Frequent Mistakes Graphic Designer Makes And How To Fix Them
In a world as competitive as Graphic Design it can be hard to get ahead. Having to vie for jobs, bid low and potentially work within strict deadlines are all troubles of the trade. In order to make a name for yourself you have to be able to secure the best jobs and work the fastest, but doing so can lead to making some amateur mistakes.
Often, client relations are the place that mistakes occur, and by avoiding them before you develop bad habits you can avoid the added stress and discontent that comes with each mistake. Graphic Designers at Designhill make the focus all about the client, taking their visions and their company and putting it into a reproducible, recognizable identity for their products. Depending on a client who may have no understanding about what kind of work goes into designing their vision for public consumption however can involve some problems that may trip even the most experienced designers up. The following three client relation mistakes that many graphic designers make can be easily avoided with a little pre-planning
Mistake #1: Communication.
This can be an honest mistake from someone new or seasoned in the graphic design field, or an avoidance tactic used to dodge an over-anxious client that feels it necessary to be walked through every phase of the design process. Either way it’s a big problem both for your reputation and for the client’s peace of mind when communication isn’t open and frequent.
How to fix it? Make sure your clients can reach you at any time or set reasonable expectations for the time frame in which you will respond to their questions. If the client isn’t reaching out then you should be; communicating your progress and any needs the client has to meet before you can move on with the project not only keeps them apprised of your progress, but covers you in the event that information is not provided to you in a timely enough fashion.
Mistake #2: Deadlines.
Many designers will joke about that one time they received a surprise order from a client with an impossible deadline, but it’s not a laughing matter when taking on a new job. Deadlines are an important detail for clients and not knowing how quickly a customer needs their work by can lead to frustration on their part. Rushing in an attempt to meet a deadline you weren’t originally aware of risks exposing yourself to embarrassment when you make easily avoidable mistakes.
How to fix it? Set and agree on deadlines before you accept a project and don’t overestimate your ability to meet them if you don’t have experience working under a tight deadline. If possible build in an emergency margin to give yourself a little more time than you need in case an unforeseen event pulls you away from your work.
Mistake #3: Design Briefs.
Many clients, when approaching a designer for work on their brand or product, are excited, enthusiastic and full of ideas. They could talk to you for hours about what they want and if you’re lucky their ideas and products are interesting enough to really grab your focus. You start work right away, thinking that you have exactly what they’re looking for in mind and you don’t collect the design brief before you begin. Two days later you’ve spent hours on the project only to find that you’ve missed the mark in terms of what your client is looking for and now no one is happy.
How to fix it? Never work without a design brief. While your client might be brimming with ideas for you to work with, they also often come with guidelines for their brand that you need to know in order to incorporate into their design. The design brief will help you see holes in their design ideas and give you a chance to gather additional information that may be pertinent to their needs.
Gold Star in Client Relations
Always treat your clients with the utmost respect and professionalism and actively keep lines of communication open as you work on their projects. Don’t sell them short- if what they’re requesting can’t be accomplished to their satisfaction don’t downplay your concerns about the project. Lying to the customer or misleading them and delivering a design that does not meet their visions will be worse for you and your reputation than politely turning down the job and finding another. This holds true whether you’re an established Graphic Designer or someone starting out as one of the crowd at Designhill.
You’ve heard the old adage “the customer is always right” and as a working professional you probably even know how misleading that phrase can be, especially when said by an irate client. The phrase might not be completely accurate but there is a mindset to the phrase that’s important when addressing the most frequent client relation mistakes made by designers.