Set the tone
Be on time, dress to impress, show the client respect. Set the stage for them to receive the presentation and listen to you in a positive frame of mind.
Summarize the background
A previous meeting should have gone over the research and strategy for the work. Sum it up again so that the client truly understands the context. Reinforce that this design is not an arbitrary decision.
Tell them a story
Explain briefly how this concept works. Do it in narrative form. How the idea evolved from their goals and is a logical conclusion embodied in the aesthetics of this design.
Employ relevant buzzwords
Refer back to the client's own language from briefings. For example, if they wanted to "dominate" or "reignite," tell them that this design does exactly that.
Give them an aesthetic solution hook
Provide something clearly definable that is also memorable. Explain the concept as a sound bite that obviously solves their problem. Let this be the takeaway they can explain to others.
Know when enough is enough
Make your case. Do it with confidence. Then stop talking and invite feedback. Think before you speak, especially avoid defense mechanisms.
Project Profile in Aesthetic Considerations: Voice
More Singles, Couples and Queens designed by Voice / Adelaide, Australia
More Singles, Couples and Queens, Exhibition Catalog
Voice is an Australian multidisciplinary design consultancy that delivers solutions in digital media, environmental, identity, packaging, promotional, publications and typeface design. At the heart of their practice is a love of developing new ways of communicating with alluring and engaging visuals. The firm, lead by codirectors Anthony De Leo and Scott Carslake, had worked with artist Toby Richardson in the past to develop the catalog for his series of photographs of old discarded mattresses. This second series (and exhibition), More Singles, Couples and Queens, continues documenting the strangely compelling portrait of people's lives as told through these once-loved, but now rejected, ordinary household items.
Meant as a companion, not a literal document of the exhibition, the catalog is sent to collectors, museums, galleries, and curators who may not have the opportunity to see original body of work. Therefore, it was critical the design makes a statement as well as communicating the artist's original intention to this wider audience. "The catalog is different from others as the artist's work allowed us to present it unexpectedly," explains Carslake. "We cropped into the qualities that made each mattress unique. The stitched binding and custom labels applied to the cover are representative of the tactile qualities of the subjects. The size and format of the catalog adds to the impact."
Managing by Voice
Voice has some very specific and useful methods of managing client relationships. Here are three key points:
1. Communication must be clear, open, honest, and respectful
- It is vital that clients understand what you are proposing, discussing, and advising.
- Honesty is essential in our opinions and advice, as well as information about fees, fee variations, and contract agreements.
- We are respectful of our clients' time, personality etc.
- It's important to be pleasant and understanding.
2. Explain concepts effectively
- We always ask clients to remove themselves from the project and disconnect their emotions when we present concepts. This is extremely difficult for them, but we need them to put themselves in the position of their audience.
- Presentations are as close to the real thing as possible, so what clients see is almost exactly like what they will be getting. Our experience is that a high percentage of clients cannot accurately imagine an idea if they are not seeing the physical concept; this can introduce confusion and lack of confidence.
- Present ideas and concepts a client cannot refuse because the process and results are taking them to new exciting places—beyond their expectations.
3. Partnering with clients and forming enjoyable relationships
- We view our clients as design partners—we need them in order to get the right result.
- Clients enjoy being involved in the process because it creates a strong rapport.
- If they enjoy our personalities and we deliver tangible results, they will return in confidence and relationships grow and develop.