Monday, May 28, 2012

Respecting the Process: Behind the Magic Curtain

I've experienced a level of "unappreciation" for the design process that I believe stems from a lack of understanding from the client POV. All they see is us giving them something after asking for it, and they don't fully experience the time and effort that goes into it behind the curtain. It's a magic trick for them, and that's a good thing. It means we're doing our job right if they see us giving them something amazing. 

One of my favorite blogs for these frustrations is Clients From Hell.It's a collection of shortened client interactions from designers all over the world who experience trouble clients, and more often than not, the difficulty of getting paid for their work. For me, this blog serves as a beacon that I'm not alone in these struggles. It also acts as an outlet for letting off some steam, and enjoying the humor in other people's situations.

Friday, May 18, 2012

How NOT to Ruin Great Design

Working as a self-employed, or freelance designer, I feel like we often forget that we have the ability to fire clients. Too often have I experienced disrespectful requests for large amounts of effort with no intention to pay, or with a severely truncated cost estimate.

This video sums up the feelings that many of my fellow designers experience when faced with challenging scenarios. Not only is it entertaining, but the video itself is artfully created with humor and purpose.

Keep in mind, you make beautiful, useful things everyday, and that is something to smile about.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Inspiration VS Motivation

Having a career that relies on the constant flow of creative juices can take a toll. It can be very difficult to regulate when and how often new ideas come to you, and having writers block for any period of time can mean losing a great client opportunity.

During interviews, I've been asked, "Where do you go for inspiration?" What they're really asking is, "How easily are you able to find new ideas, and keep that creative flow?" It can be costly for an employer to take that risk with someone who is easily drained of those creative juices, but it's often very hard to gauge this.

What they should be more focused on is motivation instead of inspiration. You can have a thousand ideas, but no motivation to do any of them, and that is where the creative flow stops dead. Motivating yourself is something that requires a great deal of will-power and determination that comes from within and is completely self-sustaining.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Remlik's Gives Back Menu Branding

My favorite downtown Binghamton restaurant client, Remlik's Grille & Oyster Bar, recently launched a charity program that required additional branding for marketing the event.

The Remlik's Gives Back event consists of a three-course menu option at a fixed price, of which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Humane Society. More information on the program is available on the Remlik's website, Facebook, and in this brief article from Press Connects.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Power Behind A Great Brand

This is one of my absolute favorite examples of powerful design. When I first came across Unevolved Brands, I was overcome with awe and excitement. To me, this was a perfect example of the power that designers have to make a life-long impression on the minds and lives of people. Graham Smith has taken some of the worlds most recognizable brands and simplified them into unified shapes with their most basic branding identifiers.

What really surprised me, was the fact that, even with these simplified logos in the form of colored circles, they were still VERY identifiable as specific companies and organizations.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Perceived Quality: Presentation vs Product

One of the most important lessons that I have learned as a designer is the very crucial emphasis on how you present your work to clients. At first, I was completely aghast at client feedback and reactions to what I gave them (which was exactly what they asked for), and how there were often huge gaps in communication that resulted in them trying to initiate a design by committee scenario.

If you don't create a firm base of trust and clear communication early in the design process, your client will have a difficult time accepting ideas and designs that you present, regardless of the logic and industry standards that back up those reasons for why you did a certain thing instead of something else.