RGD Weekly Webinar – Bob Hambly: 5 Questions…
RGD Weekly Webinar – Bob Hambly: 5 Questions Your Clients Will Ask During Your Logo Presentation
A vital skill that some design students struggle with and may in fact dread, is presenting your work to a client or a group of your peers. It is a humbling experience that exposes your design to the elements of criticism and audience comprehension. The best way to alleviate these anxieties, as we know, is preparation. Foreknowledge can be the difference between a panic attack and a presentation. Bob Hambley RGD, recently gave a webinar presentation about this very topic that has some amazing tips for presenting your work and the common questions that can trip up designers. His presentation focusses on logo presentations but this advice can be applied to any sort of design presentation students give about their work.
Design has to have a purpose, it has to serve an audience. As designers we should have this purpose in mind when designing. We make decisions in consideration of how our audience will interpret our choices, and what we are communicating. These factors are important to our clients and stakeholders as well. They want to be able to explain the choices made in a confident way to their customers and likely the other stakeholders they will need to communicate with. Being able to answer this question in an effective way relies on you delivering your answer in a simple, meaningful and accurate manner. Accuracy is a vital component, clients and your peers are intelligent, thinking people and they know when you are making up facts and choices that have no basis in the design.
We are colour experts. Designers pay attention and understand colour better than the average bear, and clients want to know that. When designing, you are making choices that have meaning to your audience, not just because it is your favourite colour. Understanding and communicating how colour is understood and comprehended in several contexts (historical, geographical, religious, and emotional) will give your clients a more meaningful understanding of your design and why it is appropriate. This is especially useful when a client or peer has a personal distaste for the colour you have chosen. Being able to support your choice with examples and research means personal taste won’t prevent the most appropriate colour choice being used in your design solution.
With the democratization of fonts thanks to computer word processors, everyone is an expert when it comes to fonts. As a designer you need to be able to prove why you are in fact a true expert of font selection and usage. By being able to rationalize your type selection with proper terminology, understanding of type construction and usage, and historical references you will be able to confidently answer this tricky question with authority. However, it is important to not overwhelm your client with typographic details, nobody cares about fonts as much as you do, that is why you are the typography expert. Be concise and confident that your selection is based on proper research and suits the values of your client and their audience.
This is a difficult question to answer for designers because there are an infinite number of designs in the world and to come. Is your design unique in the void compared to every other design in the past and in the future to come? No, probably not. Is it unique in conjunction with what your client needs to accomplish, and how it communicates to its audience? Yes, very likely! By establishing the context of your clients needs and communication methods the field of other designs that yours can be compared to becomes much smaller.
This question is scary for clients, and for a designer it is impossible to predict. By relating your design to the needs of your customer you can assure them that you have met their needs. For example, if a company needs your solution to last a long time you will have considered this when designing. All a designer need to do is demonstrate how you addressed the elements and connections that the audience will interpret to reinforce the timeless quality of your design.
The common themes and strategies that Bob identified in his presentation came down to having a solid design process that addresses the needs of the audience and the client, and being prepared to demonstrate how you as a designer made your decisions based on these needs in a concise, meaningful and accurate manner. Being armed with this preparation will help disarm the presentation-jitters because you already know the answers to the tough questions you might be asked.
Good luck with all your future presentations!