My morning ritual includes the double cappuccino with almond milk, reading the daily brand, ad and design news across the net and answering emails that seem to have accumulated in my inbox through out the night and checking the random links send to me, compliments of google alerts. This blog entry is a result of one of those google alerts, likely keywords, “graphic design” and possibly the number “8”(as in relation to jungle  ) After reading this blog post from a 25 year old designer and illustrator from Canada, I knew we were kindred souls. The tongue and cheek list of the top “8 Ways To Drive A Graphic Designer Mad” rang all too true from my years of experience in this field. Here are the highlights of his list, but I urge you to read the entire posting, unless of course, you are a potential client.
Ask the designer to change the fonts in the design. Examples: change Helvetica to Arial, then Arial to Comic Sans. (YUCK!!!!)
NOTE: I’ve been paraphrasing the points up until here and will go back to doing so after #3. However, I can not accurately paraphrase the genius of the original posting so #3 is listed here as a direct quote:
3. More is Better
“Let’s say you want a newsletter designed. Graphic designers will always try to leave white space everywhere. Large margins, the leading and kerning of text, etc. They will tell you that they do this because it’s easier to read, and leads to a more clean, professional look. But do not believe those lies. The reason they do this is to make the document bigger, with more pages, so that it costs you more at the print shop. Why do they do it? Because graphic designers hate you. They also eat babies. Uncooked, raw baby meat.”
Provide only low res versions of your logo to the designer. If the designer is design a logo for you, provide your own sketched made on a napkins. Only after having the designer go through 25 rounds of designs and revisions, go back to the second design. Next, ask the designer to add bevels, gradients, drop shadows and glows and of course, CHANGE FONTS TO COMIC SANS!
5. Choosing Words
Provide direction to the designer in terms that don’t provide direction at all as in the example of “jazz it up a bit” or make it more “web 2.0ish”. My favorite direction when working with the head of marketing on a TV project several years ago was, “make it more cute”. Ugggghhhh!
Choose the color theme for the project for the designer. To do so, place the names of colors on a piece of paper and pulling them out of a hat, IN FRONT OF THE DESIGNER!
Take your time with deadlines that are assigned to you as the client. For example if you are scheduled to approve a design or provide feedback and have been scheduled 2 days to do so, take a week. Then insist the designer brings the project back on schedule by doing their work faster.
8. Finish Him Off
After all of this, make sure you tell the designer you’ve had enough of the lack of creativity they’ve applied to the project and that you, are actually going to do the layouts myself (in some Microsoft program) and have opted not to pay for the designs after-all.
Even though clients aren’t usually such a nightmare, I’ve experienced each of these things in some degree or another throughout my career. It was interesting for me to read the rantings of a young designer from another country who’s experiences resonates universally in our profession.