Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sometimes just changing the way you do things and common sense helps you to land a client and complete a project. Here are some ways to do that:

1. Spec work — While there’s always major concern of doing FREE work or not, most designers will tell you not to. But if you look back in history and even today, most major advertising firms do projects on spec just to land a project. Just keep in mind that they set aside a portion of their budget to do this. So if you decide to work on spec, make sure you believe in the project you take on. And there’s nothing wrong with asking the client to include you in their publicity as a trade-off. But get it in writing and treat spec work as though it’s paid work.

2. Design is done! — Don’t ever design full mockups for a client before they sign a contract. When you do this, they have the ability to say, “sorry, found someone else” and take your mockups and run. 

3. Too many mockups is confusing? — I’ve always seen this as a misnomer. I honestly don’t think 3 logos is enough to show a client. Showing too few ideas, especially if none of them hit the mark for the client, can kill a project. I always try and give no less than 5 logo concepts. As for brochures and ads, make sure you work the amount of mockups in the price of the project and that the client is aware of how many and at what cost.

4. Too little mockups? — On the other hand, just giving the client 1 design is a huge no-no. If you don’t feel they’re paying you enough to do more concepts, you need to raise your fees. 

5. Phone calls — All designers hate phones, but in order to keep a client, pick up the phone and return their calls. You'll feel good after you did.

6. Contracts — It’s best never to work without a contract but sometimes clients are in a hurry. So the best thing to do is have your client give approval to begin a project via email. Be sure to include the cost and variables in your email. 

7. Misspelled Words — I know, we’re not proofreaders and editors, but the client expects you to catch these things. So if you can’t do it, pay a small amount to have someone who does this for a living. You won’t regret it. 

8. Bad-mouthing — Don’t ever bad-mouth a client in any public forum. And even worse, never bad-mouth a fellow graphic designer because you never know if you’ll be unemployed and they could be your next boss. Always keep your options open. 

9. It can’t be done — The moment you tell a prospective client this, you will most likely lose them. To say “It can’t be done” usually means that you don’t know how to do it and the client can see through that. So be honest and say that you don’t know how to do it, but you have someone who can give you the information on how to or give them the name of someone who can. You’ll be respected more.

10. Fonts glorious fonts! — Yes, all of those fonts are really cool, but is it necessary to use a grunge font for a daycare center? Or how about a 9pt specialty font as the main reading text in a magazine for seniors? Use common sense and put yourself in your client’s shoes. 

11. Readability — 10% black or 100% yellow on a white background is a huge no-no. And a website with black background and 90% black text? Now who can read that? If you’re designing for a group of people who aren’t able to see very well, chances are you won’t after you do this. And keep in mind that with baby boomers being a huge part of our population, always keep them in mind when designing unless your project is for teens or children.

12. ALL CAPS — Just because you get away with this online, it doesn’t fly with clients. There is a place and time to use all caps so study up on it before you do. 

13. Web to Print — If you’re a web designer taking on a print project, by all means, know the proper DPI! There’s nothing more embarrassing than giving your final ‘approved’ print files to a client and they take it to a print company just to find out that you don’t know what you’re doing. If you plan on doing print design work, learn how to do it properly. 

14. Separations — Don’t always assume that because something is just design that it’s done the same way as another. T-shirt separations are very different than printing on paper. Once again, learn before you make a costly error.

And last but not least, 

15. Art for arts' sake — So you’ve been painting for many years and decide to be a graphic designer. By all means remember that you are not creating for yourself any more. Accept criticism graciously from everyone or go back to painting. Graphic design and traditional art are not the same things. 


4 comments:

Opsikom said...

Thanks for the information you provide, success always

cw said...

Thank you Opsikom.

nircable said...

thanks 4 Your Shared

cw said...

You're welcome "nircable"

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