At Proof, we’re totally immersed in the world of branding. Whether we’re strategizing and dreaming up big ideas for a new project or talking about the latest design trends over lunch, we know the ins and outs of our business. But when we’re working with new clients it’s easy to forget that they are typically unfamiliar with the creative process how to communicate clearly about aesthetics and design.
At the beginning of each new project our clients go through an a comprehensive Understand Your Brand workshop. While the workshop helps us develop a core understanding of each project we take on, this is also the perfect opportunity to share some of our expertise. We’ve found that teaching our clients the basic knowledge they’ll need to talk about their brand helps to break down communication barriers that can lead to unnecessary frustration. Like writer and designer Paul Jarvis says:
“Amateurs get frustrated with clients. Professionals educate them.”
Here are three important reasons why we take the time to share our knowledge:
No matter what industry you’re in, we all have special terms we use to talk about the underlying principles behind our craft. But if we bust out unfamiliar words like “kerning,” “negative space,” or “sans serif” when we’re talking with a client who knows next to nothing about design, this can lead to confusion. Teaching our clients some basic terminology empowers them and helps them “sound the part” as we talk about the details of their brand aesthetic.
Many people (designers included) often rely on popular buzzwords that don’t accurately describe design elements. Words like “clean, modern, rustic” are fine to use when discussing overall aesthetic but can mean very different things to different people. Teaching our clients about the individual elements of design and the principles behind them helps us communicate more clearly as we discuss different aesthetic directions.
Our clients want to know that they’re in good hands, especially when they’re investing time and money into the branding process. When we’re pitching logo options or discussing website mockups, clearly explaining our decision-making and the reasoning behind our design choices shows our expertise and helps to establish a better working relationship throughout the project.
We’ve found that the more informed and empowered our clients are, the more satisfied and confident they are in our ability to create a brand that can’t be ignored—and in the end, that’s all we really want.