Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Diary: The Misconceptions about Designers...

If you are planning to own or already own a business, then you should know that it is imperative to have a great graphic designer by your side. And the relationship between you and your designer will need to be strong and comfortable. As a professional designer, I have experienced and heard of many scenarios through clients and fellow designers. I thought it would be a good idea to clear up some of the misconceptions that are associated with our profession.

1. Ideas are instantaneous: I believe this is a common misconception with any creative field. Most of the time art comes from inspiration, so it may take a trip to the store or a walk through the park to come up with a solid creation. Our mind doesn't automatically generate a creation instantly. Allow your designer to take in your notes and have a few moments or even a day to think of a concept.

2. We don't take constructive criticism: When a designer disputes a change or a client's idea, most of the time it is seen as he/she is being a "know-it-all." A seasoned designer usually knows what works for your audience. Yes, you are paying for a design and you want what you want, but sometimes your vision or idea may hinder potential business for your company. Your favorite hot pink color on a flyer may not work if you are targeting a male and female audience. A designer passionate about their work will try to persuade you to choose a more logical design. Not only is the person a designer, but they are also thinking as a consumer. It is fine to share your ideas, however allow the designer to do their job as well.

3. We MUST work 24/7 and on your project only: Although most designers (including myself) work more than they sleep, we are still human beings. We like to sleep in on Saturdays, we like to post a Facebook status every now and then, and we like to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner too. In fact some of my clients are probably wondering why and how I took the time to write this lengthy post lol :o) Know your designer's official work hours. If you received an email at 3:00am from him/her one day, it does not mean they MUST work on your project at that time on another day.

4. Simple projects should be cheaper: Design work is normally priced with quotes and some designers have set prices. A simple letter logo may look easy but from what I experience, the simple projects usually take more work and time. Don't associate price with simplicity, when in fact it takes more time to make it look so simple.

5. We overcharge: Like with most hands-on work, you are charged by the time and labor. However, aside from those expenses, we also have charges with photos, fonts, and other designing essentials. Always remember that marketing and branding is a representation of yourself as well as your company, so the investment is definitely worth it. I find that people who go with extremely cheap designers are usually left dissatisfied. They usually have to spend MORE money hiring another designer to redesign what they initially paid for.

6. We are just twiddling our thumbs: The #1 complaint that I hear is that a designer is taking too long. The 1st thing that I ask when I hear that complaint is "Did you give them a deadline?" Most of the time they have not. You cannot expect your designer to know that your project was needed last week if it was not communicated. Also know that projects and project times are unpredictable. The project ahead of yours may have required more time or work. Give yourself and your designer enough time ahead of your deadline to produce a great creation.

Hopefully this post has changed your perception about designers. A positive and comfortable relationship is important for the designer as well as the client. I would love to hear your feedback! Please follow my blog to comment, or email me at

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