Designers are also Salespersons

Part of being a designer is that you need to sell your designs and big ideas. It’s like being a salesman. You need to know the benefits and selling features of a product or service in order for someone to buy it. As a designer, we have to promote and show why our designs are great and how they will benefit our Clients. I believe that a strong designer is also a strong salesperson. It is useless if you have all these great ideas in mind but have no way to translate that vision into words. Designers need to sell their work for somebody out there to appreciate and a chance for it to be utilized. I definitely think it is an incredible feeling to be able to market your expertise and have your client buy off what you’re trying to sell them.

Here are my tips that I find always work for me when trying to sell my ideas or propose any design strategies:

      1. Do research. Have similar clients or companies done something like you are proposing? How do they benefit from it? Use similar case studies to get your point across.
      2. Understand your clients. Stand in your client’s shoes. If you have to help your clients rebrand, you need to live and breathe the brand yourself. Learn their culture. It’s not as simple as understanding just the brand guidelines. Go beyond that. How do they do business? How do they interact with their customers or employees? What kind of problem are they trying to solve? What message or objective do they have behind?
      3. Back up with rationale. Don’t just design for the sake of designing or tell your clients, “because it looks good”. Aesthetics can be very subjective. So you got to back up your design or ideas with concrete reasons that will help their business or brand. For example, if you pick a particular colour, explain your choice. Perhaps, it will not clash and compliment well with your client’s brand etc.
      4. Talk with confident. Clients will not likely to be sold if you are unsure of your own design or in doubt. They are able to tell from the way you speak and gesture of your presentations. So speak up, sit or stand still, breathe and sell it. Do not afraid of questions. Answering these questions, make your client more comfortable and believe in your ideas
      5. Be prepared. This also goes hand in hand with the previous point. I believe that when you are well prepared, you will automatically be confident. Before the presentation or meeting, prepare yourself. Go over your designs or ideas, jot down some key points or highlights that you need to mention. Sometimes, it is nerve wrecking to have to present ideas in front of a group of people to an extent where a brain will just turn off completely (at least mine will!), so having some main points in a notebook can be useful as a quick reference to what you have to say
      6. Let them know and feel that you are excited. After all, it is your design, it is your baby. If you are excited, chances are your clients will as well and look forward to the final product
      7. Learn to compromise. There are times when you have to let go and sacrifice some elements a bit. After all, the clients are your boss. They pay the bucks. Learn how to let go of something if your clients are very strong about where they stand but in return suggest an alternative. Get a mutual agreement or try to get the best of both worlds.

What are some of the tips you have when you are selling your designs or ideas?

Image Credit: Shana Theoret

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Graphic Design Rips Offs or Inspiration?

A very interesting article that I read recently from Just Creative Design on how you draw the fine line between Plagiarism and Inspirations. How do you define and separate from one another? I think that is a common question and problem encountered by most designers.

I personally need inspirations all the time. But my inspirations can be from anything and anywhere. It does not necessary come from a source of another designer. It can be from a historical painting, a tree in a park, the expression on my mom’s face, the joke from my boss or even the hash tags from my twitter feed. Though, cliché but sky really is the limit. It depends heavily on how detail-oriented of a person or designer you are, to notice symbols or elements that are not obvious to the eye.

I define plagiarism as copying and rip-offs to the most obvious sense. It has no other twists or extensions from the original and the result is at its surface level only. Inspiration for me, on the other hand, is a lot deeper. It involves taking one small piece of an element and adding your own touch and style on another area that may not have been done before. In the end, it also needs to make sense. Why was it done this way? What was the reason behind it? When using or “borrowing” a design/style, it has to serve a purpose on your work and not just because it looks cool and pretty. To put it in an example, let’s say if I were to do a poster for a Pin up party. I would probably apply the graphical style or font styles of the era to draw the connections while adding my own modern twists and design aesthetics. It wouldn’t make sense in this case to use a different style since it has a very distinctive time reference. That to me is inspiration, the style inspired me on the design approach to create elements or content of my own. If it was to be plagiarized, it would be picking up a poster in the archive and done it in the exactly the same way.

Of course, there are also times when you looked at something you thought is really clever and the idea or concept popped back up awhile later subconsciously, and you thought you created the idea yourself. But even then, when those time come, the work that you’ve created will already be different because you’ve “washed” it in your head. Your work will then have your own style and flare than as if you were to photocopy off side by side.

Image Credit: francesca iannaccone

What a wonderful world!

Welcome to the blog of Design that Tastes Good.

I enjoy sharing every moment and everything that I see or encounter around me in my life. They can be anything that just captures my attention or what I think are inspiring in this world.

I believe that we can always learn to see a good side of things, even if it’s a rotten apple. You will then realize how beautiful this world can be.