Back when I was a young designer straight out of school, I used to get so offended when clients would have something negative to say about my work. It was one thing to have a fellow designer or professor critique my work…but a client? What do they know about design?
I wish I could go back and smack my former self…hard. Because today, I look at criticism as an opportunity to improve and collaborate. Clients truly bring out my best work.
Don’t get me wrong—there are certainly the “make the logo bigger” moments. And I will defend anything I feel especially strong about or educate clients in design fundamentals when necessary (typography, color, contrast, etc.). But if a design doesn’t appeal to my clients, it won’t appeal to their audience.
Today, I make every effort to listen to their criticism and try to find a way to either incorporate their ideas or address their concerns. I look at any negative critique like a problem that has a solution.
The truth is that clients will bring out the best in your work if you listen and let them. Making the client happy and improving your design don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And in the end when you’re both happy and you’re fully invested in the work.
Can you hear me Liz from 15 years ago?! =)
working with clients • typography • pomp creative • graphic design studio • washington, dc • annapolis, maryland