When you’re working within the freelance logo design field you’ll no-doubt come across a wide variety of people. All the way from awesome and inspirational to demotivating and leaching. I’m glad I can say that I meet more amazing people than I meet… non-amazing people!
With this amount of variety I find that you really have to take each commission for each client differently, there really isn’t a set process when talking or projecting your ideas to the client, you really have to take the job as it comes and learn over time to make the right decisions.
I’m on a never-ending quest to make the clients (and my life) a lot easier during this process. The way to get this is by clear direction to the end goal. When you both (the designer and client) have the same end goal in mind then your life as a designer and a client will be easier. You’ll find that the time you spend working is effective and decisive. So how do you forge clear direction? Is it for the client to tell the designer where we should be going with the logo design, or is it for the designer to show the client the reality of creating a logo design for the client’s business?
When I start writing emails, or talking to a potential client over Skype I always want to make sure that we’re both clear about what’s expected during the design process. I’ve found that one of the best mindsets I’ve forged to clients (a truly positive mindset) is that of designing the logo based of what the customers want - not based on the client's preference. Basically, you tell the client that you’re not really designing the logo with him in mind. It’s not about what he wants, but it’s about the his customers.
Sometimes this is met with some confused faces, but most of the time this is met with a laugh with a head nodding agreement. In all seriousness, how true is that! You’re not designing the logo for your client, but for the client's customers!
This isn’t so much of a practice mindset, this is actually creating the stage for the project, you’re showing the client that you’re designing for his customers - so they invest into him and make him more money. Having this understanding from the client will make your job so much easier and less pressure sensitive to the design process. Now when you’re propositioning your logo design too the client, the client will have the right frame of mind - looking towards what the customers want to see. Not his own personal preferences.
So no matter where you are on your journey, whether you’re a professional or someone who’s just starting out in the freelance industry; making sure that your client has the right mindset is your responsibility. Not his. When you both have clear direction and understanding of the project, who and what it’s for, then you’re paving your own way to success. It gives your propositions leverage when the client doesn’t understand. Now the client has to have a lot of trust in you and your understanding of your work.
Don’t be afraid to try this, explain it through emails in writing. I do this so that we can refer back to what was said if there is any mid-understandings. If not add it within your contract as some final comments in regards to the design brief.
Thanks for reading,
Will Paterson Design Co