I really like the color, but could you maybe change it?
The real reason why graphic designers age quickly isn't because of the latest hipster trends but the
unnerving daily battle with clients—a not entirely serious article about the relationship between
graphic designers and marketing people.
Warning: This article may contain elements of sarcasm.
Oh the hard life of a graphic designer...
Graphic designers are precise professionals, or in other words, meticulous perfectionists. They love the work they do, and creativity is in their blood. Nothing hurts such a gentle soul more than the utopian demands of profit-oriented marketing managers and green clients. You think we're exaggerating? Here are a few examples...
Photoshop – it’s magic!
You want to retouch a team photo or make a rhinoceros jump through a hoop of fire for the new logo? With Photoshop, that's no problem at all. You've probably always suspected it, and now we’re here to confirm it. There is nothing less than black magic behind these and similar feats. Graphic designers pay homage to dark deities. They often sell their souls to make impossible graphic problems possible for you, with just a few clicks. And the best part is: it's cheap and costs you less!
So if your graphic designer comes to you with phrases like "it’s a real handicraft," "countless layers," or "hours of retouching work," don't be fooled. After all, you know the actual truth now.
Impact, Times New Roman, or Comic Sans - some fonts instantly trigger pain in all the convulsions of a graphic designer's brain. Despite this, some customers regularly insist on disfiguring their talented graphic designer's latest creative work with fonts of this type. And of course, the thought that may have previously gone into unique typography, carefully chosen by the designer with marketing, psychology, and design aspects in mind, is disregarded.
Oh, mighty designers, forgive us. We have no clue what we’re doing.
It's the same story when it comes to text and pictures. While graphic designers patiently try to harmonize both image and text, customers seem to follow the principle "the bigger, the better." Nope, lighting effects, obnoxious colors, and Comic Sans in 3D isn't the key to successful graphics.
The target group
Great logos, graphics, and banner ads aren't just identified by the extent to which graphic artists and their clients are pleased, but rather that it appeals to a target audience. Sounds simple? But it’s not: Since you need to define your target group before graphic designers can tailor their work accordingly. And no, we don’t mean all men and women aged 0 and up when talking about a suitable target group.
Also not so helpful: "I’m the target group, and I don't like it." The more information you can provide to your graphic designer about your target audience, the easier his/her work gets, and the better the expected results will be. That wouldn’t only spare the graphic artist’s nerves but would also save you a whole lot of money. And that’s the most important thing- don’t ya agree?
So ein bisschen wie das Logo von XY, nur anders.
"Similar to the logo XY, but different." When we're talking about the unauthorized use of foreign graphics, images, or any form of writing, it means the infringement of intellectual property, which can lead to expensive penalties or injunctions. Regardless, graphic designers are still asked to copy an image from Google Search and to modify it a bit. After all, what's photoshop for?
Absolutely right! Photoshop serves voracious clients that decide to save little money for image licenses. Instead, their graphic designers have to spend hours editing the stolen idea so that no legal sanctions are the consequence.
This procedure isn't just in the legal grey area but also massively goes against graphic designer's moral concepts and sense of honor. But why respect colleagues' work and create something unique if reproducing a googled image by your boss is much more elaborate and expensive!
“Wow, it looks so much better now, don’t you think?"
Yet another one of those sentences that cost graphic designers decades of their life.
"Verschlimmbessern," a German word that doesn't properly exist in English and describes the process of disimproving perfectly. It means to make things worse while trying to make things better. This phenomenon often occurs in graphic designers’ worlds.
Why? You may ask.
Well, because everyone knows that once designers take action, waiting for the rest of the team begins. And waiting leaves a bunch of room for silly ideas like interrupting a designer’s workflow by providing unsolicited wise advice. Or even worse: by verschlimmbessern his successful work. Keep this in mind! Even if you are authorized to give instructions, as a supervisor, think about your power and heed this well-intentioned advice: your designer is the professional now.
A media archive that kills you
You're looking for yesteryear’s campaign media files? But all the individual parts are scattered somewhere in the vastness of Outlook, Skype, and Dropbox? Then indeed the graphic designer can ... No! Just this alone will cause your colleague to sprout a whole tuft of gray hair! Your graphic designers may make your campaigns look good, but they aren't meant to replace the non-existent media manager! That's not their job!
If your media archive looks like an art exhibition by a hoarder, you should probably think about the organization and management of your media files. The good news: Help is near! Image management software or digital asset management systems (DAM), like pixx.io, store your files in one place so that the whole team can access them smoothly. Images, videos, and documents can be searched, downloaded in any format, integrated into popular software (such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign), and easily shared internally and externally. With digital asset management, even approval processes can be mapped. Meaning all colleagues always have the latest version of a document at hand and immediately know what a file can and cannot be used for.
So: Check out pixx.io free and without commitment and let your graphic designers do their work! And who knows, maybe your boss- and clients would be very grateful about such a tip. After all, a DAM doesn't just save you unnecessary work, but also your company. Last but not least, an endnote to all graphic designers: Keep your head up! You're doing a fantastic job..😉
When I'm not writing for the blog, I love to take pictures!