Do you want to know the secret to a satisfying design career? Let’s face it; it’s impossible to be completely happy and satisfied with whatever career choice you choose. I mean, even being a professional chocolate taster has its drawbacks.
But out of all the gazillion different things you can do with your life. Being a graphic or web designer, at least in my opinion, is one of the more satisfying options out there. Then again, I may be a bit biased.
But just like every other career choice out there, being a designer has its ups and downs. You get to make money using your creativity. You get to design things that change peoples’ lives. Your creations are displayed for everyone to see and admire.
But there’s the flipside. Clients don’t always have the same vision as you. Some people are demanding to work with. And don’t get me started on taxes and all the administrative work involved with being a designer.
As I said, ups and downs. Luckily, and I’m sure you’ll agree, the life of a designer is filled with more ups than there are downs. That’s what keeps us going.
But what if I told you that you could increase the number of ups you experience? What if I told you there’s a very simple secret that will allow you to have a happier and more satisfying design career? That secret boils down to four words.
But hold on, before I tell you those four words, I want to share a scenario with you. Something you’ve probably experienced yourself at some point in your design career. And if you haven’t, give it time. I’m sure you will.
Let me know if this sounds familiar.
You’re hired to design a logo for a client. Being the good designer, you are you hunker down and get to work sketching out dozens, if not hundreds, of different ideas for the logo.
Most of these will be dismissed almost as soon as you make them. Some of them you know even before you make them that you won’t use them, but you have to get the idea out of your head. Or am I the only one who does that?
After a while, you are drawn back to a handful of your ideas that show merit. Some of them you play and tweak, trying this and that until you realize they won't work and discard them. But there are a few that are promising. So you concentrate all your talent and design skills on making them just right.
In the end, you are left with two or three logos ideas. You then create a nice presentation, including various mockups to showing how each one would look in real-world situations. Then it's off to present to the client.
Even though all three ideas are good, you secretly have your favourite from the bunch. You know, The one you’re already picturing in your portfolio. The one you can’t wait to show off and let everyone know, “Hey, I designed this logo.” Yes, you always have your favourite.
Then, of course, there’s your second favourite. You don’t like it as much as the first one, but still, it’s a damn nice logo. Not that there’s anything wrong with the third logo. After all, you wouldn't present a logo to a client that you didn’t think was good enough, would you? I didn’t think so. But logo number three, even though good, doesn’t compare to logo one or even logo two.
You present your three designs to the client. You may even try to upsell your favourite logo a bit more than the other two. There’s no harm in doing that. And then you sit back and wait for the client’s decision.
You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?
Regardless of your effort and your desires, the client chooses the third logo.
You put on your happy face as you pretend to share in the client’s enthusiasm, but in your gut, you feel let down.
How could they choose logo number three? Can’t they see how great the first logo is? Or even logo number two would have been fine. But no, they chose logo number three.
I’m sure this exact scenario is why some designers practice the one-concept approach. They don’t offer their client’