Last updated on February 12th, 2019
Business owners need logos that can represent their companies in markets. But many such clients know little about the design. Still, they want to dictate how a logo design should look. They impose their amateurish views on the designer, which often leads to a conflict between the two. But a professional designer should not let the client dominate and, handle the situation cleverly.
Many designers have the horrible experience of clients repeatedly interfering in the design process. Most such business owners have their likes and dislikes regarding a logo. They then dictate their designers to make the logo look bigger or place that color or typeface here or there.
But should you let the client dominate you and have his/her say? Should you obey what the client is asking for? Or, should you just ignore the suggestions which come as an order?
Well, experts are divided in their opinions while answering these questions. Many say that you are not designing for yourself. So, do whatever the client wants you to do. Others are of the view that you should not let the client interfere in your creative design process and stick to your design.
Which of these views should you subscribe to? But an ideal situation will be to ignore what a client has to say and stick to your logo.
If such clients are shown three to four iterating of the logo, they can’t decide which one is the best. Many of them think that each iteration is equally good and necessary. This results in even more interference.
However, when we advise that “you should not let clients dictate”; it does not mean that you should completely ignore them.
There is a better way. Rather than excluding them from the design process, collaborate with your client. This way you can make the client understand the logo concept. So, collaboration is the key to deal with the clients having a dictating nature.
Here Are Some Tips That Help You Do Not Let Clients Dictate Logo Design
01. Types Of Clients
When you proceed to design a logo with the right intention that it will help in building the client’s true brand identity, you suddenly find that the client is interfering and consuming your time and energy.
But also note that such clients come in different types. You may encounter clients that are difficult to handle. To counter them, have a positive attitude and a proactive approach. Some clients have no clue as to what is happening. You can control them by convincing that this is the right decision to take and that you believe this is the right way, and so on.
Some clients ask many questions, and they want to micromanage everything. To deal with them, you should focus on the problems rather than the solutions.
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02. Why Is Collaboration A Better Approach?
Although some designers do not approve the idea of allowing the involvement of the client in the design process does not sound right, some other points also should be considered. It is not wise for a designer to make the client unhappy. This is because a happy client may offer more assignments to the designer. So, collaboration is undoubtedly a more profitable option for the designer.
Designers usually give their 100 percent efforts for high-quality work and to earn good money. By working with the clients closely, the designer can achieve both these aims. But a problem with the clients is that they move the goalposts very frequently. In other words, it’s difficult to appease clients. However, we cannot blame them entirely as they do not understand the design and its process.
When you create a logo, engage the client in the process as they can spot the design problems early. If the client understands the process, it will result into the designer doing less iteration.
03. How To Make Collaboration Happen
First, know that collaboration does not mean that you have to sit with the designer closely during the design process. Some people think that both parties are working together on the grid structure, color scheme, navigation layout, and other things needed to create a business logo. You will treat the client as part of your design team. But that simply cannot and should not happen. Working in a client’s office is not possible for every professional designer.
Instead, just hold a focused meeting with the client. During that period, try to discuss each aspects required to create a logo. You can call a few more such meetings to discuss the business objectives, target customer or user, market, etc.
04. Have A Chat On The Aesthetics Of The Design
When sitting with the client, you can even educate them on aesthetics of design up to some extent. You can tell that aesthetic design is the one that is user-friendly and users like it. Also ask the client if the proposed design is in the line of the company’s projected image.
Ask the client which famous person does the company resemble with and why. That is the starting point of the discussion on the aesthetic part of the logo. Once some decision is taken about the personality of the work, you, as the logo designer, can then refer it back when you finally take the finished logo to the client.
05. Create A Mood Board
You can also use the moodboarding technique to find out what it there in the client’s mind. There are many tools such as Kuler, Google Fonts, Design Meltdown, Flickr, and Google Images etc. that help designers understand clients’ preferences for color, typefaces, style, and imagery. By adopting this strategy you can significantly improve the design and also make them think about the users’ requirement.
Also, if a client has a social media page or brochure, website, etc., make the client see the brand colors, and fonts used in these designs. Tell that you are using those colors in your logo for brand consistency.
06. Show Some Reason To The Client
To make the client see the things, use some reasoning and evidence. First, give the impression that you are fully prepared which will give your client a sense of confidence in you. This makes them accept your point of view. However, back up the graphic design ideas with an insight. Have an honest and straightforward conversation with the client.
With the research-backed data, you can quickly convince the client. For example, if you can show that pink color will offend 40% of the target audience, the client will take your point. So, go to the client well prepared with research and reasoning. Explain the merits of your design intellectually. This is the way to present your design objectively. Do not give your subjective opinion.
07. Give Examples
A better way to convince your client is to support your views with real-world examples. This is the way to keep at a bay from interfering in your design process too much. So, if you tell that you are following the same design principles that global logos of Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike employed, the client will have faith in the design.
08. Spell Out A Clear Price
A client can also interfere in the job of a logo designer if the designer has not explicitly quoted the prices. Sometimes, a straightforwardly quoted price keeps the clients at bay. This is your way to tell the client that if want more work done on the design, you pay more for the time. Some inexperienced designers quote their price in such a way that leaves a lot of scope for exploitation by the client. That also leads to the client dominating the designer.
So, if as a professional graphic designer, you will charge $ X for four unique logo concepts and then add $X for each additional concept requested, that will make the client think twice before asking for more reviews and concepts. In that case, the client will pay for your time if you are forced to redesign the logo.
Similarly, some clients interface too much when it comes to editing the logos. Often, after finalizing a concept and the logo design is done, the clients start demanding tweaks. You may be asked to show the design in different colors and fonts or shapes. In fact, there is no limit to such demands. The rounds and rounds of edits go on adding to your problems that consumer your time and profit.
Note that a designer’s time, especially if you are a freelancer, is valuable. Any additional time without payment means loss of certain amount of dollar. If the client is dictating too much, you may end up losing more money rather than earning from the project.
How would you deal with such clients? Again, you can use clear pricing as a tool. When quoting your price, make sure that you explicitly mention the additional charges you will demand any minor changes or tweaks to the color, fonts, etc. So, tell clearly that you will charge $X for any additional concept request and $X for each extra round of changes requested.
So, these are some basic things you need to do if you do not want your clients to let you dictate when you create a logo design. Try to take the client into confidence instead of completely ignoring them as it will not serve any purpose. Collaboration is the best way to reduce your problem with the client.
However, if you are a designer and want to avoid too much interference in your freelance job, you can explore Designhill. At this marketplace, the clients post their logo contests along with one-time design brief. Just start your work on these contests without too much interference.
The clients have this tendency of enquiring about a logo design too much, and it becomes a problem for most designers. Instead of ignoring such clients, you should think of collaborating with them and educate them about the design at hand.