By: Steve Baldwin, Senior Art Director
Noted author and graphic designer Ellen Shapiro once said, “We love to change minds and influence people, and add joy and interest to the environment. We want people to be better informed, have an easier time finding their way around, and be visually delighted.”
Truly, these are the things graphic designers do and the reason they go to work every day. But accomplishing these things requires not just the artist’s satisfaction with his or her work, but the client’s satisfaction as well. And to achieve that mutual level of satisfaction means that certain things must happen while traveling down the road of design.
The most important is good communication – both before and during the process. While we, the artists, must be certain to ask all the right questions regarding project needs, timelines and budgets, clients must be sure to clearly express their desires, targets and criteria for measuring success. Until we have all this information, we cannot effectively begin to establish the proper look and feel for a job. And the better these objectives are communicated, the better the outcomes.
But it doesn’t stop there. When projects are started, we establish separate timelines for copy, layout, proofing, revisions, printing and production. We need clients to understand what a critical link they play in meeting these deadlines. Questions need to be answered in a timely manner. Proofs and mock-ups need to be reviewed quickly. Approvals must be expedited. A delay in any of these steps will ultimately affect the project’s completion date. This help in the design process can assure a higher level of satisfaction for everyone involved.
Once these very important factors are considered, communicated and adhered to, then our true job of “influencing people” can begin.