Function wins out over form every single time. If you’re a graphic designer and don’t believe this, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Our job as designers is to efficiently communicate a message (function) and make it look pretty (form). If we’re unable to effectively communicate the correct message, we then fail. This is an issue designers and their clients struggle with on a daily basis.
I’ll admit there have been times I’ve blamed clients for making my designs look like crap. However, in retrospect I have learned that if my design looks like crap, it’s my fault – not the clients’. Clients might throw in difficult elements we have to include and supply impossible limitations.
One of the worst scenarios a designer can find themselves in is when they’re handed a design request in “design terms” from a client and it’s lost in translation simply because we speak different languages. An example of this would be a client asking for a “sophisticated” design when they really meant “whimsical.” Each of those terms lead in completely different design directions.
It’s important to remember that clients will most often see the things that a designer can’t. They hold the insight as to what design direction will please and win over their targeted demographics. Designers must understand the wishes of their clients and take the limitations and what they consider odd requests as a challenge.
Designers struggling with their clients need to consider the limitations as a challenge instead of thinking “My client is ruining my design.” It’s ultimately our job to take a message that comes with parameters and realize there are many possibilities within limitations. If you can achieve this, you have gone above and beyond normal creativity and found the best design solution possible.
To be a great designer is not only to understand the needs of your client, but seeing how far you can go with certain limitations and being exceptional within the lines.
Here at REVOLT, we use this compromise in order to accomplish all the goals we set out to reach. We work with the needs of our clients because our clients understand their targeted market and demographics. We then use this critical information to achieve the most effective message we’re trying to communicate.
The end result is a beautiful design and marketing plan that allows our clients to successfully succeed within their market.