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Customer wants to change design

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by tallicaaa, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. tallicaaa

    tallicaaa New Member


    just some advice really not sure if this a relevant forum or not but here goes.

    I regularly do graphics for clients. From logos, flyers, business cards to web design.
    Most of the time things are great but sometimes the customer has a bit too much input for my liking and the design ends up being ruined by the customer.

    What am I supposed to do? I never see professional big-brand logos or designs looking rubbish so how do i tell my customer that they don't know what they're talking about and my design is the best option.

    I know a lot of you are probably thinking that my designs are the problem but i assure you they're not. i always get professional opinions on my designs anyway just to make sure they're good enough.

    i think some customers just like to have involvement but i don't think it would be right telling them that they are wrong and they are best leaving it to me.

    I hope i haven't came across in a arrogant way because i'm not, i'm just genuinely worried about designs being affected badly by a customer.

    How does it work guys, what should i do?

    Many thanks! :icon_smile:
  2. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    I am very interested in people's answers to this or indeed if anyone can come up with a one-size-fits-all solution because each job and customer is different. Some can bend with some gentle persuasion and others just will not budge and you end up doing what they want to get the job finished... And I don't really like doing that either.

    We have one website we did with the MD of a decorating firm who wanted to have a site that appealed to the area of where near us where the big, expensive houses are. Not super-posh but nice, Victorian and Georgian, upper middle-class homes. I carefully researched and took some nice design cues from some of the upper-end stores etc and pulled together (what I think is) a really nice website, complete with a classy logo.

    The customer loved the website and thought I'd really hit the mark as far as target audience goes. But then he came back with his own logo! It looks like something designed in the 70s. It really sticks out like a sore thumb on the page and ruins all the work I put in IMO. He said 'this is the logo people know us for' as if they are Nike and we'd threatened to take away their tick! It really is a totally non-descript logo that looks like every other dated logo out there.

    We ended up having to go with it in the end as he insisted. Needless to say you won't find this website in our portfolio but the customer went away happy.

    So, story over but I do wonder if I could have handled it differently.

    Oh well, you live/you learn :icon_wink:

    'tallicaaa ruuuuuule btw :icon_biggrin:
  3. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    The important thing is to know what you are talking about. Clients have needs that need to be met, they need to communicate messages and so forth, and it isn't your job to decide what the message is. Your job is to put it across. If you really know your work is good, you know why it is good. If you know why your work is better than what your client wants, you know how to talk him round. If you don't, you probably don't understand what you are doing.
  4. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I go with that. You need to make the point to your client that you are the professional and it is your job to offer the best advice that you can. If you feel that what they are asking will be to the detriment of the design then you tell them, and you tell them in detail why.

    When it comes down to it they are paying you to work for them. The way we play it here is to tell them that we feel it will not benefit the design by doing what they are asking, we then tell them why, and finish by saying 'but it is your work and if you want us to incorporate your ideas then of course we will'. That then puts the ball firmly in their court. If it goes wrong then you tell them that you did warn them.

    And if they want it reversed after seeing what a mess they've made of it, charge them! :icon_biggrin:

    By the same token, if they ask for a change and it improves the design, tell them also. That goes down well.
  5. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    Fascinating discussion - a real core issue which everyone faces. Not easy. Several years ago I hired a graduate from a top London institution with a First. He asked at interview 'What happens if the client doesn't like my designs'.

    The answer is - do not be silent. Give your expert opinion and the client will have a choice. The client is facing you, becuase he / she regards you as a relative expert. Reasoned, considered, recommendations - ensure you have communicated all of your points and that they are understood.

    The client has the choice (unless your choice is to walk away).

    Not easy.
  6. tallicaaa

    tallicaaa New Member

    Some nice replies here and all very helpful. I think the best option is to explain from a designers pov why their idea might not work or how i might be able to incorporate aspects of their idea (to keep them happy).

    All in all i think communication is the key to solving this problem and aim now to be a lot more truthful to the customer about what i'm thinking. there are ways you can tell them their design won't work i guess. :icon_thumbup:
  7. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    You need to explain why your idea works best! I have one client for whom I changed the design to the fonts and colours he wanted and then cheekily added another that design that took the p*** with a chnage of wording. He had a sense of humour - saw the point and trusts me completely now! But if they insist and insist then you let them go their way - and just don't put it in your portfolio!
  8. sthomas

    sthomas Member

  9. tallicaaa

    tallicaaa New Member

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