Speak UpA Former Division of UnderConsideration
The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
advertise @ underconsideration
---Click here for full archive list or browse below
Never Good Enough

I have been renovating my apartment for nearly six months. What started as an attempt to simply choose new living room furniture burgeoned into an entire home redesign, with one new project begetting another and then another. My best friend, Susan Benjamin, an Emmy-nominated set decorator (the sets of the television shows The Apprentice and Roswell, and Steven Spielberg’s Amistad are among her creations, as well as numerous Stephen King movies) is “handling” the redesign. I have never redecorated a home before, and like Jessica Helfand’s experience, recently described on Design Observer, I have been living amidst dust and debris and demolition. For two weeks last February, I even had to trek through the snow and frigid New York City temperatures in my robe and sneakers to use my generous neighbor’s shower while mine was being replaced.

It has been a grueling experience, and it is not done yet. I have become so obsessed with faucets, floor tiles, door hinges and sofa fabric that after Marian posted her marvelous article, A Different Logoscape, I dreamt that I posted the same piece but substituted pictures of sinks and toilets and bathtubs in place of her lovely Saskatchewan landscapes.

This is my first experience working with a “designer.” Albeit a different discipline, this designer also exhibits many of the same traits as us “graphic designers.” She is headstrong, opinionated, finicky, elitist and a complete perfectionist. She is also frequently right, sometimes impatient (with me) and often baffled by my lack of (interior) design knowledge. And until she pointed it out for me, I couldn’t understand why it was not really necessary for me to ask my dogwalker for her opinion of the color of the grout for the kitchen backsplash. Sound familiar?

This experience has made me far more aware of my surroundings and beauty and comfort than I have ever been before. Sue has not been satisfied with anything less than perfect—and nothing ever seems to be perfect. This has impressed me, confounded me and surprised me throughout our arduous journey together. I have been far more forgiving of the contactor’s failings than she has, and I couldn’t understand (and still don’t, really) why she made the contractor who installed the glass wall in my entranceway take the damn thing down because she chose a 1/2 inch stainless steel border instead of a 3/4 inch one, and he made a mistake. But I guess this is her art—her creation—and she wants it to be flawless.

I have experienced this before, over and over, probably daily in fact, in the business of graphic design. All of the designers I work with are on the same quest: the perfect layout, the perfect logo, a most perfect label design. But who makes that call? Who determines perfection? I had a client email me today to tell me that the design work we recently presented was considered “good, not great” by her brand team. What makes them qualified to say that? Because they know the brand? Because they think they know design? Because they are paying the bills?

Does knowledge and education guarantee good, appropriate decision making? Or great design? Or is it something else? A good eye? A big title? Good intuition? Or is it possible that nothing, really, is good enough and that we should always be striving for something better?

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Jul.29.2004 BY debbie millman
Stefan Hayden’s comment is:

I think it depends what they want out of you. If they came to you because they like your style then they are putting the design all on your shoulders. But if they are just outsourcing things that they want to look like what ever they already have, or already expect, then they have more say, or at least think they do.

I’m sure none of that is completely true. While we try and form the perfect logo for the target market of a business solutions company I don’t think you can completely leave out the client. The logo is supposed to represent them and not always what they want to be. I think a lot of time a logo can show internal corporate structure. So many logos and designs show how much of a sense of humor a company has. I think you need to speak to their demographic while still showing their corporate culture. A lot of corporate cultures suck and I’m sure it seeps through in their opinion of design.

Hopefully that made sense.

On Jul.29.2004 at 11:53 PM
Nary’s comment is:

i would like to say that we should always be striving for something better; however, i have seen (and been guilty of) work that has been grossly overdone. and people who paint will know exactly what i'm talking about. something that is overworked is worse than something that's not quite there yet because it's done, it's over, and you can't, absolutely can't, make it better. salvage is all that is left to be done when you get past that point.

and when something loses its freshness and feels forced, contrived, even if it's beautiful, it loses something. so i do think that it is important to know when to stop trying to improve on something. it ends up being like that woman who's had too much cosmetic surgery. you can always tell when it's been nip&tucked-to-death.

perfection can't be achieved - but you can get close. that's why the golden mean is an un-ending, irrational number.

however, some imperfections, you grow to love; hence the debate concerning Gill Sans in the other discussion.

as for your other questions about being qualified, if they're paying me enough, they can say whatever they want. ok, not true.

i think whoever is in the power position makes the "appropriate" decision-making in many instances, even if they turn out to be atrocious decisions. knowledge and education cannot guarantee good decisions (i coulda sworn his royal Bushness went to Princeton. no, wait, Yale. no, wait...ah, whatever, he got a good edumacation). even experience cannot guarantee that. but some are better than others at making good ones. as for design, some people are born with a good eye and others learn to sharpen that skill. same with intuition. others won't know one from the other even if you beat them over the head with it.

i think that if you think it's great. then it is. it's like love. you can't explain it, you just know. but like love, the person you love, others can wonder, "what does she see in him?" so i say pay no attention to those "it's good, not great" comments UNLESS there are tips and constructive criticism that come with it to help you make it fucking great. have you asked them why they don't think it's great? what they feel is missing?

ah shit, i talk too much when the sun is down. you know, Armin, this site sucks up my time like a sponge on water. but it's great - i love you guys!

Nary makes googly-eyes at the panel of writers and commentators


On Jul.30.2004 at 12:00 AM
graham’s comment is:

have a steaming deep bubbly bath, brew up a nice cup of tea, take a big old sit down in a lovely old armchair, put your feet up and stick on a nice film (predator, stripes, field of dreams), a packet of rich tea by your side.

that's perfect.

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:55 AM
justin m’s comment is:

No. No. Yes, it is something else. It helps. Big titles are useful. Not sure, but possible. Yes.

Designers are problem solvers and fortunately design is a subjective topic. What we think is perfect one day may be complete rubbish to us the next.

I think in every project there has to be a point where you say to yourself, "I'm done." Otherwise you will find some reason to keep tinkering.

On Jul.30.2004 at 07:49 AM
Sarah B.’s comment is:

If we don't strive for something better, and let things lie, we will never develop creatively. Sometimes I look at something I did a while back, even a year, something that I thought was GREAT at the time, something that I impressed myself with, and I think "eww... why did I do that?"

That is what I like about design the most, it will always be different, because we all think differently, and have developed tastes. If I dont like it, someone else out there might. I just had a freelance client whom wanted Comic Sans for his tri-fold, quick-copy - and at first, I was furious.. but he insisted that it was the "look" he wanted... and no matter what I said, he wouldnt take no - - thats what he wanted - - his final decision. So, who are we to judge what looks good. We can go by what we have learned, what everyone else tells us is "quality" - but in the end, each of us has tastes and preferences.

As a rule of thumb, I will put in my 2-cents (or 12) - and let them decide - - THEY need to be please with what they are paying for.

I hope that there will be clients out there that respect and ask for my design opinion.. and if not, well, I can make MY own things "flawless" for myself.

On Jul.30.2004 at 09:31 AM
Susan Benjamin’s comment is:

It's the interior designer here, feeling flattered at the comments of my client. I think it is funny that she thinks I am striving for perfection when I feel as if I have loosened up quite a bit on this project! I'm used to working very quickly in the film and television world so I often have to make quick decisions. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they miss the mark. Sometimes I have time to change them. Sometimes I don't. And sometimes it's a matter of what I can live with, and what I can't.

I often have to change things because of an actor or a director or even the weather and sometimes those changes enhance the set and sometimes they don't.

I would like to say the moment of perfection comes when the set is finished, the director of photography lights it, the actors walk in looking like they belong, and the director comfortably maneuvers all the players. But the truth is I am only satisfied when I step back and say "yes". When I know I have honestly signed off on everything and it works for me. Then, when all the opinions come flying in and all the changes are made, they don't bother me so much because I know I have done my best and for one moment it was perfect. And, contrary to a company logo or the interior of a home, that is all the time a set lasts.

I think striving for perfection is part of the design process...otherwise we wouldn't be passionate about what we do.

Nary is right...it's like love. It either works or doesn't work for you. And no amount of schooling can change how you see red.

On Jul.30.2004 at 09:47 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:



Gives you an appreciation for other Design Disciplines.

Kinda like Growing Pains.

Graphic Designer(s) are not alone when it comes to being Head Strong, Perfectionist, Opinionated, and Obstinate.

Although, clients have the final word. If the objectives of Analysis, Strategy, and Design are met. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Every Purple Moon you get an INSATIABLE CLIENT.

No PUNS Marian !!!!

That cannot be satisfied. You try to appease them as much as you can. If they're Honest, they'll inform you of the Fruits of your LABOR.

The Ultimate Reward. Sterling has made the Cash Register Jingle. The Client comes back for more.

Added note, Double what Graham said. Get a Foot and Back Massage.

Back to my BOBBY DARIN CD. Oh, when the Shark Bites ...

On Jul.30.2004 at 09:57 AM
ps’s comment is:

for me a big part has to do with vision. if i have it in my head a certain way, it will bug me forever if its not done that way. unless it turns out even better than plannend. but if its off and does not represent what i envisioned -- yes, it'll have to be redone. i think its hard for manufacturers, production people etc to see these differences, as quite often, they won't know the reasoning behind certain details.

another interference with perfection seems to be budgets. at some point you'll just have to get over it and realize that it is just fine. or you'll bust the client's bank.

On Jul.30.2004 at 10:00 AM
marian’s comment is:

It's funny about that perfection thing. I have always considered myself an imperfectionist, but people seem surprised when I tell them that. However, in my former business, I think my parter saw me as a cantankerous old bitch who was never satisfied. I always wanted more, greater, better ... whatever-it-was. And I felt guilty about it for years, like I was "bad" and she was "good" because she felt successful and satisfied.

And perhaps I am a cantankerous old bitch (Maven), but at some point I realized that it isn't always a bad thing to have continually climbing goals, or even to recognize the flaws in the things we do. That's how we learn, progress and most importantly, stay interested.

So ultimately we are the only ones qualified to judge our work. Our judgement must necessarily be open to change when we receive information (feedback) from others, but we know when it's wrong even though the client loves it or it's right even though the client doesn't get it.

We also know when the client's right and we were wrong. I had a funny conversation with a designer the other day about ranting about client's changes, and then grumblingly sitting down and trying it, then sheepishly having to admit ... well, actually, they were right.

By all means, strive for perfection, just be prepared to adjust along the way.

On Jul.30.2004 at 11:06 AM
Tom Dolan’s comment is:

The title of the essay uses the very loaded G-word, which is part of the [interesting] problem. What is "good"? Is "good" always subjective? What happens when the designer's idea of good is not the same as the client's? Is it really possible to make people see "good" in a new and different way—or do designers have to in the end always either persuade or concede? How do we make our clients see our fanaticism as a good thing rather than a nuissance? I'm working on some answers, but I'd love to hear other's...

On Jul.30.2004 at 11:06 AM
Michael’s comment is:

Perfect for the moment, for the immediate solution (even if that solution needs to remain the solution for a certain predetermined time frame). But we are a finicky bunch, as designers.

I strive for something better in myself, and let my work reflect that. Given I am finding a solution for a client, how good I am as a designer reflects my ability to find a solution. And it's my subjective and educated nuances that allow me to fine-tune the solution.

Tomorrow I may find a better solution, but for today this is the best solution. If today is the deadline, this is as good as it gets. It can always be better, given time. New experiences influence me as a person and therefor also as a designer and so my perception of perfection is always changing. Today it's perfect, for the scope of this project it's perfect, yet tomorrow or next week it may not be. But it's pride that wants me to make it as good as it can be today so when I reflect back, look on my old projects I can see where I was in my life and what I was thinking and going through.

I know it will never be "perfect", but I know that if I'm good enough and lucky enough, I'll find the perfect solution for the moment.

On Jul.30.2004 at 11:21 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Good is in the details…

There is also a fine line between perfectionist (or wanting to "get it right") and obsessive compulsive and it is easy to confuse one with the other. Some designers will spend 20 hours kerning a brochure when it doesn't really "need" it, but by doing that it gives a sense of perfection and ultimately satisfaction — the idea, concept and layout might be awful but look at that kerning! I'm not judging, I have done that myself and it is usually a way to make up for other stuff I'm not that happy with.

Anyway, I never feel anything I do is good enough. Not that I don't think it's good, but I always think it could be better or, worse, that somebody else could do it better than me. What if I had spent more time sketching? What if I had chosen another typefaces? What if I had fought for that piece of white space? Whatever it is, there is always that sense of "I didn't do enough". Which I guess is good, but more often than not it is frustrating.

But hey, we get paid to be obsessive and bitchy and picky and we have fun doing it.

And I might just follow Graham's advice and rent Predator… for ol' times sake.

On Jul.30.2004 at 11:30 AM
Sebastian’s comment is:

'Good' for whom, for what, for when, for where? You could say that "good" can't be an attribute of a 'thing' but an expression of our relationship to that thing.

I'm not just trying to be an annoying goddam cultural relativist or a vulgar pragmatist here (i DO pronounce judgements of value all the time, but I try to keep in mind that they're just an assretion of my relationship to something and never a constitutive part fo the thing I'm judging)

It is not that 'everything' goes, but what goes has more to do with me and with whatever i align myself with than with any intrinsic qualities.

Any artifact/design/product will exist, by its very nature and despite intent, across a variety of contexts (the client's requirements, the designer's peer group, design criticism, the production community, and it can go on and on ... ) ... in each of these context different aspects of the thing will hold different degrees of relevance and the categories that determine value will also be different. In this sense something will sometimes be "good' and 'bad' at the same time. A satisfied client can co-exist with a very dissatisfied designer. When we make work, we usually move back and forth between these contexts (consciously or not), trying to achieve a balance in the way the piece "operates" across them.

It isn't as simple as stating that all things esthetic are subjective or the certain things are objective. The world and the way we relate to it (cognition/judgement/decision making) are much more deliciously complex.

Just think about it.

When you strive for 'perfection', what kind of 'perfect' are you really looking for?

On Jul.30.2004 at 11:41 AM
Tan’s comment is:

Intuition is key to me. The more I work, the more I learn to listen and recognize my own instincts. Know when to stop, when to push, when to change, etc.

Decision-making is similar to intuition, but it's not as subjective. It can be based on knowledge, experience, knowing to ask clients the right questions to determine the right answers. Learning to listen and evaluate circumstances. Good decision-making often depends on learned methodologies.

Experience helps improve both of these things. You become more efficient after having done something a thousand times. That's why the Big Titles, which usually have more experience, tend to make faster and more correct decisions. Same goes for the clients. Your picky client may not know design, but they have enough experience and instinct to recognize when something is not quite there yet. There's always some value in that, no matter if your team agrees w/ them or not.

>rent Predator… for ol' times sake.

I know, what is it about that movie that makes it so fun to watch over and over again?? Is it because there are two future governors in it? Is it the cool alien? Why???

On Jul.30.2004 at 11:52 AM
Sebastian’s comment is:

Something I remebered reading a long time ago:

(from Norman Potter's What is a Designer: Things, Places, Messages, 1969)


Advice for Beginners


Out of a job that seems an indistinctive mess, try to rescue one small part that is clear, simple, definite, and very well done.


Every student understandably begins by striving after originality. After five years work he is delighted if he can attend to a simple job with scruple and insight (unless he is about to launch a successful carrer as a carrion artist). It helps, at least, to know that.

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:03 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Sebastian, in the context of this thread (see? I don't shun context all the time!), you are absolutely right. When you are personally dealing with "what is good enough" you can't succumb to what other people think is good, you have to set your own aesthetic and quaility standards. But when it's all said and done, an elitist designer (like me!) might come along and say "Hey, that's not good enough".

> I know, what is it about that movie that makes it so fun to watch over and over again??

Yeah, I don't know. It's weird. It has just the right balance of action, sci-fi, silliness… and I always enjoyed watching it because it was filmed near Acapulco, a beach town in Mexico where I spent a lot of time when I was a kid.

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:05 PM
Tan’s comment is:

dude, I know where Acapulco is.

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:10 PM
Jesus de Francisco’s comment is:

We just finished a music video, with a strong political content, for which we spent way too much time on details —in sets, props, animation— that will never be seen by the people watching it on tv. But I'm proud of those sleepless nights trying to give it additional value.

There's something special about the way the little details make us feel. Kinda like the quirky details on the inside lining of a Paul Smith suit, nobody will see it but you know it's there; or the way subtle touches of spices and herbs will discretely enhance the flavor of a certain dish.

It doesn't matter if it's visible, you know it's there.

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:14 PM
Sebastian’s comment is:

But when it's all said and done, an elitist designer (like me!) might come along and say "Hey, that's not good enough".


I find myself saying this to a lot of people, more often than I'd like to, for a living. So, you become a bit obsessed (a perfectionist?! Me?!) with how you go about it.

Btw: In case you you haven't noticed yet, 'context' is another of my pet obsessions.

I know I've seen the movie, but can really remember it, no matter how hard I try. Maybe I should rent it too. Although I prefer my SciFi full of pop philosophy rather than action sequences.

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:21 PM
marian’s comment is:

dude, I know where Acapulco is.

Now that's funny!

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:27 PM
vibranium’s comment is:

Debbie, this vent reminds me of #13 of Mark Fenske's '14 anti-laws" of advertising. As appeared in "one. #4."


On Jul.30.2004 at 12:28 PM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

What happens when the designer's idea of good is not the same as the client's?

Good question.

Debbie—You say your designers are on a quest for perfection but your client thought that something they were apparently satisfied with was “not great.” Does this represent opposing notions of greatness or different notions? (In other words, are their great and your great incompatible or are you all just concerned about different things?)

On Jul.30.2004 at 12:43 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> dude, I know where Acapulco is.


On Jul.30.2004 at 12:47 PM
graham’s comment is:

a moment off-topic (sort of) apropos 'predator' (sorry);

i think the film is as close to a perfect action 'movie' as you can get-in it's single minded, stripped bare structure there is an almost poetic, abstract (the gunfire into the forest, the characters moving through the jungle to the music, some of the images in the final section) quality to it. it is very well and very simply made, it knows precisely what it is (there is no pretence in it), what it's limitations are, and it is not confused about what it is for. there's a special edition dvd coming soon, i believe.

On Jul.30.2004 at 01:00 PM
Tom B’s comment is:

I was enjoying reading this discussion until it descended into a fanfare for the merits of Predator.

Come on... Predator?... In a discussion about perfection?

Its just a piece of silly macho tosh: The usual xenophobic hollywood nonsense, just dressed up a 'sci-fi' to make it more PC.

Where's the interesting narrative? Where's the creative cinematography? Where's the inspiring dialogue?

In fact where's anything at all to make me want to watch it?

Sorry for the negative tone, but I really, really dislike this film.

Come on chaps, I was just beginning to think we designers had taste.

On Jul.30.2004 at 02:08 PM
marian’s comment is:

Listen, kids, forget Predator...

Funny Face (1957) is the perfect movie for this situation. It's got Audrey Hepburn, titling backgrounds by Richard Avedon, fashion by de Givenchy, that fabulous pink extravaganza, dancing with Fred Astaire ... and I haven't seen it in a long time but I bet Susan Benjamin would have something to say about the sets, too. There might even be bubbles and bath faucets ... who knows!

On Jul.30.2004 at 04:12 PM
Nary’s comment is:

Two words: Moulin Rouge

have a great weekend y'all.

On Jul.30.2004 at 04:38 PM
Armin’s comment is:

As a member of the off-topic guilty party, I'd suggest getting back on (Debbie's) topic.

On Jul.30.2004 at 04:47 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

Nary said:

Nary makes googly-eyes at the panel of writers and commentators

: )

Graham and Design Maven suggested:

Get a Foot and Back Massage.


Gunnar asked:

Debbie—You say your designers are on a quest for perfection but your client thought that something they were apparently satisfied with was “not great.” Does this represent opposing notions of greatness or different notions? (In other words, are their great and your great incompatible or are you all just concerned about different things?)

I think the easy answer is both, though that might seem like a cop-out, Gunnar. I do think that their great and our great are usually compatible--but in this case it was simply a matter of their belief that we could've "pushed the envelope more." (Gosh, do I hate that phrase!) So the "greatness factor," so to speak, was more about their expectations being met (or not) than the actual asthetics. In my mind that was still an opinion--mostly because I felt that the work did take them to a place they had not gone before--but still felt like the integrity of the product had been maintained.


Tom B questioned:

Come on... Predator?... In a discussion about perfection?


Come on chaps, I was just beginning to think we designers had taste.

Taste is as taste does, Tom. I am not a Predator girl, I prefer Alien.

Marian (rightly) suggested:

Funny Face (1957) is the perfect movie for this situation.

Well maybe, M, but what about Rear Window? That does it for me. Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock and the (always) superb Thelma Ritter.

Armin urged:

As a member of the off-topic guilty party, I'd suggest getting back on (Debbie's) topic.

Nah...somehow, somewhere it is all related. The whole choice thing.

On Jul.31.2004 at 01:27 PM
marian’s comment is:

"pushed the envelope more." (Gosh, do I hate that phrase!)

Me too. I also hate "out of the box."

but what about Rear Window?

Yeah, well true ... in the realm of overall perfection, you're probably right (depending on how you feel about singing and dancing). Although there's always been something about Grace that bugged me a little. (Audrey, now ... Oh! to be like Audrey.) I've just always thought of Funny Face as being sort of designerly—although it really has been a long time ...

Sorry Armin. It really is all in the pursuit of perfection!

And being flexible.


On Jul.31.2004 at 09:52 PM
Tom B’s comment is:

pushed the envelope

Does anyone know where this expression comes from and what it literally means?

I can't work out how pushing an envelope could improve the quality of anything.

Anyhoo... back to the discussion

I think that most non designers evaluate quality in a completely different way, and this is bound to lead to occasional difference of opinion.

On a number of occasions a client has told me that my work 'isn't quite there'. However, when I've questioned what they mean by this, they're often not talking about the graphics at all, but rather the content. Often, all they're looking for is more selling copy, more attention-grabbing elements, and more information.

This isn't surprising really. If someone knows less about something than someone else, but is in the position to make important decisions, they'll latch onto whatever they feel they know at least something about.

In the case of most clients (usually skilled in businesss or marketing) this means that they pick up on the following:

1. Colour - Everyone knows at least a bit about colour. We all have a rudimentary idea of what colours we like. (sorry for the spelling of color - I'm British)

2. Size - Big = Good, Small = bad. Simple! This is a natural way to think if you're immersed in a world of budgets and bottom lines, even if it's not always the aethetic or even the sensible thing to do.

3. Copy - (Almost) everyone can read and write, so we all think we know about writing.

4. Rules - Corporate guidelines aren't really there to help the designer. They're to help the client. If someone isn't knowledgable about the intricacies of graphic design, they can follow a set of guidelines, and they'll always get something close to what they want.

When a client exhausts these four areas as ways to constructively criticise, they'll often start to run out of things to say. They'll begin to use cliches: 'push the envelope', 'think outside the box' etc.

This doesn't really mean that they think your work stinks. What they mean is that it doesn't quite match up to what they have in their head, but they don't know how to criticise it constructively.

I hope this post doesn't sound like a rant. I certainly don't intend it to. I'm just trying to explain that we can't expect our clients to evaluate our work in the same way that we do, or to be able to explain their misgivings in a fully constructive way. We have to understand this difference and work with it, otherwise we'll just get bitter.

Most people who commision design are very nice people, trying their hardest to be helpful, patient and constructive. Sometimes, shelterd in our shiny studios, it's easy to forget this. But we do so at our peril.

p.s. By the way, my favourite chill-out film is Withnail and I. Perhaps you have to live in London to appreciate it, but it makes me laugh out loud every time.

On Aug.01.2004 at 02:17 PM
Nary’s comment is:

yes. i agree with Tom. it is so true that evaluations are made on different levels. it's so funny when you ask someone's opinion regarding a piece of work and they're like "oh yeah, that looks COOL!" and you look at it as a designer and it's a mess, but when you show a fine piece of design work, clean, Swiss-based, perfect kerning, etc., the same people go "i don't see what's so special about it. it's kinda boring." does that ever happen to you?

and i have finally experienced the size issue. yesterday i was recruited to make a flyer on the fly for a booksigning event at a museum. i get a choice of photographs and A TON of text. ok, so i manage to fit everything in using all the text and 1 photo. the executive director looks at the final piece and goes..."since these two organizations are holding the event, can't we make their name bigger?...there's all that space there..." aaaaaaaaaargh. she wanted the names of the organizations in 20 pt font! so now they've got a flyer with copy in 12 pt font, headline and date in 36 pt font, and just about everything in between. ick. but let me pat myself on the back - it doesn't look that bad. she is a wonderful person, so i'm not going to hold it against her, but every time she wants input on the design now, i know to grin and bear it and practice my diplomacy skills.

oooh...and i think one of the funniest films is Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. i'm just a sucker for British accents. (sorry, Armin, couldn't help myself.)

On Aug.01.2004 at 04:46 PM
Anthony’s comment is:

...i coulda sworn his royal Bushness went to Princeton. no, wait, Yale. no, wait...ah, whatever, he got a good edumacation...

Saying Bush got a good education is a slap in the face to every Yale alum.

On Aug.01.2004 at 06:54 PM
Rob ’s comment is:

Having just taken the kids to see Shrek 2, I'll say that movie was perfection. Now, back to the topic at hand.

I think Susan really summarized beautifully how I define success in my designs, for myself and the client, When I know I have honestly signed off on everything and it works for me.. No matter how perfectionist or obsessed we choose to be, our design solutions either work or they don't. I've actually gone so far as to tell client's, "Don't tell me whether or not you like this, just to tell me if it works." (Based on the goals of the design brief.)

While I am certainly not the most obsessive designer in the world I know that no matter the size of the job, if I'm not comfortable with even the smallest part of it, I do sometimes have trouble just letting it go, even though I know that the only other people that might notice it are designers. I don't think of myself as a full-time perfectionist, just ask my wife, but I do strive for a state of design bliss in the jobs that really mean something to me and to the client.

And other jobs, as lame as this sounds, are just work and I know, no matter how much I put into them, what I'm going to get out of it, in the end, isn't really worth the effort and frustations I can expect from the client. Still you put on a good face and do what needs to get done. And remember your own bottom line, it works.

On Aug.02.2004 at 10:06 AM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

The fifth stanza of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens:

I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of inflections

Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The blackbird whistling

Or just after.

On Aug.03.2004 at 10:33 AM