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Clients Are From Mars, Designers Are From Venus

I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to post a question on LinkedIn, asking about client / supplier relations. I pride myself on having good relationships with my clients but I’m aware that just sometimes, clients and suppliers can fail to understand each other. I went ahead with my question and received some interesting answers. Suppliers were more forthcoming with answers, read into that what you will.

So for an insight into the minds of your clients or suppliers, continue to read the comments in the columns below. They’re quite revealing!

These are direct quotes from the responses I received, and do not necessarily reflect my own opinions!

Suppliers/Designers Answers

1. “There are three concepts for the client to consider, they are Fast, Cheap, and Good. You can pick two, and only two”

2. “Graphic design is a strategic communications tool and not just simply ‘art'”

3. “That if design is extremely cheap, it’s probably not actual design and won’t be effective”

4. “I’ve spent a lifetime learning and honing my skills, so I probably know best at least some of the time”

5. “Clients should, in fact, sweat the details”

6. “Delaying payment is a lot harder on me than you realise”

7. “Quality is extremely important to me, so please don’t cheap out on art/photos”

8. “Intellectual Property Rights are all that keep creatives in business and should therefore be respected”

9. “‘Crowdsourcing’ will not get them good results and only serves to hurt the industry”

10. “Most designers actually make less than the average salary”

11. “If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is”

12. “Please appreciate that offset vs. digital printing differs greatly in quality and turn around times”

13. “That social media is an ever-changing entity. What worked on Facebook last month may not be the best practice for this month”

14. “A sentence that begins with ‘can you just…’ makes many designers blood run cold. What appears to be a small change can often be several hours work”

15. “Appreciate my hourly worth (particularly true of highly experienced and educated designers)”

16. “Delays in providing content and in making decisions makes that important deadline harder to hit”

17. “The software and equipment I need costs me a lot – upwards of around £6000 and it seems something always needs replacing / upgrading in order for me to carry on working”

18. “We work very long hours. I’ve pulled all-night working sessions before now”

19. “Images pulled from your website are not suitable for printing! The resolution (dots-per-inch) is too low”

20. “The software isn’t ‘magic’. I do the hard work, the software does what I make it do”

21. “I love what I do and want to provide the best possible results”

22. “Delays in making decisions means that my projects all run together”

23. “Have your own photography done. It’s personable and more sincere than using stock photography – There’s one particular photo of a blonde woman wearing a headset that appears on so many sites” – I think he means this woman

Clients Answers

1. “Please don’t use jargon. It may all be second nature to you, but means nothing to me”

2. “Deadlines are there to be met. If you think it can’t be met, flag it up in advance”

3. “Using buzz-words doesn’t inspire me with confidence in your abilities”

4. “I know my business and I’m experienced in my field. I occasionally know what I’m talking about”

5. “Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear, tell me what I need to know. I’ll respect you more for it”

6. “Allow me to put forward some of my ideas. I may surprise you!”

7. “I’m mediating between you and others my team / my boss / a committee”

8. “If you can’t do something be honest with me”

9. “Out-sourcing is a bit of a minefield, so I will have lots of questions and be wary of being lumbered with a charlatan”

10. “There’s a huge variation in prices for certain types of work and it’s not always obvious why one person should be worth more than another”

11. “Stay in contact! It’s extremely worrying when freelances can’t be got hold of”

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