EVO Designs article on "Design by Committee"

You are a designer hiring other designers, the minority in my experience. Even when this does happen, there is often a marketing person holding the purse strings. In your case you sound like you would be the ideal client. I think the article is about dealing with the other 90% of clients, not bad people, just not maybe ideal clients. There wasn’t much slagging in the article, that seems to be going on right here.

Reading the article, I felt like I was in the lunch room at Evo bitching about a project-- not a good thing. Throughout the consulting world (design and beyond) everybody will bitch and moan about their client at times, but who writes a detailed article about it and posts it on a prominent design website? This is the kind of project dissection that should happen in an internal “project postmortem”-- discuss what can the firm learn from the project and take forward into their operations for the future. I’m just blown away that a consulting firm would go down that road in an industry(world) that is so small. In my book, that’s not “cajones”, that’s stupidity.

What I love about the article is how Evo makes it sound like this NEVER happened before. I’ve never worked at a consultant, but I’ve freelanced. This kind of project seems to be the majority of work a designer does. Everyone I’ve talked to at consultants deal with these projects most of the time. I want ring up Evo’s clients and try to steal them if they never give them this kind of project. Wow!

Furthermore, I think the client here may have meant they wanted a gloss of styling tossed on their repackaged and rebranded project. What’s wrong with that? Styling is the one thing in business that designers specialize in. It’s the one thing that is in every design project. If Evo’s designers don’t want to do styling…why are they designers?

The rest is convincing the client, but if a client doesn’t want what you are offering you have two options: dump the project or accept their desires. There are reasons to dump projects and if Evo felt so strongly that this project was not going to show them in a good light, they should have let their client know they hired the wrong people and tried to hook them up with a firm that would be more suitable.

I’m tired of all the whining going on here about design not being respected. Projects like this one are our business. This is how we make a living most of the time. Just because designers tend to have a high opinion of themselves and their work, does not mean clients truly give a darn, nor should they. Design is not THAT important and I feel the sooner our industry realizes this and embraces it, the sooner clients will increase their respect of our contributions.

EVO = EGO and I.D. is an erroding service industry. I don’t think I need to elaborate do I?

The first thing I do when I talk with a freelance client is ask a simple question:

“Are you looking for reinvention or restyling?”

The answer to this question makes the rest of the project much simpler for both sides. I think EVO would have had a different outcome if they had asked Graco this question.