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I’ve been working with clients since the early 90’s when, fresh out of art school, I began offering my talents in a freelance capacity. By 1995 I had added web design to the services and JVM Design was born. Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of clients that have ranged from corporate giants to rockstars and from small businesses to independent artists. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that every job is unique. I also learned early on that developing a process for working on a project worked to everyone’s benefit. Even with a solid process in place, I noticed that the same types of questions, concerns and issues would still crop up now and then. I realized at some point that a designer must also take on the role of educator. Most clients aren’t design savvy and that’s why they come to us. We’re the professionals and we need to let them know what to expect.
It is our responsibility as designers to make sure our clients understand the basic principals of what we do for them during a project. This gives them a level of comfort and understanding about their project that will allow them to answer questions later.
With our years of experience, we’ve learned that the nature of this industry requires this sort of client education. We know that when you take your car to an auto mechanic, you don’t expect him to go into detail about how he will fix your car. You just want it fixed. Likewise, you don’t go into the garage and fiddle around under the hood in an attempt to do his job. And by all means when he gives you the invoice, you pay it! For some reason, etiquette for doing business with a service provider sometimes gets very flexible in the field of graphic and web design. This phenomenon was the core idea for this book. My hope is that no matter whether you’re a client or a designer, after reading these tips the process is a little easier to understand and that the path to success might be a little smoother.
Sherry Holub, Creative Director
JV Media Design (JVM)