Two Many Cooks Spoil the Broth
Designers are commonly treated as pixel pushers and are at best considered skilled hands rather than a strategic mind. Clients approach a project with a sense of ownership that is certainly not part of the designers’ motivation to work. And yet, a designer dives deep and adds more value as a professional with a third person objective perspective. This approach offers a clearer view of the project’s worth and worthlessness which only makes the client’s job of bringing the idea to life so much easier. If this was only so…
Slavery vs Service
A man in service of another seeks to embody the spirit of compassion and caring for the well being of another. While a slave only does what is expected of him out of the spirit of suffering and compromise whilst seeking only to survive the ordeal. So as a client, when you seek to hire a designer for your project, remember a free man can offer more value than a slave bound to serve. Your approach will determine the outcome of your interaction and eventually the quality of your product. Since this is an equal business transaction (money for expertise) don’t seek to dominate the equation by bullying the designer into silence or submissiveness.
We live in a society where skilled professionals are respected and sought after. When you visit a doctor for an opinion on your health, you donot walk in with your own diagnosis and ideas of how you wish to be treated. Why then do clients visit a designer with detailed instructions on what needs to be done and how? A designer is a professional who has studied design as an art and science. Would you really like to override his/her expertise with your own ideas? No, this isn’t a tug of war between two egos. The objective is to keep the goal in mind, first and foremost and for this purpose, you ought to allow the professional to do his/her job with your inputs, not your intervention.
Often times, recently more so, clients are well informed of market trends and arrive at a designer’s doorstep with a fixed idea of which trend they wish to emulate. This might give an illusion of security and comfort but you are trapping the designer within the confines of your device. Also it is important to understand that information is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom. You may succeed in creating a clone of the creative trend but by doing so, you have eliminated any possibility of creating something truly unique and epic - maybe even set the trend for future imitators. Give your designer the best gift ever - a blank canvas!
The dynamic between the designer and the client is intimate and intense and this one-sided article only serves to enlighten the client about the mistakes that he/she might make consciously or subconsciously. Try it out and let me know if your interactions with your designer and the resulting works that spawn are improved as a result of this article. I’d be thrilled to know the results of your experiment.
My friend and fellow designer Imnasashi Pradhan suggested I add this quote by Martha Graham
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.