4 Types of People You’ll Work With

Creative work is weird. It’s subjective, no one understands the process unless they’re in a similar field, and it takes time. Whether you work at a large company or as a freelancer, you’ll come across a handful of different client-types. Here are a few:

The “I want it now” One

The person who wants everything on their timeline. Don’t get me wrong, we all work off deadlines, but I’m talking about the ones who simply need it now (but do they reallllly? probably not).

Best practices when working with them:

  • Get an understanding on why it’s so urgent to them and prioritize accordingly.
  • Propose a realistic timeline (and maybe schedule check-ins) that works for both of you
  • Show work in progress, this will keep them excited about the project and will probably put them at ease.
  • Meet and stay faithful to the new and improved deadline

The “I’m basically a designer” One

We all know the people that think they are designers. They are full of “creative” ideas — good or bad and won’t hesitate to share them. However, they refer to every Adobe product as “Photoshop” and have no idea what the difference is between .psd and .ai files are.

Best practices when working with them:

  • Avoid showing too many early WIP pieces. Rather, show more finalized versions to keep them excited.
  • Use them as a “pair of fresh eyes”. Ask for their opinion and use their way of thinking to help you if you’ve been stuck on a project for a while.
  • Learn to say no. Ultimately, you make the decision to move forward or step back, if they’re pushing an idea that you don’t agree with, just say so.

The “it’s not done yet, but can you start on it” one

We all know that copy/information is really important for a project and is one of the most important things to moving the design forward. We’ve all come across the people who say, “use this as filler, we will change it later”. While that works part of the time, it doesn’t work all the time. It actually make the process much longer and more irritating to both parties.

Best practices when working with them:

  • Ask for finalized copy earlier than needed.
  • Remind them that backtracking and changing everything after the copy is finalized will make the process longer and more inconvenient for all parties.
  • Be patient and work out a time to check-in on both the copy and design to keep each other accountable of timely turnaround times.

The “Make the logo larger” one

We know, we know. Everyone wants to recognize the brand! YES WE KNOW! As designers, we tend to make the logo too small for most people. Working with someone who just really wants to logo larger? We’ve all been there. For the sake of good design we usually say “no”… but for the sake of being a good person we usually say “okay fine.”

Best practices when working with them:

  • Remind them that the entire project is within brand guidelines and if you do your job right, it will be recognizable as whatever brand you’re representing.
  • Come to a compromise. Make the logo a little bit bigger, but don’t overpower your design.
  • Explain your rational behind making the logo the size that it is. If you’re trusted as a designer, the other party should understand.
  • Stick to your guns and remember who’s in charge of making things look good.