April '22

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2 4 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 2 G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M If you chose to jump ahead to design and whip up some ideas quickly just to get something to the client fast, you will most likely get an unhappy client. Why is that? Mostly because three key questions were not asked by the salesperson. Question 1: Why do they feel the need to tie the signs together with common graphics? Is this an ego-driven project, a committee-driven requirement, or a cor- porate-driven request? e answer has everything to do with the behind-the-scenes source for the desired look and feel of the signs for this job. Ego clients can be the most fun and most rewarding to work with provided they re- alize who's in charge. If it's them, great. If not, you have to carefully manage that personality, so they feel that you are fully grasping and supporting their wants and needs. e ego "manager" will choose the look they like, and then try to sell it to the com- mittee, or worse yet, to corporate. Nope, it rarely works well as the manager's ego is not reective of the committee's desires. You will be able to recognize this speed bump immediately upon the rst rejec- tion of your quick design packet. e ego- driven manager will try to explain how it wasn't the right look, when in reality the committee didn't like the managers ideas, so the burden of coming up with a whole new design is on the designer, rather than being on the manager's bad taste in design. That's when it's important to ask the question: Is there a design standard to fol- low, or will there be any upfront feedback from the nal decision maker (committee or corporate) such as any examples found of other strip malls that feel like a good design t? en they say, "Well yeah, they want a real boring conservative look, but I think it needs a western feel to attract the local residents better — I mean the strip mall is only a ¼ mile from the livestock sale barn but corporate is located in Washington — and they just don't get it." Amazing how asking just one more question provided a deeper answer that has some real meat to it. Now, you have more light shining on the backstory, who the decision maker is, and why. Asking the right questions provides you with the information you need to help your sign de- signer. e sign meets the expectations of the decision maker(s) while also addressing the concerns of the local manager. Question 2: Who is the nal decision maker on the design? So, yah, no matter how creative the manager's ideas are, if you don't nd out Asking the right questions provides you with the information you need to help your sign designer.

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