Presentation of Ideas and Review – Part Four
This could also be called ‘The Creative Phase – Part Two’ once the sketching is done, the brain is well and truly stormed and the strongest ideas have been shortlisted, I’ll work up the designs on the Mac using In Design, Illustrator and Photoshop. I was reading an interview with David Carson one time and he was talking about how he loves the Adobe® software as you can copy and paste between them – I had no idea!!! That was a few years ago now needless to say it’s now much used and a great time saver especially for trying out different finishes and renderings of a design or mixing up vector artwork with some Photoshop effects.
This may be borderline heresy but I do find InDesign’s drawing tools much more user friendly than Illustrator (certainly more than Photoshop). In terms of formal presentation for logos I’ve been taught that showing the logo with plenty of white space and approximately the size it will be seen on a letterhead is a good rule of thumb. I’ll generally keep it to no more than three on a page. For logo work, I’ll often show the design in colour, greyscale and black and white, so the client can see how it will work in different circumstances. If I’m presenting a full set of material (logo design, stationery and publicity material) I may show the design ‘in situ’ so the client can see the whole package ‘working’ together.
All proofs are sent out on email as PDFs which is great for time-stamping proofs and creating a paper trail. At this point I would also send a proofing document for the client to review and complete with any changes or amendments. At this point in time a well worded email is the most reliable method I’ve found, and it’s easy for clients to respond. I’ve seen some web-based solutions and I could make a fancy interactive PDF form, but people are so busy if they can just reply to an email, or pick up the phone it’s done! From experience, it’s a good move to confirm any verbal instructions back to the client in an email.
We have a policy of keeping our clients happy!
I don’t mean to sound patronising here but if I’ve presented my ideas for a design and the client feedback requires changes, unless they are going to fundamentally harm their brand I’m happy to make changes. I say this as I’ve heard stories of designers refusing to make changes to ‘their’ design. I’ll always state my opinion if I don’t think the changes are going to work, but essentially this is a client focused relationship. I believe that the relationship is more important than the work. People remember how you make them feel so if I’m flexible with the designs I present, the client remembers me as someone who is easy to work with. My favourite versions of a logo have not always made the cut, but the client has loved a different version because that’s the one that resonates with them – either way that’s good for me.
One of the big issues that divides opinion is having a prescribed number of revisions. I can understand why it’s used but I’ve never gone with it personally. If a client is being plain awkward or indecisive, I’d rather communicate any concerns to them and work out a revised way of progressing with an agreed end point and a revised quote if necessary, rather than say ‘sorry’ you’ve used up your quota anything I do now will cost ‘X’ on top of the initial quote. Another method we have used to navigate this tricky topic is to charge milestone payments. This also helps cash-flow if a job ends up in limbo or on proof indefinitely.
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Comments very welcome!