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Difference between a Selfish and Selfless Graphic Designer – Who Are You?

Being a professional in the realm of graphic design, designers often tend to become egotistic and overconfident. Sometimes we become so selfish, we tend to forget who we are designing for. Designing for passion is a good sign but you cannot overlook the fact that clients are the real people you are designing for.Being overly selfish in graphic designing can prove to be fatal since you are not in the business to satisfy yourself. On the other hand, being overly selfless can make you reliant on the client and keep you away from success. In order to be professional graphic designers, one must be impartial and objective in making all the decisions for a project. You must free yourself from any negative influences that might adversely affect your productivity as a designer.

Today, I think it will be interesting if we list the differences between a designer who works for self-satisfaction and a designer who works for client satisfaction.

Traits of a Selfish Designer:

In order to identify a selfish designer, below are some of their common traits and their way of thinking. If you hear the following statements from your designer, you can rest assure that he is self-centered and egotistic.

• “My previous design was a hit, so I’ll re-create it for you”

Some designers have a knack of bragging about their previous creations.  Without considering client needs, they would ‘recommend’ that since their earlier design was a sensation, he would re-create a similar one for the client with minor tweaks. This is a clear sign of a designer who just wants to please himself by repeating his earlier success.

• “I must create an award-winning design”

Some types of graphic designers work with the intention of winning awards rather than satisfying the clients. These designers, in the process of creating award-winning designer, undervalue the client’s perspective completely. Their soul concern is to create something that the design critiques will like instead of pleasing their clients.

• “I know precisely what the client wants”

The worst mistake graphic designers make is presume that they know everything. Especially when it comes to client requirements, one must never presuppose what the client wants. Just because you successfully gauged the needs of your previous client, you cannot measure every client with the same scale. Each client has different set of requirements that must be addressed.

• “The design should be cool”

For a client, the logo must be effective in drawing customer attention. If a designer that the design should be cool and decorative in appearance, it means he/she isn’t considering the client’s business identity. Selfish designers generally want to look cool in front of their peers and thus pursue a flash and showy design. But for clients, a cool design is one that is effective.

Traits of a Selfless Designer:

Having discussed the attributes of a selfish designer, let us take a look at how clients can distinguish a selfless designer.

• “I need your opinion on this one”

For a designer who works for the client rather than for self-satisfaction, obtaining opinion from client is imperative. A selfless designer would place the client’s requirements before his own opinions and creative thoughts. He would pay heed to their each and every detail and try to adjust their way of designing according to those perquisites.

• “I must satisfy the client”

For a selfless designer, winning awards is secondary to pleasing their clients. Unlike selfish designers, who work just to please the award critiques and win laurels, selfless designers’ main purpose is to satisfy the client by fulfilling the requirements. For me, pleasing the clients is an award in itself.

• “The design must be effective”

As discussed earlier, selfish designers focus on creating designs that are visibly attractive and ‘cool in appearance’. But for designers who work for clients rather than their own pride, their focus in on making effective designs rather than ornamental ones that will influence the target audience.

So which of these designers would you consider yourself to be? Do you design for self pride or for client satisfaction?


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