{Design gone bad…}

So, recently I’ve been approached about several different custom projects and, while most all of them turn out great, I’ve had some requests that are…uh…a bit more difficult to swallow.  A few frustrations emerge from these types of requests:

1.  The feeling that the customer doesn’t understand how hard I’ve worked on these designs and how intentional I was/am about my font, color, and layout choices.

2.  The “I know what’s best” mentality that is communicated when it is very apparent, by their request, that they don’t know what’s best at all.

3.  The fear that something that’s not up-t0-par will have my name stamped on it.

4.  The fear that they won’t like what they see after I’ve implemented their requests and still think that it’s my fault when the reality of the situation is, their choices just weren’t that great.

5.  The utter disgust I feel while making something like this.  Oy.

Maybe a bit dramatic – but the point is, I’m still fairly new at this and am unsure of how to deal.  What I’ve been doing up until this point, is sending out EXACTLY what the customer asked for, and then sending out what I would suggest – still deploying their requests, but with other tweaks in the design in an attempt to harmonize with their choice.  And what I wonder is: is there a point at which I can say “You know, I thought about this and don’t feel it would be best in the context of this design. But I’m happy to work out something else for you and include the things you want to include.”

I think what I would like is for buyers to approach a project with the understanding that I do what I do for a reason.  It’s always refreshing to me when customers say things like, “What do YOU think about that, Anna?”  “Do you think that would look alright?”  “Do you have other suggestions?”  It makes me feel affirmed as an artist and trusted as a vendor.  But you can’t win ’em all.  And that’s ok.

On the other hand – it is a true delight when a co-created custom order comes out looking more beautiful than the buyer ever anticipated!  THAT is fun!  And THAT is what makes doing custom work worth while.  And ultimately, as long as the customer is happy, I’m happy!  I’m proud to be able to give people what they want out of their paper-goods order!

Ok – enough ranting!


2 thoughts on “{Design gone bad…}

  1. Gretchen says:

    I have a few friends who are in website design (and are very experienced) and they have similar complaints, so its not just you or that people don’t trust you as a vendor. There are just some people who are going to be like that I think. A lot of people think they have an understanding of design and think they know what looks good/think that it’s really easy to do, but not everyone can have those skills. If they really knew what they wanted and how they wanted it to look, why couldn’t they do it themselves? I’m always impressed with the beautiful work you create and I’m glad that you have a lot of happy and receptive customers to make up for the ones that are more difficult!

    • Gretchen! Thank you so much for this! You are so sweet to take the time to write that! Customers like this are certainly a RARE occurrence and, even when they do come along, I’m just grateful that they sought me out at all!

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