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Struggling with a design brief - ideas welcome

Hi Guys,

I'm struggling.:mad:

I don't normally have a problem coming up with good designs for my clients:
Coasteering Wales
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Holyhead Town Council

However, my latest project is proving hard work. I have submitted a couple of concepts that I thought were a good start (not great, but ok):

Option 1: www.owensutton.com/Design-1.jpg
Option 2: www.owensutton.com/Design-2.jpg

However my client doesn't like either of them. Furthermore, she (a 70+ year old woman) is insisting using a blue/white/green gradient as the background (which I hate), and what's worse is that she doesn't want a containing element - she just wants the text etc to 'float' over the background.

She also wants to avoid the usual 'corporate' look (which I thought Design 2 above did).

The closest thing I've come to a design that she likes is: www.owensutton.com/Option-3.jpg But I know it's awful. She likes the background, the rounded elements that echo old train signs. She dislikes, as I do actually, the fact that the logo and 'welcome bar' takes up too much real estate, and that the 'welcome bar' over-powers the logo somewhat.

Any other client and I would return the deposit and walk away, saying that I'm not the right guy for the job. But I don't want to leave her in the lurch - she's old and not in great health.

I have spent ages trying to come up with something that she likes and that I'd be happy to put my name to, but am really struggling. Surely there is a solution here?!

Can anyone offer some advice or inspiration?

Any help much appreciated.



Staff member
Designer156 said:
I don't normally have a problem coming up with good designs for my clients:
You might want to check them on a higher res screen (20" widescreen here) as your background texture have an ugly repeat on my screen
I had a client recently who had a specific idea on something they wanted, and wouldn't budge. I couldn't bring myself to do the thing because it just broke so many rules, and was an out dated idea. I was about to walk away after making a few mockups, but then I finally thought:
"I will make it the way I know they want it, I wont put my name on it or advertise the fact I did it, they'll be happy, it'll be out of my hair, and I'll get paid."

Sometimes you just gotta do it that way.

I think the design she likes best isn't terrible, although i like the others better. I would suggest tying the big bar thing into the logo more, make them really play together well, then call it good.

A trick with clients, is to explain everything you did in detail, and tell them why. Be very sure of your design. Teach them what's good, what's new, and what the current trends are. Ask them if they want to be modern, or living in 2001 haha