5 comments

  1. I totally understand the motivation, frustration behind this article !
    I think, the overall issue of professionalism in creative industry is affected by two things.

    First, Designers need to stop thinking & behave like they are the client sometimes ! And, the most smartest breed of people who can help, control businesses/organizations.

    Second, clients need to stop thinking that design is just about colors & software and they can do it too ! They just have more important things to care about so hiring someone else.

    Just these two aspects need to change & we will be in a better design-world.

  2. Nitin, apart from simply doing away arrogance and ego, there needs to be an understanding of what design does. Even as designers, most Indian designers don’t understand what they are finally delivering to the client – what value they are delivering. If we, as designers, do not understand our profession, we have no right to be in it. While the notion of educating clients is a noble one, most clients in India are not interested in being educated – they “just want a logo” – they don’t know what long-term value a logo might impart to their brand and if you do try to explain how a project would ideally work, they scoff at your ‘idealism’.

    I don’t know what th answer is because I am still learning. I doubt that simply changing the two aspects that you have mentioned, will change the design industry scenario in India. It’s like saying that the plight of the human race can be changed if only two things are removed, the wars and poverty – it is not going to happen. The way I see it, it is going to happen only if taken on as a personal crusade by each designer on their own. As a collective community, we should work toward some program that increases design awareness among the non-designers and increases design professionalism amongst designers themselves. If a client misbehaves in terms of professionalism with ONE designer, every other designer should refuse to work with them unless they agree to at least sit down and listen / argue / discuss with us and then decide for themselves, which route would be best for them. It is scary to think that a client who says “just give me a logo, I’m paying you” and then refuses to fill-in a brief, for example, is someone who controls the project.

  3. great article, well there are various solutions to this problem since this is not a single problem.

    Educating the client in however way might be one of the good solutions, like what you just did. creating a community and getting all the designers seems to be another.

    Regards,
    Nishant Kalia

  4. I see where the anger frustration and helplessness feelings come from to make you write such an article. But i beg to differ, not that i am some big-shot logo designer of some really FaNCy design agency to give out my two cents on the topic.

    Some how i feel DESIGN is never given any importance in India. Even though in todays changing times people are still not educated regarding the importance of design. So our first step should be teach them the importance of design and how it can help promote the business and establish a BRAND. I am sure most people wont know the difference between a brand and identity! (maybe even I fully dont)

    Well I have learned this over time with clients of various “Mind Set” and at the end I feet that the most common part in every client is the fact they are like “little kids running after a big dream”.
    * Some are too shy and don’t know if they can convey their idea to you
    * Some of them are confused with there surrounding! Don’t know what they want?
    * Some are just in too much hurry that they will jump at the first thing they get.
    * Some of them are perfectionist and forget about the rest of the things!
    * some want everything they can think of in a LOGO.
    * Some are too proud/pompous, who believe tehy have the perfect design without any evaluation (based on a hunch feeling or the WOW factor)

    * Finally there are some who have TRUST in the designer. (best clients)

    well I must say I have seen most of them and they are not that bad after all if you learn to handle each in a different manner. You have to mend your ways to get through to them. So following the “SAME” professional approach with all the clients wouldn’t be the smartest move, one has to predict first hand after talking to the client once or twice.

    I would always say listening is the key here, but filtering all what you have heard is most important. Have an original idea but do blend in the clients advice.

    After all the client should be HAPPY at the end of the day 🙂
    educate:learn:grow

    1. Vikram, thank you for a different point of view. In the article above, I’m not talking about keeping the same approach of design for all clients – depending on a client’s requirement, each project can have a different process of unfolding / solving. What I’m talking about above is keeping the same level of professionalism – meaning if I take a 50% deposit from one client, I should do that will all others instead of being taken in with promises of “I will give you more work.” – or, if a logo design project requires a creative brief to be completed, that brief should be applicable to all clients regardless of whether it is a multi-million-dollar company or an individual management consultant – or, if a client refuses to pay the balance due to me, I blog about it and take legal recourse whether it is a large company or a small company. It’s ‘professionalism’ I’m talking about, not the way a project is approached.

      If I take my car to a mechanic, I don’t expect him to repair / service the car based on whether I look like an idiot / genius to him. I expect him to service my car to the best of his abilities. The approach to servicing my car might be different – well because I might be a male / female and accordingly, I might / might not understand intricate working / jargon, or I might be someone who’s just bought the car and doesn’t know much about it or someone who’s had the car for a long time, or I might be a repeat customer or a fresh one – my car might be different from the ones the mechanic is used to servicing, etc. So, the approach to servicing my car will be different. But I will expect him to get genuine parts, clean the insides of the car, learn more about the car if it is a new model, give me an estimate before he starts and then deliver on time. [ These could be some of the many ‘professional’ ‘things’ I might expect from a car mechanic.

      Unfortunately, the problem, in the design industry, the way I see it, in India especially, is that even us designers are unable to define ‘design’ and hence we are unable to define what constitutes professionalism. We take work from a client who doesn’t know anything about design / what he wants from us and deliver the project ‘somehow’ so that we can get paid and move on. I’m not saying that a client needs to know the nuances of what logo design / branding are – but they should know enough that if they are hiring a professional, some level of trust and respect should be accorded instead of making the designer run around for the money they deserve or delaying projects to more than six months unnecessarily, simply because design is not a priority for them – and then fuming when they’re told that after six months, a fresh payment needs to be made to re-start the project.

      That kind of professionalism.

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