Graphic designer-client relationships - case study
Galkina, Zinaida (2010)
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Graphic design is one of the elements of today’s environment. It communicates meanings, identifies things, navigates people, and imparts knowledge in physical visible forms. We can see it everywhere: in the street signs, books, newspapers, packages, labels, clothes, billboards, etc. Since ideas and messages find their visual appearance in printed, published, or other visual forms, this means there are clients that order these design projects and designers that make them a reality. Since there are many examples of great and poor design, this means creative cooperation may be effective and clear or mutual understanding may be missed. In this context, relationships between the graphic designer and a client become the main topic of this research. This work aims to discover the reasons of spoiling of relations and offer practical guidelines that help graphic designers and their clients to improve their business cooperation. In order to reach the main goal, this study describes the idea of the graphic designer and a client. Graphic designer is a mediator of ideas between producer and consumer and creator of experiences that can change behavior of individuals. In this context, designer’s social responsibilities, inner culture, education, career opportunities, and professional growth stay in the focus of this research. Since design is a result of designer’s activity, designer is responsible for success or failure of the project. However, client acts as equal in rights participant of the design process. This research presents a client from the position on corporate ladder and level of familiarization with design. The existing literature on the current topic describes disrespect, lack of responsibility, unethical behavior, stereotypes, and lack of clarity as the main reasons of spoiling of relationships between the graphic designer and a client. Two practical cases prove theoretical findings and outline possible solutions to improve these relations. Results provided by the cases become a basis for further research and conclusions. This study concludes with general guidelines that help graphic designers and their clients to speak clear language and provide effective design. Practical solutions suggest respect, ethical behavior, honesty, flexibility, overcoming stereotypes, individual approach to a client, and thinking several steps forward as core elements of profitable and fruitful cooperation. Also, they suggest concept of socially responsible design, payment strategies, and techniques to keep clients coming back and adapt to existing business conditions.
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