When my 3-year-old comes down for breakfast each morning, he usually asks the same question, “What are my options?” He likes having choices. Who doesn’t love to choose between pancakes or cereal? Or in his case, he’ll choose both!
I find design to be very similar — you need to give your clients options. They can weigh their choices and gravitate towards one direction, whereas if you were to give them just one design, they would probably ask, “What else do you have?”
When time and budget allow, I like to create a few design options that feel like they all have potential, but I also like to include an option that is a bit more out there… something a little risky. Maybe the client will hate it, or maybe they’ll surprise me and love it. Sometimes, the unexpected option that pulls the rug out from under them can be the solution they didn’t know they needed. An option they never knew they had.
I recently worked on a logo project for a healthcare client who typically leans in a safe and reliable direction. After looking at five or seven options, they still couldn’t decide. So, I worked on a few more options and variations, one of which was much more whimsical and fluid. I thought for sure they wouldn’t pick that one, as what they had liked previously was nothing like it. I was second-guessing even including it, but thought, well, why not!
Surprise, surprise — all the decision-makers picked the more whimsical option. What if I hadn’t included it as an option for the fear they would hate it?
I love that no matter how long I’ve worked in this industry, I can still be surprised and delighted. It keeps pushing me forward and inspires me to branch out and take risks.
As the famous rule-breaking designer David Carson says, “Never snap to guides!” This is “designer speak” for “Don’t let the computer decide where your margins and grid should be.”
Carson also says, “Good creative is the product of unique perspectives, so take advantage of yours. Authenticity sells.”
Now, it’s time for me get back to flipping pancakes. Maybe I should throw in a French toast option next time (just kidding, I’m not a short-order cook)!
Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing
Erin brings her trademark creativity to every facet of her life – from work and parenting, to family playtime. She finds breakfast time with the kids (and a big cup of coffee) to be the best time to connect and get the creative juices flowing.