It is not unusual to hear a client place a demand for multiple design mockups; maybe two, three or even more. Their reason? The need to have varied options to choose from.
Of course, I totally get the point, by providing these varying concepts, you’re letting the client know that you are going the extra mile and that you are exploring many possible options.
Please, don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken this approach myself in the past. In fact, I have done it more times than I can count, which is exactly how I came about the conclusion that delivering multiple design concepts is not the best for brand designers who specialize in building a complete brand design for their clients. Neither does it do you any good as the client.
THERE’S MORE TO THE ONE CONCEPT APPROACH THAN WE TELL YOU
Professional Brand Designers put a lot more into the projects than they ever tell about. And we just don’t like to talk about it so the client wouldn’t think we are over-hyping things. Moreover, most of us just aren’t used to blowing our trumpets so loudly.
We go the extra mile to try out different design concepts, before settling in on the one that we consider most suitable for the client’s project.
Take, for instance, there have been times when I had to sketch multiple concepts — just to see what works and what doesn’t work for my client’s project, before going on to create a harmonized design. As a professional, I only present the best concept that encapsulates everything my client’s brand requires.
Now, you’d probably appreciate how much work must have gone into those final masterpieces that look as though we had it all perfectly figured out from the beginning! On the contrary…
We almost didn’t. But, of course, it is our job to make it look so easy.
YOU HIRED A PROFESSIONAL — NOT A GUESS-WORKER!
From a logical perspective, almost every professional graphic designer or brand strategist like myself understands that they are on the same team with their clients. I mean, why would you think we’d go through all the brainstorming sessions if we didn’t believe in your business or brand, anyway?!
Oftentimes, I find myself having to explore multiple design concepts just to arrive at THE ONE design concept that gives my client the kill.
So you see, whenever you, as a client, place a demand for multiple designs, you are more or less giving your designer the permission or excuse, as it were, to dump the project on you –leaving it to you to make the final decision. And this may altogether defeat the original purpose of the project.
The fact is that you hired a professional because you probably couldn’t figure it out all by yourself. It is the job of your graphics design expert to provide a solution to your brand strategy needs. This is why the need to understand the One Concept Approach to your brand development projects cannot be overemphasized.
Besides, you may have been ignoring the fact that demanding multiple design concepts may be directly, or indirectly underestimating the professionalism of your design expert — and that may not be good for you.
GRAPHICS DESIGN HAS EVOLVED A WHOLE LOT SINCE ITS EARLY DAYS…
Today, there are a plethora of tools and methods that are available to Graphics Designers. These tools can be easily used to validate design concepts such as usability or concept testing. This is why an experienced graphics designer will be more likely 100% confident in their solutions, than you, the client, who is probably focused on mere visual appeal. Your designer is in a better position to provide both the professional and logical explanations as to why they took certain approaches and the resultant market benefits or returns on your investment (ROI).
So you see, demanding multiple design options from your designer doesn’t help as much –compared to being presented with a single concept design solution where every detail of the design concept can be explained to you; including the reasons for certain choices over others — backed by some form of testing.
What do you think? Would you rather be presented with a validated design that has been proven to offer real solutions as opposed to having to guess between a variety of options that haven’t been vetted?
You may have even found yourself in some situations in the past, where you were presented with multiple design concepts, and you found yourself choosing elements from all of them, or maybe worse, you couldn’t choose any.
In this situation, the designer may have had to return to the drawing board and figure out a possible way to stitch the pieces together into an all-inclusive design, which can sometimes be frustrating, or even overwhelming, because the final design in this instance would not offer the real solution the client needs.
MAKING THE BEST USE OF YOUR TIME AND OTHER RESOURCES
You’d agree with me that when your brand designer puts all their time and effort into one design concept that they are confident in, they will be saving both yourself and them some reasonable amount of time that can be applied towards user-testing, feedback gathering, and progressive enhancements. This is, most certainly, a time better spent as opposed to having to figure out how to merge multiple design concepts together — an avoidable problem you created.
Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed countless situations where graphics designers were thrown into the same project, time and time again — in a somewhat endless cycle; and tasked to work on different concepts in parallel, and on some occasions, not fully understanding the problem at hand nor unable to carry out the necessary user testing.
Of course, in certain cases, they may have been able to come out with multiple beautifully amazing concepts. But have you ever asked yourself the big question:
Were they truly able to solve your problem and help your business in the long run; putting your time, money and other resources to good use?
In the end, you may be shocked to find out that the multiple design concept approach was probably a rather pricey endeavor with avoidable extended delivery implications.
Moreover, your focus should be centered around quality — not quantity, which is exactly what the solution that the one design concept approach offers.
IT’S ALL ABOUT HAVING YOUR EXPECTATIONS MET… WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I DO
During the initial stages of client engagement , I often like to explain to my clients how the design and feedback loop will work. This has proven to be very important — both for me and my clients! I typically let them know that I will only present them with a single design concept which will be enhanced multiple times until everyone is happy.
In my experience, most of my clients are usually fine with the approach, and often appreciate the involvement as it offers them the opportunity to see their design concept evolve — all through the entire design process — into something that truly connects with their brand.
It would interest you that, in most cases, the expectations that you, as the client, communicate with your designer at the commencement of the project could determine the overall outcome!
Do you have a pending project? Feel free to contact me with your brand design projects. I am happy to discuss your needs with you and to recommend a possible solution.