Recently, I had the pleasure of attending another AIGA Raleigh event at Porter’s Tavern. This event was called How to Speak Business (Without Really Trying), and was hosted by Woody Holliman of Flywheel Design in Durham, and Patrick O’Neil of Railinc. The discussion centered around design & business lingo, focusing on topics like recognizing types of clients, questions to ask them, and useful concepts/empty buzzwords. The speakers were open to taking many questions, and for the audience to also share stories about clients in the past, the good, the bad, and the ugly. This was a nice experience to get to hear some of these real world stories and relate them to our own experiences. Below you can see a picture of me there.
The Recognizing Different Types of Clients section really hit home for us. The types of clients consisted of the Design Virgin, Divorcee, Bargain Hunter, Napkin Sketcher, Design Blind, and Speculator. I have to say that at one point or another, I’ve come across all of these and their definitions were quite accurate. There are always going to be clients who don’t understand exactly what it is that designers do, and it is our job to educate them as we work together.
The Questions to Ask Your Clients section was also pretty informative. It consisted of the typical questions you should ask your client in the design process in order to come up with a healthy solution. It was nothing new, but a definite reminder to be as thorough as possible in talking with your clients about their project and to do as much research as you can for the best outcome.
What I took away from this lunch & learn is basically this: You have to know exactly who you are working with, and how to communicate with them effectively to also accomplish great design, and in the process make both parties happy and successful. I look forward to attending more great AIGA Raleigh events, so please keep em coming guys!