Sign & Digital Graphics

2015 WRAPS

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50 I WRAPS I 2015 D e s i g n Hell-Bent on sabotage Most experienced designers are already aware of these rules. The real struggle is when the client does not grasp the concept and is seemingly hell-bent on sabotaging his or her own business with an ugly, ineffective wrap. As a designer, what do you do? Do you challenge the poor decisions that might be requested, or do you take the, "As long as they are paying for it, they can have whatever they want," approach. And where do you draw the line? Being a skilled vehicle wrap designer is about more than just churning out wraps. It's about being able to effectively guide your client in the best direction, and this will often separate the good designers from the great ones. It is usually the small business owners calling the shots. It's their business that they've grown from the ground up, and they truly have the best intentions in mind. They just don't have a designer's eye or a designer's understanding. What I like to do with these types of headstrong clients is verbally present my case about why their request may or may not be a good idea. "Oh, you want the phone number to stretch end to end on this van? Hmm, well let me explain why that might not be your best option." This needs to be communicated in a way that lets them know they've been heard, but more importantly, that you genuinely care about their success. Sometimes, all it takes is for them to be coached in the right direction. show Them Why For some though, it is not enough to just be told why something will not be a good idea. They need to see why it won't work. For this reason, I will sometimes proof their requested alterations side-by- side with what I believe to be the better option. I might say, "Which one of these do you think is more effective?" or "Here is why I suggest this solution over that one." Perhaps the client has not considered the specific challenges of their particular vehicle when making certain design requests. We all know that door handles, window moldings, door guards, and hinges can all present design placement issues. Rather than just blindly fulfilling a request to put a design element into dangerous territory, I recommend showing a side-by-side comparison. This can be very persuasive with those visual types. Revised to Death I know from experience the feelings that come from presenting a concept that was well thought out and designed with purpose, only to have it be torn apart, revision by revision until you no longer recognize it. As a designer, soon you want nothing more to do with it. The once living design becomes dead to you and you just go through the motions of hacking at it with an ugly- stick until your customer says you can stop. No designer enjoys that and quite honestly it takes the joy out of being a creative professional. Despite your best effort, there will always be a small percentage of clients who won't follow your advice. In these situations I will tactfully argue my case a couple of more times, and if they still won't come around, that is when I have to sever any emotional ties to my design. Can't Win Them All In a perfect world, everybody is on the same page, but in reality you just can't win them all. I have learned that for the battles you cannot win, it is best to not take it personally and just let them put their own "creative stamp" on it. However, for the sake of your client's business and your own, I always recommend making that initial attempt to produce your best work. It's your reputation, and it's always worth the extra effort. As easy as it might be sometimes to simply avoid head-butting with your clients, we are not meant to be button clickers sitting in the passenger seat. We are graphic designers, with the power to help drive our clients toward the road of success.

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