Stay calm and don’t hit anybody; we’ve collected up ten of the most inflammatory phrases for designers, guaranteed to send even the most patient flying into a rage. Take a deep breath and read on… if you dare!
1. Can you design my…(for free)?
Asking a doctor friend to give you a free consultation or a befriended chef to give you that three course menu for free seems pretty ridiculous to most. Why doesn’t this logic apply to designers?
2. I’ve got an idea for a design
When you are commissioning someone to build your house, you don’t tell the builder: “I have got an idea for a roof”. You hire an architect, tell her what kind of house you like and she’ll design it for you. That’s the point: you are not an architect, you are the client. A good descriptive brief is what we need – leave the ideas to us.
3. The target audience is male and female, age 0 and up
See point above, no clear brief – no clear result. It is as simple as that.
4. I like it but where is the rest?
If you’d asked for more, there would be more. Oh I see, you have changed your mind and now you want to add product X, Y and Z to the postcards too?
5. Can we have the layered files? We just want to make few little changes ourselves
This is an old favourite, and one that most designers have been asked by their clients. The idea is for the client to be able to play around with the files until the end result looks a bit like scrambled eggs on soggy toast. If you want me to change something, just ask – the last thing I want is to have my name attached to something that is not 100% original.
6. Can you add more baby images? I heard they really work well
Why yes I can, I can also add images of cute kittens rhythmically moving their heads up and down and a Dalmatian wearing a pink scarf.
7. I’ll know what I want when I see it
This implies that rather than thinking about what you actually want, you want me to go off and keep designing new versions until one magically connects with your previously unknown yearnings? See how silly it actually sounds when I put it this way?
8. We don't have any content yet. Can you just design my wedding stationery and we'll put it in later?
Of course, no problemo. No content, no copy, no colour scheme, no theme, no idea who to invite. In fact, you are not even sure who you will marry yet, but could you please design some wedding invitations? I’ll start your stationery design right away. I have no clue what will come out – maybe I’ll use pink elephants or have little tassels attached to each invitation? I could do the whole thing in shades of grey, maybe even 50 if I can find the time.
“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” — Jeffrey Zeldman
9. X, Y and Z have completed how it works, so can you make it look pretty?
Design is often an afterthought but seldom is it made more apparent as when they tell you to “make it look pretty” after it has been conceived. Design is so much more than just a beautiful wrapper.
10. How about we go back to the first design? I quite liked it.
This is one that tests even the most patient of designers. After dozens of iterations, changes, improvements and tweaks you are telling me my original suggestion was the best?
Whether you’ve come up against any of these or not, here at printed.com we try to make ordering as simple and stress free as possible, so you go grey a little later in life. If you’ve come up against any of these or have some new gripes you’d like to add to the list? Drop a comment in the box below and let us know!