In this last section we will speak about the four commonest mistakes in the client-designer relation, which is certainly the motor of design. Given that they need each other, the client and the designer should form a friendly, pleasant, fluent relationship in order that the work is efficient –an aggressive, uneasy relationship is synonymous with inefficient work. Therefore, you have to make an effort to get along well with the designer you hire.
The four commonest mistakes in question, each of which should be avoided at all costs, are the following:
The designer does not listen to the client: sometimes the designer is haughty and does not listen to the client because he thinks that the opinions of such an inexpert person are not valid. This causes a lot of inconvenience. It is true that mostly the client knows nothing about design; however, that is exactly the reason why he hires a designer. So, in this particular case, it is the designer who has to make an effort to change his disgustingly arrogant manners. If not, the client will simply reject any of his suggestions.
The client acts as if he were the designer: the only person who should handle the programs and graphic tools is the designer. It is a mistake if the client designs things and then ask the designer to fix them up for him. Not only is this a waste of time, but it is also a waste of the designer to restrict his genius, creativeness, skill and imagination in such a way. Thus, for the client-designer relation to result in effective work, you should not do what you are not supposed to do unless absolutely necessary. Otherwise, leave it to the designer to use the graphic tools. After all, it is he who knows how to use them.
The designer does not work unless the client tells him what to do: this is a problem with some designers –they just limit themselves to doing exactly what their clients tell them to do and nothing else. Although it is true that certain clients oblige designers to do so by being too strict, this is never a good course of action. Someone who hires a designer expects him to do more than just follow instructions –expects him to make use of all his creativeness to transform instructions into something better and different. In short, if the designer does not try his best, his work will not be successful.
The client is vague: design consists in transforming ideas into signs. These original ideas must always come from the client, and never from the designer (remember: the work of the designer is to make your ideas better, not to think for you). Now, that a client has his own ideas is meaningless if he cannot make himself clear. In fact, it often happens that clients find it difficult to explain exactly what they wish, either because they do not know how to do it or because they do not know what they want. In any case, they should try to be clear and precise, and never resort to vagueness, e.g. “I want something more or less like this.” However, clients can perfectly ask designers for advice. Our goal has been quite this: to provide you with the necessary tools for you to be able to think of some good ideas and can express them in a clear way.
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