that your wife’s’ pick might not be the overall best choice of font for this design, and your companies brand.
7.) “So I want this logo to feel modern and trendy, but also classic at the same time. I want to capture the timelessness of film-making while showing that we are always at the forefront of new technologies. But I definitely don’t want it to be too busy.”
Please, do not be this type of client. Lets rewind and think clearly for a moment on exactly what you are wanting to achieve with your design. When you approach your designer for an idea that you have, don’t muddle it all up by throwing a confusing blob of word goo at them. We are not magicians. The design a designer puts out for you is only as good as the information that you provide. Don’t confuse us right off the bat. Come out swinging with something in mind that is a little more thought out. A blank piece of paper is a great place to start. In our office we have started some great design concepts on a blank whiteboard. Stay focused. Stay creative.
8.) “I really like what you did. But can you change [everything about it]?”
Last but not least … is this response. This one relates back to the first response. Some clients know what they want. And some just really don’t. If you come to your designer and ask for a logo and they give you a couple concepts with what you had said you had wanted done, give them feedback based on the concepts that they have provided you. Don’t ask them to completely redesign the concepts just because it really wasn’t what you had in mind to begin with, especially if you really had no clue on what you wanted. Just trust your designer, and be careful what kind of feedback you have. Who knows, you might find the things that you say to your designer will find their way into a blog post about feedback designers hate hearing. Smile. Always trust your designer. Good designers know what they are doing.
Are you a designer? Care to share some client stories with me?
Are you a client that can relate to this article? Care to confess your ways?
Leave me some comment love people. I promise to reply back.