How do you persuade your client to use research in the most effective fashion?

01.31.2010 / Question submitted by: Ruth Galloway & Glenn Kiernan


Clients are often the best sources of information about their own organizations—they know their products, mission, and offerings inside and out. But with that familiarity often comes a kind of tunnel vision that limits their perspective. We try to combine the best of our clients’ expertise with our own fresh, “informed outsider” viewpoints. To help build a foundation for good concepts, we can provide clients with customer profiles and schema, trend forecasts, and basic field observations. These are a far cry from the traditional focus group methods, and aren’t used to support already-existing design directions, but to provide a transparent framework clients can see—why we want to focus their communication in certain areas. Usually the biggest barrier to good basic design research isn’t budgets—many of these methods can be done inexpensively. Short, rigid timelines and a “have it done yesterday” mentality are more likely to keep clients from seeing the value in this sort of analysis.
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Revisions, Redesigns and the Creative Process

01.31.2010 / Author: Steve Zelle

The topic of revisions is one of the more confusing aspects of any design project and possibly even more so when designing a logo. A great logo is usually a simple image in perfect balance, where nothing can be added or taken away without having a negative effect. Because of this delicate balance, small changes to the design can have a big impact. There are times when the goals of a project, and therefore the client, are better served by starting over, rather than changing and weakening a presented concept. It is a subjective decision that needs to be made by the designer and client every time revisions to a presented concept are requested. The difference between a revision and a redesign is open to interpretation, so it’s important to provide as much clarity as possible.

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Creative Process Study 02

01.31.2010 / Project: Shevet Achim


Shevet Achim is a charitable organization that brings together Palestinian families and Israeli surgeons—to provide life-saving heart surgeries for Palestinian children while breaking down cultural barriers. Even though their strategic work of peace and compassion spoke volumes, the identity needed an overhaul. We wanted to amplify the core message, allowing the great humanitarian work to shine through

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Creative Process Study 01

01.16.2010 / Project: We are Him+Her

Ruth Galloway & Glenn Kiernan

Designing your own identity is a very personal project, and possibly the hardest job you can accomplish as a creative. The pressure of unlimited possibilities, working with the toughest client – yourself – and under the gaze of your peers’ critical eyes: it has to be right. It has to be bombproof.

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What Determines the Number of Concepts you Show to a Client?

01.16.2010 / Question submitted by: Steve Zelle

Ruth Galloway & Glenn Kiernan:

There is no hard a fast rule to the number of concepts we show to our clients. It varies depending on the type of project. Ideally we aim to show only three solutions.

If we are working with a mature identity or packaging brand these three routes will include an evolution (if the brief requires), a mid point, and a revolution. Sometimes if we are confident enough with the rationale, the consumer insights and we have complete courage in our conviction, those moments when you know you have the winner, we will present just one route. This rarely happens as the process usually takes the client on a journey from their present position to the winning idea. We never just present concepts to ‘fill’ a presentation, each concept presented must fit the brief and be something we would happy to develop and be proud to show if chosen by the client.
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My Clients are Paying for the Process First and the Logo Second

01.16.2010 / Author: Steve Zelle

A well-designed logo is the distillation and prioritization of information regarding a specific set of behaviors, needs and goals. A logo created without critical thought often rings untrue, does not provide value and can in fact, do damage to a brand. A creative process ensures that clients have a substantial personal investment in their visual identity, as they should. A visual identity should be viewed as a long-term investment of time, capital and resources. Guiding clients towards making that investment is one of the functions of the creative process. When clients are guided through a creative process they are investing in exploring key business decisions and exposing critical issues they may not have been aware of or were choosing to ignore. They have to be able to answer the questions above for a designer to create an appropriate visual identity.

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