by Kelly Hobkirk
Great graphic designers challenge their clients. They work with them too of course, but graphic design that fails to challenge the client also fails to engage it’s target. Great graphic design upends the cart, and makes you uncomfortable. You don’t hire a graphic designer to bore you or keep you yawningly safe, do you?
When graphic designers deliver strategy-driven design concepts that make you uncomfortable, realize that the more uncomfortable you are, the more likely you are looking at either a business-winning design or an absolutely abhorrent amateur hack job. As a seasoned businessperson, you can probably tell the difference. It’s the stuff in between, the designs that bore you, that you should really be concerned about.
How will you know if the design is boring? Simple, you will experience neither nervousness nor that excited feeling you get at the moment of a great success.
If your graphic designer works to keep you comfortable, they’re not doing their job. And if you micro-manage your graphic designer, know that you will not get the results you want (unless your ideal result is mediocrity). BTW: This applies to web design, advertising and brand development too.
In my experience, clients who accept the challenge and push gently back or collaborate to develop stronger concepts are clients who encounter the greatest market success. They tend to enjoy their designer relationship more to boot because we develop mutual respect and admiration.