How to approach a client with your work?


Hey guys, first post on the forums so hello!

Coincidently this is also my first piece of design work with a proper client, I've been asked by the city council to create a logo to be used on business card/letterheads etc. As it stands at the moment I have illustrator open at the moment with 12 artboards with 12 different designs, they also use a variety of fonts. i've got to show them some initial designs on Monday; so my question is this. Is 12 designs too many to show them? should i be using one font throughout to minimise confusion? basically should a cull what i've done and limit what i show them?

look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Congratulations on your first gig.

Personally, I think 12 is a lot: I'd go with 3-5 of the strongest, offering a bit of choice/variation but not too much. Of course it depends a lot on the person or persons charged with making the decision but, with 12, there's a risk that you'll divide opinion or make it hard for them to arrive at a decision (remember that you've been engaged to make decisions FOR them). With such a large number, I'm also guessing that you've put some in to bulk out the offer and this carries an additional risk: it's not unusual for a designer to put all their effort into their first, favoured design and throw in some weaker alternatives to a) make it look like they've done lots of work, and/or b) subtly nudge the client towards their preferred design but it's also not unusual for a client to select one of the weaker efforts meaning that you're stuck with moving forward on a piece you don't particularly care for.

So: my advice would be to offer the best of the bunch, explain what you've tried to achieve and have the remainder up your sleeve if they ask to see more.
Sound advice there Dave thanks very much. There is one particular logo I feel is strongest/most suitable, but i'm not by any means making the others worse to try and sway them. I think i'll work off your advice and cut 5 out of the versions i show them next week and explain to them why i think the one logo is best for them.

good point about being employed to make desicisions, i think it's easy to try and please by letting them make the decisions!

would be happy to hear any other tips people have? thanks
Hi and congrats.

I've done a bit of work for a couple of Councils, have they not told you what fonts to go with? because everyone I have worked with has had very tight in-house styles (must be this font, these colours, images placed *here* and all the rest of it).

Apart from that, what he said previously. :icon_biggrin:
It's funny you mention that because they have given me guidelines but some rather odd ones and not in areas you might expect. it's a bit different because I'm doing it for a department which is, lets say, employed by the council but no part of the council. so they have their own branding which will sit next to council branding. so they've told me things like "the new logo has to be within a 2:1 ratio to the existing council logo" stuff like that. but beyond that i'm pretty free as far as fonts an colours go, but obviously i don't want it to clash with what's there already!
I wouldn't give a client that much choice. From experience, if you give a client any more that 5 initial concepts, they get some absurd idea that they're master of their own destiny and start making silly requests like 'what if we try it in comic sans and make each letter a different colour'....
Yup I think that confirms what the others have said dave. It's odd because just starting out, i feel that the more choice you give, the more you've done, so the better you've done. but when you guys say it so bluntly, it makes a lot more sense :p!!
We will often come up with 20 odd ideas 17 of which will never see the light of day and I have to say thats the way I like it because some of the ideas are f*****g awful! lol
haha yes sir! also i've become pretty addicted to these forums (spent half my saturday on here, how cool am i?) and i really apprichiate all the guys that have posted on this thread because i've seen you al over the forums and learnt a lot, so thanks!
Just remember that you are the Designer with the skills to create the overall design...

I was talking with a Creative Director from a Branding company and we both agree that the client 'thinks' they know what they want, but at the end of the day you are telling them 'you can have this or this...'.

Just by giving them enough choice to feel as though they are involved is enough! Sounds harsh but too much choice is almost like offering a kid every type of cake available and them wanting all of them rolled into one!