Graphic Design is not 'playing'. Graphic Design is a business tool that exists to enhance communication of ideas, messages and thoughts. A professional design firm knows the importance of turning clients into partners in the process and show them how to see design as an investment for their long-term business goals. Design firms need to think more like consultants and less like Wal-mart: "Attention All Customers: book cover designs can be found in isle 3, Websites found in isle 8... "
A designer should always consider the client and the business goal the project is meant to achieve. Increase knowledge for a new product? Gain entry into a new, key market? Enhance the company’s branding to attract more upscale clients? Perhaps in finding the answers to these questions it will be revealed that a press kit is a better solution for the client. A DVD presentation? An Infomercial? Perhaps a website? A video? Maybe a combination of all of the above?
A professional designer will listen more and perhaps learn more about their clients’ business and goals and involve them into the PROCESS of their design. When discussing a series of ideas, a design firm should talk about the merits of the design as it relates to their clients business. The logic of the color scheme in the context of their branding goals needs to be discussed.
It is impossible to build a partnership without trust. Clients need to know and feel that the designer they have chosen to work with has the client’s interests at heart. If the client makes a suggestion that the designer knows or believe to be counter productive to the overall project goals, it is important to let them know why their suggestion is impractical.
Finally, a design firm should maintain their personal satisfaction for private ventures--their goal is to serve their clients satisfactorily. A client once told me about a designer he worked with in the past who INSISTED that the client cut copy on a brochure they were designing.
When this client inquired why it was so important to cut the copy, the designer informed him that his layout already worked perfectly with the Greek text that had been in there previously during the comps phase. The real text that the client had submitted was too long and would require an extensive re-work of his layout. The clients’ only response to the request was one that would make Donald Trump proud-- “You’re FIRED!"
The best to each of you and may your journey be enlightening, encouraging and educational!