I wince when hearing a potential branding client say “I know what I want”. This phrase is quickly followed with an explanation describing how this knowledge will make the project quick and easy. The monologue is then wrapped up with a plea for reduced costing.
Experience with these branding projects has proven they—almost without fail—result in time consuming and frustrating exercises. Perhaps more important, these ‘easy’ projects provide little opportunity. There is no opportunity for creativity, growth, creating a strong client-designer relationship, developing an effective solution, making a difference to the client’s business, or to be proud of your work.
On the other hand, when a client asks for help—and is open to receiving it—anything is possible. My willingness to invest time and energy soars along with my interest in the project. This openness increases the ability to achieve success for both client and designer.
What makes me flinch more than a branding client saying “I know what I want”?
A graphic designer daring to say “I know what you need” before looking to the client for help, and demanding their involvement in the process.
I believe that to increase the potential success of any project, there also needs to be increased opportunities for both client and designer.
Has your experience with the phrase “I know what I want” been similar or different to mine? Share your thoughts below.