Stripes

5 Things To Never Say To Your Designer

5 Things To Never Say To Your Designer

As I said, I've been in the 'trade' for about 13 years now and have seen a lot of design trends change and listened to some weird and wonderful requests.  However, even after all these years, I still get the same requests and even see the junior designers looking at me in disbelief that some people would say such a thing.

Here's a run down of some of the classics.

"Make my logo bigger"

This is first on the list because almost every client asks for their logo to be made bigger.  I always respond with the same answer: "Why?" and their answer is usually along the lines of "I want them to notice it" or "I want them to remember it".  

My argument is that by the time Rachel from Bangor has searched for 'Wedding Cakes', scrolled down Google, looked at each name of the company, click your web address which will no doubt be www.your-business-name.com and gets to the site she doesn't actually care about your logo.  By the time Rachel has got to your site, it's time to sell your product to her, not shove your logo down her throat.

Don't get me wrong - a good logo is important but when selling a product or offering a service, our friend Rachel will not choose you over someone else because your logo is bigger, she will choose you becuase she found the product and information she wanted quickly, easily and with no fuss or drama.

Everyone wants to compare their image/brand to Apple.  Take a look at everything Apple do - their logo is the smallest thing on the page/product because in reality no-one cares about the actual logo but the quality of product they purchase.

Make my website POP

"I want it to POP"

I don't even know where to start with this one.  It's an industry joke that all designers are in on when a client asks for their website to 'pop' or give them the 'wow factor'.  Do you really think those words mean anything to us?  

I've said it before and I will say it again (and again, and again), if you try and make everything stand out (or 'pop') then nothing will stand out.  The design process is so much more than just putting pictures and words on a blank canvas.  There's a hierarchy when it comes to content on your page and any good designer will take this into consideration when creating your masterpiece.

Sometimes we use dark images in the header of your site and overlay some text.  What's more important - the text that says 'Buy Now' or the placeholder image in the background that means nothing?  If the image was brighter, the text wouldn't stand out and all of a sudden you just have a big image with some words that have no meaning or purpose.

The 'P' word is officially banned from here on!

Customers Eyes

"You aren't seeing through the customers eyes"

You may be wondering why this point annoys us designers so much.  I'll tell you why - because any decent designer doesn't have tunnel vision.  Part of our research and creative process is to find out who your target market is and what their needs and desires will be.

More often than not, it is actually the client themselves who is not seeing the business as a customer because they are simply too close to it and know everything about it.  This isn't a bad thing at all, in fact, it's a really good thing that can help shape the information architecture but please don't think we havent taken into account the user base.

"Sure it only took you 15mins, why do I have to pay?"

I was tempted to put this one to the top of the list but thankfully, it doesn't happen too often.  There seems to be a strange thinking when it comes to our industry that 'sure anyone could do it'.  When I get asked to 'fit it in at the end of the day' or 'it's just a quick one' it rattles my cage.  

It may only take me 5 or 10 minutes to complete a task but the reason it takes me 5 or 10 minutes is due to my 10+ years in the industry along with my University degree which took 4 years and immersing myself in the industry every day of life.  It would be like asking a car mechanic just to quickly change the spark plugs in your car because it takes him 10mins.  It only takes him 10mins because he has the tools, experience and knowledge.  

"It's not very me"

Finally, the good old Northern Ireland small minded mentality.  It's suprisingy the amount of people who ask for their corporate brand to reflect them as a person.  Maybe it's as simple as a colour change to purple because they're a girl or put a star in the logo because they're into astronomy.  I'll let you in to a little secret - your clients don't give a rats ass.

OK, maybe that's a little harsh, it can be important to reflect you as a person in your brand if you are 'the brand' for example, a personal trainer or wedding planner but anyone who has any number of employees and wants their business to have a corporate look and feel need to detach themselves directly from the brand you are trying to create.  Keep your personal interests out of your business (unless your business is your personal interest but that opens up a whole different can of worms!).