How to deal with the dreaded 'design by committee'

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I cringe every time it happens: A client contacts you for work, you settle on payment, timing, and all the other important details, you work hard to get them a preliminary design and then it happens. Their response? “I have to show it to a group of people here and then I’ll get back to you.” Doh. ‘Design by committee’ is one of the most frustrating and annoying aspects of being a designer because opinions can range widely within even

Presenting design work to your clients

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So you’ve landed that great client you’ve been talking to for weeks, and you want to make sure to keep them happy. Aside from giving them a stellar product, how do you do that? One way is by being ridiculously professional in how you present your work. The way proofs are presented to clients had never really occurred to me until I did some in-house work for a design agency awhile back. This particular agency was very particular about presentation,

Finding a balance between pleasing clients and keeping your sanity

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Have you ever gone nearly insane trying to please a client? I have. In fact, I have probably done it more than I would like to admit. After all, the clients pay the bills (hopefully) and if the clients not happy, you’re not happy. So how can you please your clients without going crazy? It’s all about balance. If you’d like to know how to balance your attempt to please clients and your attempt to keep your sanity, read on,

What's the best way to invoice your design clients?

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Raise your hand if you like to get paid. Ok, I can’t see if you’re raising your hand, but I would guess that you are because who doesn’t like to make money doing something they love? But collecting money can be a difficult task if you don’t have much experience with it. Do you send a physical invoice in the mail? Do you email an invoice? Perhaps online invoicing is the solution… And for every designer it’s different. Today’s goal

How long should a designer fight a client about a poor design decision?

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If you’ve been designing for long, you’ve experienced a scenario like I am going through right now: You’ve met with your client, discussed the details of the project, signed a contract, and made some major progress on your project. Now, significantly through your process, your client hits you with a request that just makes your teeth hurt. It’s one of those requests that goes against everything you’ve ever learned about good design. Whether it’s auto-starting music on their web site,

How to handle design clients who always demand a discount

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Sarah is a very successful individual. She owns 3 pastry shops in my metropolitan area. Smart. Well-rounded. Well connected. The type of person that will give my design company the respect it needs. There is only one problem: SHE ALWAYS ASK FOR A DISCOUNT! That’s right. A discount. A discount for the continuous business she brings to me. A discount for the countless changes she requires from me. A discount for the numerous late nights spent completing her assignments. A

How to spot a rotten design client before signing the contract

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It has happened to me one too many times: A potential clients calls me, we talk about their project, we meet and discuss the details of the project and sign the contract. And then the client turns rotten. Of course, they don’t violate any terms of their contract, but every time I communicate with them, they seem to get offended, ignore my advice, or demand I add something to the project (increasing my scope without offering more pay). And, of

The truth about what clients look for in a designer

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Have you ever wondered what makes a client choose one designer over another? Well, wonder no more, my friends. Today, I’d like to tell you the truth about what clients look for in a designer. The myths First, it’s important we understand a few of the myths that designers have come to believe about being hired by a client. Myth 1: Clients only hire designers with years of experience A lot of designers (mostly really new designers) think they don’t