Like Clients that 'know' what they want?

"a tea cup with a rose on sat on a saucer with a rag doll & teddy sat in it kind of thing with Rosie Lee & Me to the right of it with Tea Room & Children's boutique underneath"


This will be my first 'real' client. I don't know her directly but my friend recommended me for her and mums new busness venture. As I've a lways worked with people who know me and visa versa I've usually been able to be quite honest. So how do I go about telling them that their idea for a logo, as lovely as it sounds as an illustration will not be a great logo? I only have 3 weeks for this (please bare in mind I'm a beginner and only do this on evenings!!) and I think they will be wanting the works. Shop sign/front most importantly and Im quessing tags/labels, stickers, menus, company stationery...

I know a few of you will be thinking 'Why the hell is she taking this on as a novice and why the hell are they trusting her' and I've really thought about that too. I nearly decided to tell her to go somewhere else. Then I thought this will be a really good oppertunity for me and great practice. I am worried myself that I'll hit a wall or that I wont produce something that I think is good enough. But as my own father said, I'm looking at it through my standards and the client doesn't have my standards most likely. So I totally understand if this agrovates some members as Im sure you could all do a hell of alot better job than me.

Here's to hoping I can come up with something half decent! Would love your imput on this too if anyones willing once I get it to a crit stage. I got the go ahead today and have the first idea on comp but I've only had a very brief email from the client. So hoping I can get more out of them tomorrow as I have little to go on atm.

As the designer its your job to be honest with them - regardless of whether you know them personally or not. If you don't think it'd work well, just tell them why. ''I think it'd be a great illustration on the back of a letterhead or a table cloth, but is too detailed to be shrunk down onto a logo for a business card.'' Offer an alternative, perhaps take a couple of elements that they asked for. Maybe an illustrated rag doll with the text underneath it. Along side that offer a couple of other totally different ideas you think work.

Remember, even though you're a novice, you're still doing what they can't do, so they've decided to work with you because they want you to help them. If they're still set on this idea after that, you'll just have to get on with it. There are always clients that know exactly what they want, that just want you to put it together for them. When you get one of them, you just have to bite the bullet, even if you have your own opinions on it.

Good luck though, sounds like a great project. Put some ideas up for us to see.
Thanks Arrivals,

I've just started a vs1 of a rag doll holding a tea cup (quiet cute and bright) but I've never really done an illustration as such so Im not sure overly confident with it. I is just to show as an idea and will need lots more development (just through it together last night!) Still need to play around with fonts and colours but as a basic idea its started.

Going to go for a simple. classic logo as an option too...with (can't thin of the name) ornate decorative frame, french vintage in style. I think with a great window display this would be very classy and simple...and with an old fashioned tearoom twist. They will be selling lots of cath kidston type products so think it would let the poducts stand out rather than trying to state the obvious with the Logo...


Going to show client this and then explain how what she wanted would be too much...
I agree, great advice above.

Umm just on your first wee mock up there, I think you need to work on the doll's hand holding the cup, it's not quite working as it is. And I think maybe a slightly more ornate font?

BUT it is a nice start so keep with it :)
Thanks for the comments guys. Was wondering if Boss could move this to the critique section as its kinda of strayed from the original post? Would love to get some more advice. Going to work at more ideas tonight so will be posting more for crit?

Thanks again,
Hi all,

I took the advice above and offered an option similar to her brief and one in a totally different direction. Both of the images below need lots where just a very quick mock up to show the client. She has just gotten back to me regarding these with a very short and vague email (I asked if she would give her feedback). Saying that she likes the colours in the 'Doily' version but she's 'not really looking at the Ragdoll' version.

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Well, I basically got sacked!

The girl had emailed me twice over last weekend and called once both on the Saturday. On the Sunday she emailed saying she had asked someone else to do the Logo for her because I didn't respond she took it that I didn't want to do the project! I didnt have access to online or my phone, but wasn't overly worried because it was the weekend!

Annnyway...I'm not too bothered but wanted to show you what she got in the end.!/pages/Rosie-Lee-Me/310131845741000

These where the quick mock ups I did to use as a basis for further development. Teddy-and-Teacup.jpgVersion 1 Mock Up.jpeg.jpgVersion 2 Mock Up.jpeg.jpg

Maybe I am completely deluded but do my examples not look better? Okay they are ruffs but I still think they would have suited better!!?

PS. Please note these examples where ruff ideas to give us a starting point and give her idea's. So Kerning and Typography arent perfect but I just knocked them out so she would have something to look at.
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Yes I showed her the the Ragdoll and Doily one first and then emailed her the Teddy themed ones second, thats when she emailed to say that she had gotten someone else on the job. The shop looks lovely too and I feel that my designs would have suited it better....but sure. More annoyed that the Logo she does have now looks rubbish IMO!
Yep, the current logo looks pretty amature to be fair, I'm not loving the oodles of white space created by the apparent need to have an ornate border on it. And you're right, the shop looks lovely, would have been really nice to have your work associated with it. What a very impatient person hey? What a shame :(
Glad I'm not the only one that thinks it looks amateur! Thanks for the replies!

I’m going to set a facebook page up with my work on it soon. I don't have much to put on it yet but wondered if I could put one of these designs up? Even though it wasn't used in the end?
Check the facebook link again, they have their shop sign up. Wish it was my work up there! Signage doesn't look inviting and the logo isn't what she was asking from me. Grrr...I need to get my teeth stuck into another wee job soon to make me forget about this one!