I have failed, and I consider that a success.
Being a graphic designer requires a thick skin as a large part of what we do is create failures.
To use a logo design as an example, after a new client is onboarded and the research is done, we sit down with a sketchbook and use that research to generate ideas. Those ideas become concepts, often dozens of concepts. A few of those concepts get iteration after iteration until they’re brought into Illustrator where they’re refined again until 1-3 designs are presented to the client.
Will they like one? 😁 Will they not? 😭 The best option is chosen, and there may be some revisions and adjustments made, leaving more failures in its wake until a final mark that captures the brand beautifully is bundled up and sent to the client for rollout.
But sometimes the failure never becomes a success.
I recently went through this with a client doing a rebrand. They came to me with a logo that was perfectly acceptable but told me that they didn’t think it was capturing their brand very well. So, I did what all good designers do, I asked questions, researched, sketched, iterated, and designed. But when the concepts were presented?
None hit the mark with the client. It was a little disappointing as the concepts fully met the scope of work and captured aspects of the client’s mission and audience. One was close, but not quite. We talked about what worked and what didn’t and built from those failures, continuing the process of finding a logo that suited their needs. Second presentation?
Failure again. But then the client spoke to me and said that while they liked a few of the designs, the process helped them appreciate their existing logo and they didn’t think a rebrand was needed after all.
And I respect that. It’s like a vacation, sometimes you don’t appreciate home until you’ve left it for a while. But I still see it as a success. While there’s a process and a science behind what goes into a design, there’s also the gut. If the gut feeling isn’t there, and the gut told the client to stick with the current visual identity, I’m glad I was able to help the client fall in love with their original logo again.
The logo itself wasn’t a success, but the process was. Some more fragile than I may think they were the failure. However the client was pleased with the outcome and there were other aspects to the project, the only thing that changed is that instead of incorporating a new visual identity, I was working with an existing one. And the client was quite happy with those.
If you’re in need of a graphic designer who can guide you through the process of creating great design and won’t take it personally if you don’t think a design is working, drop me a line!