While I was quite literally right in the middle of writing what I was planning on writing for this weeks post, I took a break. I decided to check out a designer whose work I really love and see what he has been doing. While browsing through his recent work I noticed a few shirts for a band I recently saw in concert, one of my favorite bands. When I was at this concert with a friend of mine, we went over to the merch tent. I fully anticipated that I would buy at least one shirt, possibly two since they are one of my favorites. When we got there, I looked at the selection and said to my friend, “Man, who designs this stuff? These, are not good.” The designs were uninteresting, unintentional, and frankly, boring. So I left feeling disappointed that whatever hack they hired just ruined my souvenir shirt-buying experience and I left empty-handed.
Discovering that one of my all-time favorite apparel designers was the one who designed these shirts was seriously the worst. “Oh (name of designer intentionally left out), how the mighty have fallen”, I thought to myself. I just couldn’t believe how someone who does some of the most amazing apparel work I’ve seen do work that would make me think that he, of all people, was indeed, a hack?
The only thing that could explain this for me is something I like to call, “client interference”. It had to be… Now I can’t verify this of course but that’s why it’s my theory. Maybe he was just having an off design day, it happens to all of us. We phone it in knowing that our client will be happy with whatever we give them. Or we hit a creative wall where we try our hardest and all we get is mediocre at best, so we send that off and breathe a sigh of relief when it’s approved so now we can move on to anything but that last project. Then there is “client interference “. Client interference isn’t client input, it isn’t a specific client request before you start your design process.
And even if they don’t mind paying extra for the changes, by the time they are “happy” with the design, it barely resembles the work you did before. It doesn’t feel like you’re style, it has no vision-no soul.
- One way, is to remind the client in the friendliest, most professional way, that you were hired to solve a problem for them and point out how your design is that solution.
- Another way, before making design aesthetic altering changes, is to point out that any more changes will change the direction of the design, and that the direction you provided them is their best solution.
- Lastly, of course, is to tactfully let them know that it’s possible that you are not the designer for them. Figure out the payment they owe you for the work you’ve done, and move on—they are not your kind of “people”.