The client and designer relationship

Designer and clients is like a two way relationship. All it needs is to understand one another and if the preliminary “test out jobs” are working well, you can be certain that more will return.

But before we reach to this stage, many bad things can happen. Clients’ expectations not met, due to poor understanding of the brief, or poor quality of work/attitude; or clients themselves can be too strong headed and unwilling to listen to advises/suggestions, the list can go on.

Perhaps to avoid the clashes, the first thing the designer needs to ask it this:

  • Do you want me to be in control and oversee the entire work?
  • Or do you want me to assist you and bringing your ideas to life?
  • Or, do you want me to just sit down, do the work and follow exactly what you want me to do?

How your client would answer that depends on how well you present yourself and how good your portfolio projects your image and professionalism.

In a designer’s point of view, a client should understand the following:

  1. When you hire me, it’s because you trust my work.
  2. I hope you will look into my suggestions as being into the field of work for many, many years, but most importantly, I am here to help.
  3. Like painting, or even building a house, a design work is first built upon a concept, followed by its preliminary “layers”. As the process goes deeper, it will be refined to its finished form. So expect the first draft to be raw, but expect the final work to be refined. If you expect the first draft to be refined, you could land into some problems at later stage of being overdeveloped.
  4. Moreover, an idea or concept needs to grow in you. Expecting something to finish in the early stage without your participation you will not see it “grow” and thus you will not able to sell this concept itself to your customers, or partners. It goes to this saying – if you own something without really being part of it, you will easily discard it because you find no value in it.

Now, in a client’s point of view, these are important because it can really be a turn off:

  1. I expect the person I am dealing with to be humble, and most of all, dedicate his work and solving my creative problems efficiently. No bad attitudes please.
  2. I expect the work not to be delayed and if you do, please give me a valid reason, and ALWAYS in advance. Do not play missing in action because that can very unprofessional.
  3. If you don’t understand my brief, ask me immediately and not until it is 1-2 weeks later.
  4. I trust you and please don’t cheat by stealing ideas from elsewhere when I have specifically wanted something original.

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