Keeping Your Cool as a Graphic Designer - Part II

In the last post, we started to look at managing the more difficult moments as a graphic designer.  Let’s continue this professional therapy and consider how to work with a difficult client.

The Client/Professional

Before you roll your eyes in recognition of this persona, trust us, you have probably had your moment.  This client comes into the project convinced that he or she knows just what look is needed, how to achieve it, how long it should take, and what it should cost.  Your best option is to start a dialogue.

Lead the Discussion

After the client has outlined her or his expectations, and explained what she or he thinks is best, gently lead the conversation:

  • “From what you’ve told me, it seems that we could do this….”
  • “Your direction has led me to some of these ideas…”
  • “In my experience, it often seems that this is a good idea, but in the end it’s not the solution. Let me show you some examples.”

If the client is pushy about her idea over yours, don’t be afraid to stand your ground:

  • “I understand your perspective, and I’d like to try it in one of our schemes, but let’s take a look at something different in the other design for a comparison.”
  • “From my perspective, that’s not the best way to approach this design problem–let me walk you through my ideas.”

You may be bursting at the seams to explain your online degree program or extensive graphic design education. But, hold back for now. Let the client in on your experience and talent by showing them.

Never be a pushover, but don’t let your pride push them out the door either.

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