This article was on the suffoca blog and I thought it offered good insight into how a designer thinks.
Working with clients is another side to my work, here’s a few handy tips i’v learnt along the way.
I don’t tend to work any of the suffoca characters or style and take slightly more realistic approach working to true life e.g. Animals, elements , this way I am keeping suffoca true to it’s own style .I also get to practice slightly different techniques as well as showing another side to my work.
When i’m approached to work for a client, the first thing which needs to be arranged is a clear way to communicate. The best of course of action being face to face,this way you can to talk over ideas and give the client a instant image. Other ways include skype or aim, I think just plainly speaking over email can some times lead to misconceptions of what the client is really after.
The tricky question of how much?
This isn’t something the client can necessarily do them selves or they wouldn’t be asking you in first place so don’t undercut yourself. If you know its going to take you 10+ hours, put that in the equation, ask your self how much you think your worth on a hourly rate and set your self a target to finish by time/date.
Set up a deposit to cover yourself incase they decide to drop off the edge of the earth, also tell the client the process of your work so they know when they should be getting the sketches, mockups etc, this way you have told them how you work. If they disagree with anything you can talk it over then rather then getting to the end of a project and then they say we wont be paying you till we have sold so many…
When you first start out designing for clients many of them underestimate the work you put in, this is why the describing how you work to them will hopefully set them back a little to think wow they don’t just draw pretty pictures.
If while your working on the approved version of the clients artwork and you come up with a good addition to add to the piece don’t just add it in, go back to your client and propose it this way if they say no you’ve saved yourself the time of doing it and then having to remove it. I personally also like to set up a secure webpage to give the client a chance to check up on the work to see how its progressing. All these extra’s can give them a real great experience working with you and when they next get stuck with a designer who cant see further then his own nose they will think we should just stick to or go to you instead.
I often like to check up on previous clients too and in many case’s they will say, oh we have this coming up you would be great to have you work on this, you keep yourself in there vision so when they think of a illustration job or what ever it may be what you do , your name will pop up.
Hope this helps some of you, working based on the internet doesn’t have to be less personal then working face to face, its just a case of putting in the time and manners you would working in the flesh.