Graphic Design: It's Not About What You Want, It's About What Works

Yeah, it's true. More times than we'd like to admit, people hire us to design what THEY want regardless of what THEY need. Forget best design practices, who your target audience is, or how the design will be used.

"Just add an orange circle to it!", the real estate client exclaims.  Why? Because orange circles are easy to forget and have nothing to do with real estate? Or, is the name of your real estate company actually "Big Orange Circle Realty"?

These are the things you need to think about and this is why you hire a professional graphic designer. 

Most people just don't understand the purpose of hiring a professional graphic designer or even what graphic design is.

Let's look at Wikipedia's definition of "Graphic design"

"Graphic design is the methodology of visual communication, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image."

Somehow people just see "the use of type, space and image" with absolutely no context. They completely leave out some of our best qualifications: visual communications and problem-solving. Yeah, you didn't realize that did you? We are actually a bunch of respectable, educated professionals who are trained in visual communications and problem-solving

So, what is the visual communications problem you need solved? Do you need a logo? Why do you need a logo? Do you even know what a logo is?

Back to Wikipedia...A logo is used "to aid and promote instant public recognition". If your real estate company name is NOT "Big Orange Circle" does that orange circle, give you instant public recognition? It might, if you cater to the orange growers or juice industry. Otherwise, it does NOT promote instant public recognition, does it? You're just telling a graphic designer how to do their job because you like orange circles. 

Telling a graphic designer how to design is kind of like telling your plumber to configure the pipes in some way that you find aesthetically pleasing but completely dysfunctional. You're right...it is entirely possible that the configuration you come up with could have some functionality to it. What I don't understand is, if you know so much about plumbing, why not just do it yourself in the first place and save yourself the money? (And don't get me started about the "tools".)

A good design is about attracting the right clients. It's about something they feel they can relate to, that's unique, recognizable and memorable. There are other factors that must be considered as well, such as where a design is used, what it's physical size (or sizes) will be and in what medium it is to be produced.

Honestly...It's not about what YOU want. It's about what WORKS.