Selling your design to a client

August 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

As a designer you must be more than an artist. You must be more than a creator. You must be part philosopher, part scientist,  part teacher, and, yes, part salesman as well. Your idea needs a champion. It needs someone to protect it, defend it, promote and explain it. The most important moment of your idea’s life will be moment you first share it with someone else. Will you just blurt it out? Will you throw it into the world naked and defenseless? Or will you take care to arrange a proper introduction and walk your audience through the steps you took. Even if the idea came to you in a flash of insight, you should never assume it will be obvious to others. You should build your argument carefully.

In this video, the famous designer Saul Bass introduces a new brand identity to Bell System (now mostly AT&T) back in 1969. Watch how he builds his argument and justifies each design element. Notice how he stops and addresses unspoken but obvious objections. When you present a new design to a client think about this video. Remember that you design will be as important to your client as their own face. Because it is their face. If you are going to change it, you need to appear confident, certain, and thoughtful about each part of your design. Well done Saul. I can see why your firm won the work.


Saul Bass introduces the new logo for Bell System

Ben Shoemate

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Ben Shoemate is a web designer and information architect. He cofounded Base22 where he designs and builds corporate intranets, web applications, social networking sites, and web strategies. For fun he does more of the same.