“I need a logo, I know how I want it, I just need that you -who are a designer and can draw- make it, so it looks nice….” Many times I’ve been told similar phrases or I’ve heard cases where the client already knows exactly how should be his project. But you ever thought if these people really need a designer?
Reading articles related to these cases, I found one from an Irish designer (David Airey) that made me aware of something so obvious, but for being immersed in the designer’s day-to-day where such phrases are common, I haven’t had think about it. It’s that this client doesn’t require a designer.
If you’re a designer you must have a clue about why you’re not suitable for this type of work. Otherwise, if you ever thought of hiring a designer to make the design you already have in mind, let me tell you why you don’t need him: because you already have your problem solved. You just need someone who can handle design software to capture the idea that you already have in mind.
Designer’s work value
The work of a designer goes beyond the aesthetic as it involves an investigation and analysis process prior to the creative phase (yes, believe it or not). The purpose is that the result really answer the needs that each project suggests. In this process are included: meetings with the client to define the brief, which tell us about the goals of the project, its audience, the competition and other relevant market information; the analysis of that information, to establish the type of piece to design, the appropriate media to disseminate it and the concept to establish a general graphic design style; and finally, to know the state of art of similar projects, to be informed of what has already been done so we don’t think that we’re innovating in a field previously explored.
This applies to all areas of design as editorial design and branding, which require a time for this important pre creative stage process, otherwise the result will be superficial, without a conceptual basis linked to your market, neither clear objectives and, in the worst case, incoherent; so eventually you will have to invest more money to repair these flaws.
Basic plan or Premium?
Another conditions that often the client establishes to the possible designer of the project, is that the design should be nice, cheap “and if it’s possible for today.” Well, unfortunately for our profession, there are many companies and freelancers who offer quick solutions and sometimes promise more than they can actually do. The first ones maybe because they can afford to make their employees work beyond normal working hours, paying them low salaries; and the second ones because (going back to the introduction subject) manage design software, and gladly will do exactly what you have in mind, as it involves no effort. All these “design firms and designers” think that making quick and mediocre work for little money is good business, and the customer is satisfied because he is “always right”. But as I said earlier, possibly the result isn’t 100% effective and sooner or later you will have to improve it or do it again.
Perception vs. reality
Good and beautiful things are relative, it depends on the taste of each person and how we perceive the world. Hence the importance of the preliminary process to design; know your audience, your competition, your market and you’ll have more chances that your project is successful.
On the other hand, cheap things are determined by your income capacity and it’s something that you can evaluate, since you’re investing in a service that is supposed to give you much in return in the long term. Believe me, if it’s fast and cheap won’t be good, and if you are looking for fast and good can’t be cheap. So put on a balance these conditions and define what is really what you are looking for.