As a graphic designer, I’m sometimes asked to ‘promise’ an urgent deadline as well as providing a logo design the client loves: Don’t Promise Deadlines.
Somethings one can promise; other things, however, would be foolish and irresponsible to promise.
When a client asks me to promise, guarantee, or even stipulate in the contract, that the project will be completed by a certain date, I absolutely refuse to make this promise. Not because I’m being awkward; because I simply cannot keep that promise.
As a Graphic Designer, what shouldn’t I Promise a Client?
So this is easy: don’t ever promise a client that you can ‘finish’ a logo design project by a certain date.
If a client is really pressing you hard to commit to a deadline, you still need to try and avoid getting tied up with promises that are almost impossible to keep, or certainly guarantee.
But Why Can’t I Promise This?
There are various reasons that make it almost impossible for a graphic designer to promise, and guarantee, that they’ll have a logo design, that the client likes, by a fixed date. Even more so if the schedule is urgent, or needed in weeks, rather than months.
The main reason, that’s beyond a graphic designers control? You can’t usually foresee, with absolute certainty, which idea a client will really like.
So if you can’t know when/if a client will like any submitted ideas, how can you then guarantee that you’ll come up with something they’ll like by a promised deadline?
What Can I Promise then?
You can promise that you’ll have either a set number of logo design ideas, or a at least a few by a certain date. This is much more realistic, and is certainly something you can promise.
I’ll promise a client, without any doubt, that I’ll have at least one idea, and likely a few ideas, by the clients deadline.
What you can’t promise, off the back of this, is that the client will like any one of those designs.
I’ll make it abundantly clear that: my promise of delivering logo design ideas by a deadline, isn’t the same as: promising the project will be completed by that deadline.
I’ll also make it very clear that: I’ll obviously try my very best to meet any suggested deadlines, but the client must be aware that the project could well run past their ideal deadline, and to make accommodations for that.
The shorter those deadlines are, the less likely the design will be as well researched and thought out, as one that doesn’t have restrictive deadlines.
Keep it Real
When all is said and done, we graphic designers are mostly not miracle workers, when it comes down to the VERY subjective nature of graphic design.
We cannot usually predict how a client will react to any presented design, and we certainly shouldn’t make promises that we simply cannot keep, even if we really feel we are the best logo designer in the world.
Remember: By all means promise a client you’ll have x-amount of ideas by a deadline, but you cannot promise that within this initial bunch of ideas, will be one the client likes.
Don’t Promise Deadlines: It’s just not a wise, or appropriate thing to promise.
The very least you’ll have some constructive feedback to work off, and hopefully you’ll have narrowed down the creative directions that you can take. Once the client sees you are working, and delivering evolving ideas, this is usually enough for the client to ease of the gas pedal, and give you the time you need.