Design Paradox

The Design Paradox


You are a Designer

You have designed things with critical acclaim and mass appeal with the pallet of tools at your disposal. As a designer you are good at what you do!

What do you do when the client’s wishes don’t jive with what you know is best?

In a perfect world, they trust you. They give you artistic license. They defer to your expertise. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometimes your clients have a very rigid view of what they like and what they want for their design project.

On one side of the table you with vast experience, and on the other side are clients that believe that they are right.

You are good at what you do–good enough to make it work, right? Is it arrogance that leads you down this rabbit hole? Is it confidence? Why do we do it to ourselves?

Sometimes it is a scarcity mindset. “What if I don’t have anything else to do next week? What if the phone doesn’t ring? In this case, the prudent thing to do is pass on the project.

You Ignore your Gut

Here is the best case scenario. You do the design, clients are happy, but not happy enough to recommend you. When you go back to photograph the project later and you are disappointed. You can’t show this in your portfolio–it is not your design–OR– you do their design, but also include your design, (do extra work for free), in the hopes that they will stretch to your way of thinking. I give this strategy about a 10% success potential.

Worst case scenario, they go ahead with their concept, and you fade into the distance. No referrals, no beautiful project to photograph later, and worst of all, because you were busy beating your head against this design bookcase, you had to turn down clients that you could have had successful dealings with. Too busy.

I think we can all live without this frustration in our lives.

Be brave–be strong–turn it down.

I know it is the right thing to do, but sometimes my confidence gets the best of me.

Doing the right thing is hard.





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