The client is the boss

Recently, a fellow design student asked for my input on a logo design. The client was an acupuncturist. She had worked up several ideas. They mostly played off of the yin/yang symbol. But the client wanted to go an entirely different direction.

My friend came to me because she was struggling to reconcile the client’s vision with the reality of what the final product would look like if she did exactly what the client thought she wanted. Does that make sense?

The client wanted her logo to look 3-D, like it would pop off of the page. My friend felt that it looked too cartoonish that way and did not mesh with the look and feel of the client’s website. She dialed it back some and the client was not completely satisfied. When she asked my opinion, I told her that what matters most is that the client is satisfied. Though it hurt me to say it to her–because then I have to acknowledge it is true for myself as well–I told her I thought her skills were perhaps not up to the challenge this client presented. I mean, after all, we are still students. I thought she did a good job in the end.

In the end, she created something with which the client was reasonably satisfied. I don’t think she thought of it as her most stellar effort. I think the logo looks fantastic.

The takeaway for both of us in this whole endeavor is to listen to the client and do your best for them. By all means, give them your recommendations and give them options. But, ultimately, remember that it is their logo and their business the logo and design elements represent and they are paying for it, so it should be exactly what they want whether you like it or not.