When clients have control of creative

My old creative director used to say that everyone is a designer. By that, he meant that everyone wants to design things, even though they hire us, the graphic designer, to do it.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. In some cases, it is good that the client has some idea of what they want, or what they like. In fact, I have only had a few clients that have given me totally free reign to create whatever I wanted, with no feedback from them. This is rare, and a little scary at times.

But then, there is the client, who has discovered because they have gotten a copy of Illustrator, or Quark, or Acrobat, or Contribute, that they can make what you created better, and look, isn’t it better, and, oh, can you fix some of the mistakes I made while I was messing with it. But, oh, didn’t I help you?

This happens, as I said, and some clients are actually very careful when they muck with things. I have one client who updates minor changes on her site, and this is working out great. She lets me know what she things she did wrong, and asks me to fix, but for the most part this has saved me loads of time, as it is saved her loads of time trying to write what it is she wants changed, instead of just changing it.

No, what I am talking about is when a client takes the project, changes it, updates it, and then asks you why something doesn’t look right any more. Why does the web page have the wrong information on it? Why does the logo not look quite right anymore, why are the words on the pdf in the wrong font.

Fortunately, this is still rare, but it happened again the other day. I did an eblast, a one page html email letter, for a client, and they got a hold of it, mucked with it in contribute, removed things, changed things, then, rather then tell me what had happened, they sent me a list of changes I needed to make, that didn’t correspond to my original. It took a bit of digging to find out what had happened, and it was quite frustrating. I suppose they through they were helping. I suppose they thought it was a good thing. I supposed they had the best intentions.

And we know what the road to hell is paved with.


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