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Evaluating a graphic design project.

June 3, 2011

Evaluating the graphic design project you just bought could turn out to be a difficult task.
Going beyond the simple I like it, I don’t like it  is a mandatory effort – for those who buy and for those who create.

There are specific areas of graphic design that easily measurable, such as web design, in those cases it is easy to state whether a project is solidly built and whether it works or not – actually the web can tell how much it works.

I believe that being able to go beyond the I like it/I don’t like it dicotony is not only a useful exercise but also a way to appreciate more what you are buying, an efficient way to avoid mishaps and a way to reward the people involved in the project.

Some rules to evaluate a graphic design project:

  • The last word is yours.
    You are the client and the LAST WORD is definitely yours, no doubt about this.
    Don’t let the creative’s cockiness somehow frighten you. Be critic, but not iper-critic. Be sincere and separate the designre from the artwork presented.
    Focus on the project you are buying and don’t let anything else influence your opinion.
  • The right question is: does it work?
    Move away from the stereotype I like it or is it nice?
    Move over and evealuate the project in terms of effectiveness and strategy.
  • Does the project meet the brief goals?
    Does the project do what you ask the designer or the agency when you first met? Does the project meet your brand strategy guidelines? Always ask yourself: does the project do what was asked?
    If so, relax, if not don’t esitate to ask for a revision.
  • Is it  credible?
    Ask yourself this question mor often!
    Is the project alligned with the perception the marketplace has of your brand or with the rest of your communication?  Credibility is a relevant value, as much as effectiveness. Graphic design helps to create/modify the perception of your brand but nothing is more harmful than a project that has no credibility.
  • Will your public easily understand the project?
    The project you are buying must be easily understood by the share of public you chose as a target.
  • Is the project based upon a concept or is it a mere aesthetic exercise?
    Here the question is:  does the project tell a story or is it just a pleasant way to organize the elements in the space?
  • Is it evocative? is it emotional? does it call to an action? ’
  • Does it match the costs estimated in the offer?

Expect the 100% for you pay for but don’t exceed in asking what’s not agreed.
Once the project is completed and yours, when you are evaluating it, please do not forget which kind of conditions  you imposed – for instance deadlines too close, impossible discounts or production requests.

Chose a creative partner that you find convincing, BUT THE TRUST THEM.
Do not esitate to be critic but also put the designers in the conditions to serve you at their best. Don’t chose for them and don’t ask for absurd discounts. Don’t cut production costs to the bone and then ask for premium projects.
Be honest and expect honesty.
Be professional and expect professionality.
Be sincere and expect sincerity.

  1. Roger permalink

    Hait beeng a Grammer Nazi, but thairs lots of speling errors hear……. 😉

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