Speak UpA Former Division of UnderConsideration
The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
advertise @ underconsideration
---Click here for full archive list or browse below
You’ve got to serve someone

“You’ve got to serve someone.” So sang Bob Dylan in his embarrassing Christian period. What? Jakob Dylan’s father. What? Come on; someone must remember the Wallflowers.

Anyway. Graphic design is a service industry. What does that mean? For some people it seems to mean that it’s like the drive-up window at McDonald’s: Four color or six? Flash or HTML? You want fries with that?

Service doesn’t mean servitude. The samurai (at least the samurai of the legend) served a master. Those without a master—the ronin— were somewhat lost, but it would be wrong to think of the samurai as henchmen. They were, like those other legendary swordsmen, the knights of the Round Table, in service to a code.

So ridicule me for the silly swordplay metaphor. Budding feminists and first semester Freudians, have fun. After that, who or what does your service industry serve? (And, BTW, have your liege and your code ever been at odds?)

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Dec.03.2004 BY Gunnar Swanson
M Kingsley’s comment is:

Well Gunnar, I at least serve Uncle Bob. And to that end, I must tell you that it's "you're gonna have to serve somebody".

To answer your question: service is fine, collaboration is better, love is best.

On Dec.03.2004 at 03:49 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I am unclear as to the question at hand… are we supposed to list our clients? Or get metaphorical with it?

(Sorry, it's been a loooong week).

On Dec.03.2004 at 04:02 PM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

Mark—And I lived in Duluth, Minnesota for three years. Shame on me. As they say, anybody who remembers the early ’70s wasn’t there. Apologies to Mr. Zimmerman and his fans.

Armin—I’ll rephrase: Who or what do you do design for? Your clients may be the primary answer. It’s obviously not the answer for a lot of designers. I don’t know; your personal compulsion to set very small type on very glossy paper may be what it’s really all about. Are you doing it for the good of the world? How so? For the people who read the stuff you design? Is it part of some greater quest (or is it a great quest all by itself)?

You could, of course, reject the use of the phrase “service industry” but I wonder what we (individually and collectively) serve.

Many graphic designers seem to resent the notion of service, striving for authorship, for control, for command of the point of view. I wonder how much of that is a real belief that it should be all about them and how much of it is a too-narrow view of service.

On Dec.03.2004 at 04:22 PM
Tan’s comment is:

When I hear of "service industry" — Service is a way to describe the type of deliverable that graphic design is — as an act of assistance or benefit of our occupation and business.

Service in this context does not mean performance of work for a superior, as a servant would provide. I don't consider myself "serving" anyone (with the possible exception of the wife).

So just because we're a service industry, does not mean we "serve" clients per se.

>Who or what do you do design for?

When it comes down to it, I design for my inner self. The work and client provides the opportunity and challenge, but the motivating factor for betterment is really self-gratification. Of course it's necessary to meet the project and client objectives, but that's not the ultimate goal for me as a designer.

It's also driven by a need to learn new things, try new approaches, and discover new paths. But it's all self-motivated. I don't really do it for clients.

Hmm...this is an interesting new realization today...

On Dec.03.2004 at 05:03 PM
graham’s comment is:

after leaving school i worked in record shops for about three years (almost precisely like high fidelity). there were a couple of things i liked most-making exchanges simple and easy for those people who came in looking for an argument and recommending stuff that people might not have heard. i never enjoyed selling dire straits records.

not much has changed: each person/job/client is a bit different. most love being shown stuff they might not expect, a few start off wanting aggro. i can only really think of one job i've done for a client which truly comes close to the notion of authorship in it's purest form. most other things would certainly fall under what i'd term service. to serve is a good thing: to serve is to offer the most one can given circumstance-to serve is offer advice, opinion, knowledge, experience, information, not all of which will necessarily be what the client wants or thinks they want.

in the end, you're serving your conscience, aren't you?

On Dec.03.2004 at 05:04 PM
John’s comment is:

When I was eight or nine I started clipping magazine and newspaper articles, cropping pictures and rearranging the text and pasting them into scrapbooks, of which my mom still keeps in a box in her garage. It's a sickness with me, I've done it ever since, 'cept now I'm paid for it.

For years I served to fill what felt like a gaping hole in my soul with graphic design and neutral grain spirits. Those things, while still part of my life, have happily been eclipsed by a wife and son.

On Dec.03.2004 at 06:09 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

It's a thoughtful challenge, Gunnar, and not one to scoff at. Everyone in this business has two sets of answers: the hip self-satisfying answer and the truth. They can deny it all they like with comfortable excuses. Everyone serves someone/something, you're right.

I don't believe in Advertising anymore. I think the whole paradigm fell over with those Twin Towers, to tell you the truth. A bunch of whores, zombies and pimps is the way I see this bitter cup of tea. Funny, I used to be optimistic once, not destitute as I am now. People used to buy illustration work at one time, I remember. But now the few hard clients are not paying the fees they owe until their clients pay them and that's a long way off. Merry Christmas! Not a drop of kindness in their veins, the bastards. Maybe 21st Century Capitalism has become its own flesh-eating disease. It shows in the kind of dislikable crud being passed off for cutting edge design sometimes that nobody believes this sh*t. Maybe I need a better attitude. Yeah, I have something that I serve, but I ain't telling.

On Dec.03.2004 at 06:10 PM
Steve’s comment is:

I serve the man!

No, ultimately I suppose that I serve myself. It's a good life.

On Dec.03.2004 at 06:33 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Post-Attitude adjustment:

Whew! That was over-the-top and totally negative. Now I see all those whores as talented independent contractors...that was a near burn-out moment...

Who do I serve? Hopefully, the Williams sisters and we're playing tennis.....

On Dec.04.2004 at 07:54 AM
Doug Carter’s comment is:

I design for myself.

I serve the project to get the best possible result for the client, so I can make them happy and get paid.

I work for a living to support my family and my hobbies. If I didn't need money, I'd still be designing and creating things to satisfy my own needs. I'd just take a lot longer to do it.


On Dec.04.2004 at 09:32 AM
Rob’s comment is:

I have to say I've never been a fan of the word 'service' and have done my best to not position myself (and my former group) in that way within our organization. I use the term 'partnership' which is quite comparable to Mr. Kingsley's 'collaboration.'

At the end of the day, I've designed for many people.

First and foremost, the business who uses my designs to support their communication and sales efforts (and gift wrapping when appropriate.) But considering how personally I feel about almost every job that ultimately I'm designing to satisfy myself and my own need to create something.

While I get paid for designing I know that I truly enjoy it as much, if not more, when I don't get paid (pro-bono). This is so because I tend to have more creative freedom than with other work and it's slightly closer to being more 'artistic' in their's more of 'me' in the work than what one might find in my corporate work.

Great topic Gunnar and quite interesting array of responses so far.

On Dec.04.2004 at 10:03 AM
J. A. Tselentis’s comment is:

No matter what you think, no matter what you do, design is a service industry. You're delivering them [the client] a product. This is not art.

During an internship at the age of 19, my mentor told me this. I can't remember why, but I vividly remember her delivery. She wanted to set me straight. That always stuck with me. While I deliver something to the client, I am not serving them. I service them. I provide. Semantics.

But let me say this, I don't believe in taxi driving. Peter L. Phillips labels this activity as the Tell me what you want, and I'll deliver it method of working. I've never believed in that, and when my students perform that way, I've redirected them to the consultant level of working. Giving advice. Presenting visual opportunities. Doing research. Under promise and over deliver. Exceeding expectations.

The value of a consultant outweighs that of a serviceman.

On Dec.04.2004 at 10:17 AM
Maggie Farm’s comment is:

Check out beautiful Bob on 60 minutes on Sunday. Apparently, he's going to name his favorite service provider.

On Dec.04.2004 at 11:37 AM
Michael H.’s comment is:

> Now I see all those whores as talented independent contractors...

Ha! Nice save Pesky.

This is a great topic Gunnar. Do we provide a service or do we provide solutions? Is providing solutions a service? If it is, are we serving the client by providing these solutions, or are we serving our personal code in how we provide the solutions, or are we serving our needs and desires because we are provding soltions?

When I worked in an in-house creative group for a corporation, our name was "Creative Services". At first this didn't bother me so much because I saw the word "Creative" as the dominant word in our title. But over time I began to realize that our clients saw "Services" as the dominant word.

Eventually, with each new job request from our more long-standing clients (the ones we explained to and educated, consulted, and advised in the hopes of expanding their understanding of the options and possibilites we could provide) we began to notice they were not requesting our ability to provide solutions, but rather a means to produce their own solutions.

For instance, they had access to our color palette, thay had access to our image library. This would be fine, to give them an idea of their options, but instead they chose to tell us what colors they wanted, in what combinations, and what images they wanted to see used.

In short, we were becoming production artists to our clients. Our clients viewed us as an in-house kinko's. I believed this to be in large part the responsibility of our name sake. It's how we were introduced, the first impression of the group. The connotation of the word "service", although it is semantics, is too much of a gray area for clients in general to clearly understand. (Not all clients, there are some that are golden.) It gets confused too much with our daily association of the word with our interactivity of the retail world: "The customer is always right."

Yes, this situation could also be hanfled in how we interacted with our clients, but that is another rant that I won't get into here.

... getting back to Gunnar's question...

I think I serve a code. The code of providing an income for my family, providing constant oportunities for myself to evolve into a better designer, providing the best possible solutions for my clients, and providing client solutions that benefit their customers in a good moral fashion.

And although I haven't liked the title "consultant" since the 80's, I do prefer Jason's answer for defining what we do as designers.

On Dec.04.2004 at 11:43 AM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

I’m curious about replacements for the word service:

Collaboration to what end? What or who does the collaboration serve? This is not just a question of your direct relationship with your boss or client.

What people do you deal with that you believe are partners or collaborators and which are providing you a service?

Maggie—Sorry, but I ain’t gonna’ work for you or Moreley Safer no more.

On Dec.04.2004 at 02:17 PM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

I'm still in my "embarrassing Christian period."

On Dec.04.2004 at 02:19 PM
Andrew Wilson’s comment is:

Speaking of "Gotta", my father animated a video of this in 1983, which was based on the stipple-style artwork of Czechoslovakian children's illustrator Peter Sis. Unfortunately, I don't have any screencaps or video clips to share.

My father's film company site (which I did, of course) is here.

The video itself is fantastic and way ahead of the curve for it's day. In fact, my dad could be called the father of the conceptual music video, having created his first for the Sonny and Cher Show in the early 70's.

On Dec.04.2004 at 06:05 PM
Michael B.’s comment is:

Interesting how so many of us see the choice between satisfying ourselves and satisfying the client. Those people out there in the real world who actually get stuck with the end product don't seem to be getting much attention, the poor souls.

On Dec.04.2004 at 10:53 PM
Rob’s comment is:

Interesting how so many of us see the choice between satisfying ourselves and satisfying the client. Those people out there in the real world who actually get stuck with the end product don't seem to be getting much attention, the poor souls.

Interesting point but I'd say that the end user does get attention it terms of the design depending on the type of design being done. In my case, I actually have two end users, the sales guys who are using the brochures to generate interest in a product and then the client, who uses the brochure to learn more about the product.

In terms of this discussion I think the one looks to please the most are those who are signing the your paycheck. But I agree the design itself must be driven by the needs of the end user and it's a designer's responsibility to make sure those needs are met as well.

On Dec.05.2004 at 12:20 AM
Michael H.’s comment is:

> What people do you deal with that you believe are partners or collaborators and which are providing you a service?

I look at everyone involved in the creative process (clients too) as partners. That's probably the main reason why I have a hard time looking at the process as a service, because it's not a one-way street. So in that regard, I don't think anyone is providing me with a service... it's a collaborative process.

I work with the client, I work with other designers, I work with copywriters, I work with printers... it's a group effort when possible.

> Those people out there in the real world who actually get stuck with the end product don't seem to be getting much attention, the poor souls.

One of the first thoughts I had when I first read Gunnars' question was trying to remember what Milton Glaser said in regard to who we design for... not just our clients, but the audience as well. I can't help but think that Mr. Bierut was using sarcasm to allude to this point.

An article by Paul Nini can be found here on AIGA's Voice site, about ethics in graphic design and "our profession's responsibilities to audience members or users". I was content not bringing it up earlier because I wanted to see how many designers here actually considered the end user.

Glaser is quoted in the article as saying: “In the new AIGA's code of ethics there is a significant amount of useful information about appropriate behaviour towards clients and other designers, but not a word about a designer's relationship to the public.”

If we as designers are serving anybody... we should remember that it's almost always the public.

On Dec.05.2004 at 02:03 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> If we as designers are serving anybody... we should remember that it's almost always the public.

The problem is when the clients forget that they too are serving said public. One of the most frustrating things is seeing clients put their personal preferences (including the ridiculous "I don't like x color") ahead of their audience's needs. I'll be the first to admit that clients' feedback many times makes a project stronger because of their understanding of their business and their clients, but quite often their "taste" interferes and they forget that they are serving other folks, not themselves.

On Dec.05.2004 at 08:58 AM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

I’m glad to see things broaden beyond the “my client/me” binary but I’m still confused about the avoidance of the S word. When I asked about what people you deal with that you believe are partners or collaborators and which are providing you a service, I hoped to broaden things even more. We talk about people as “clients” but nobody would ever say “I am a client” as their view of themselves.

When I go to the grocery store, I don’t think of the clerks as partners and I don’t consider that they are collaborating on my dinner. Some of them are people I like, a few are even casual friends. I don’t think of them as my minions or inferior but I don’t conceive of them as partners. When my house gets burglarized and the cops come out to take a report I think we may be cooperating toward some common goals but we aren’t partners or collaborators in any real sense. If I get sick of fixing up my yard by myself and hire landscapers, we may collaborate in some sense but I wouldn’t think “Are my partners in hardscape showing up to brick in between the tracks of the driveway today?” Even if I give up on figuring out what my kitchen wants to be and I get someone to design it for me, I’d want someone who collaborated with me but “collaborator” and “partner” don’t seem like full explanations of the relationship. And if the kitchen designer doesn’t respond to a number of issues beyond an immediate relationship with me, he’s fired. If I land in jail and call an attorney, I would expect to collaborate on my defense but the lawyer wouldn’t call me her partner.

It’s not a questions of master/servant. Even if the power relationship with the lawyer were such that she held all of the cards, the Department of Commerce would still classify her as being in a service industry.

So Michael Bierut implies service to users/audience/readers. I wonder where Michael Holdren’s egalitarian view ends. Do you think of Adobe as your partner? Even if everyone involved is a partner, what or who does the partnership serve?

On Dec.05.2004 at 10:48 AM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

My silliness aside, Michael B. is right about a three way dynamic. Only each part has a different relation to control, culture, and money. Money being the "juice" of the interdependence. Would you be doing that toothpaste ad if you didn't get paid? Is a Walmart shopper looking for craftsmanship or a sale or both? Is the client concerned that you care about proportion in typography? Is anyone expendable in this equation? What function does a professional designer serve that a technology couldn't replace?

On Dec.05.2004 at 11:50 AM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

I meant to cite Michael H. not B., my mistake.

On Dec.05.2004 at 12:01 PM
graham’s comment is:

what button is it that just deletes without recompense huge long heartfelt responses with no warning? that's the button i just hit and bollocks.

there was service to audience etc. as absolute first principle and motivation: also, service as providing a useful distance in a working relationship . . . not such a strong point but maybe useful. in terms of working with others (printers, post production, crew etc. etc) then service in terms of taking on all aesthetic/creative responsibility oneself in order to allow a free and open working relationship where anyone can suggest anything and no (except me) can be wrong.

also, i don't think of money as the 'juice' of interdependence-i think opportunity is. i.e. any job to do onscreen graphics is an opportunity to either (if you've not done it before) go your first thing in a new media or if you've done some to do more and take it further. pretty basic but drives a lot of my decision making in taking jobs on anyway. money comes from any job. the chance to make lovely things that transcend and open hearts doesn't.

anyway, jobs are all slippy anyway. they all have their own hooha, energy drain beams, moments of insane hahahappiness and brain damage, so some are more than others. but i'm no big rich lord. i'm a qui-gon samurai ready to serve to the death on the notice of a moment.

On Dec.05.2004 at 12:58 PM
Tom Dolan’s comment is:

I strive to please the four audiences: myself, the patron, the experts, the public. I believe the ratio is always up for adjustment, and it's certainly a daunting challenge, but great things make all four smile.

On Dec.05.2004 at 03:02 PM
Rob ’s comment is:

Collaboration to what end? What or who does the collaboration serve? This is not just a question of your direct relationship with your boss or client.

I guess an example of being a partner, rather than a service would be a recent project where I ended up delivering a solution for the end-client (in this case the user) that my marketing team didn't necessarily favor but the client loved. If I had been seen as a service provider, then I would have had to follow the dictum from marketing no matter if what was right or wrong. The 'partnership' view allows me more latitude to make decisions that impact the design rather than having the design dictated.

Granted that this is an on-going challenge in an in-house department where it is sometimes difficult to gain the respect of people who don't really understand that design is a process and not just sitting down at the keyboard and printing out the solution in an hour or less.

Not sure if this answers your question Gunnar, regarding the use of 'partner' vs. 'service'. But it is the best way for me to illustrate it from my own experiences.

On Dec.06.2004 at 09:17 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

We seem to have this discussion once a month, don't we?

On Dec.06.2004 at 12:20 PM
tom B’s comment is:

I think that a lot of the hang-ups we have with service is that we tend to associate the term with the stereotype: the laundry maid or the shoe-shine boy. Traditionally, a servant has been someone who does something for us that we could do perfectly well ourselves — but that we would rather not do.

This is very different from the way we see ourselves: provididng a useful service, that fulfills more needs than just convenience.

We shouldn't be worried though. Clients may like to pretend they know all about design — and that they could do it theselves if only they could be bothered — but really they know that they haven't got a clue and they're terrified of making mistakes. This is why they pay us big bucks to do it.

There's nothing wrong with serving: it's the underlying principle by which our society works - Supply and demand. If we think that we can somehow escape our capitalist world by being creative, then I'm afraid we're being delusional. Talent is a commodity just like anything else.

All this talk of 'collaboration' is meaningless. That's just confusing proccess with purpose. Of course we collaborate with our clients — but don't our hairdressers and refuse collectors collaborate with us?

And yes, love is best. but if you expect to be paid for love, it just ain't love.

It's a shame I'm too late for the 'bourgeois' WordIt. I'd show a designer telling a client to piss off.

On Dec.06.2004 at 07:30 PM
Tom Gleason’s comment is:

All those who take up the S word die by the S word.

On Dec.06.2004 at 08:15 PM
James Gildea’s comment is:

I believe that corporate graphic design can be compared to a drive thru menu if the client does not decide to work with you. The type of client that says "this is what I want" even though its bad design can be compared to Buger King. Because you give that person what he wants even though its not quality design. But most of us have to do this because rent isn't free.

But as someone had mentioned earlier, it can be an assistance process if the client respects your decisions and direction. I am doing work for a fashion photographer who has an interest in design, so he had an idea what he wanted but let me loose on the details. This will be good design and I will enjoy working on it. Design is something I do and this is the fun paying version of what I like to do.

I think for the most part, real world design is like fast food. But designing personal projects for myself makes it all worthwhile.

On Dec.07.2004 at 09:59 AM
Tim Lapetino’s comment is:

I don't want to over-simplify this discussion, but I have a little mantra that helps keep me grounded when I think about these things. In order to keep my needs balanced with the felt desires of my clients, I just keep telling myself the following:

"It is my job to give the client both what (s)he wants and what (s)he needs."

So, if my client thinks she needs something ridiculous that won't serve her business interests/audience, I try to massage her viewpoint to show *why* a certain solution will help more--the objective "need".

But at the same time, if I also focus on the clients *wants* (making sure they're pleased with the end results of my efforts), it keeps me from being a self-serving ego-designer who only creates what he likes.

This balance is challenging, but it also keeps the playing field leveled, at least in my mind.

On Dec.07.2004 at 11:48 AM
Michael H.’s comment is:

> I wonder where Michael Holdren’s egalitarian view ends. Do you think of Adobe as your partner? Even if everyone involved is a partner, what or who does the partnership serve?

Well no I don't think of Adobe as a partner, there's no real collaboration between myself and the company. Gunnar, when Armin and Bryony got together with Veer for the poster contest, would you consider that they were providing a service for each other, or was it a collaboration between them? Armin refered to Veer as a "partner, collaborator and instigator". My guess is because of the constructive interaction between the two. To me, that is what differentiates "service" from "collaboration".

And in the end, as I've said before, that collaboration serves the audience.

All this talk about who serves who, who collaberates with who, and who has partnerships with who... and it reminds me very fondly of an interview with Paul Rand by Michael Kroeger.

In it, he says, "Everything is relative. Design is relationships. That is were you start."

Granted, he's not talking about our relations with others in the industry, but rather interpretations of content and form. But I think that statement can be applied to our relationships with others in the industry.

I'm forever an optimist Gunnar, so for me I like to think of every aspect (as much as possible) that is interactive as a collaboration. Also I have a bitter taste from my experience with the word "service" during my time with the in-house creative group I mentioned before because, like Armin said, the client forgot who was serving who.

On Dec.07.2004 at 06:37 PM
Steven’s comment is:

To pick up the "creative services" tangent, while at my last in-house gig, this whole renaming issue came up as way to reinforce the value of what we provided to the company. I remember that there were a number other options offered up, my personal favorite being "creative resources" and "creative department." But in the end, after a surprisingly heated debate, the VP decided to stick with creative services, because it helped to reinforce that we were there to offer a services to the client and he was afraid of coming off seeming pretentious with the new group title. To be honest, though, within the company we really were sort of considered as "graphic enablers" of a product manager's idea. And once that power relationship was established, it was pretty much impossible to change. And , the basic raison d'etre of having an in-house creative department is to facilitate media creation within identity/brand guidelines. So most out-of-the-box designing was done by outside designers (even though, ironically, the company could have frequently gotten as good quality, for less, with some of us as it did with outside vendors; but hey whatever).

But similar to Tim Lapetino, I would always try to give the client what they want; but then, I would also provide options that I thought might better address the interests of that client and their customers.

I take this same approach to how I work with clients now. I will give them one or two ideas that they may have in mind, but I always give them a few other ideas that they may not have considered. I let people know right up-front that if they hire me as just a pair of hands, they might be able better off just going to Kinkos or the like. They hopefully should be hiring me for the way I think and problem-solve, and therefore they should expect me to offer some solutions which they may not have initially considered.

To get to back to Gunnar's question of to whom or what I serve, I guess I'm a bit of a ronin in that, within my heart, I serve no single person but to my own Code of Design. However, as Tom B alludes, clients really do need us for our skills, knowledge, and insight. And they put trust in us to not let them down. So I also serve to honor that sacred trust. I also have a sense of allegiance to the customers of a client to help them get what they may want or need, but which the client may not see or understand. And finally I offer my service to the greater public and the universe around us, to help ensure that good, constructive things are manifested in this world.

I like the term collaboration or partner because it emphasizes the notion of "distinct competencies." In other words, every person involved in the process of manifesting a design solution has their own sphere of influence, their own dominion, if you will. And yet each person is dynamically interconnected and dependent on one another. This relationship is much truer to the reality of the situation than any artificially constructed hierarchy.

And Gunnar, while it seems a little weird to consider the grocery clerk a partner in the creation of your meal, in fact, he really is. His knowledge of what vegetables are freshest, or his ability to pack a bag of groceries correctly so that things don't break or get smashed, has a direct affect on the quality of the meal you eat that night. And your "partners in hardscape" are not only going to help you with doing some manual labor, they probably will have a couple of better ideas of how to put things together and you'll appreciate them more when the job's done and you don't have aching muscles. And if that kitchen designer isn't responding to a number of important issues, then s/he isn't properly collaborating with you or others and indeed should be fired. So while the semantics seem a bit odd in our hierarchy obsessed world, "partnering" or "collaborating" is really a useful way to think about most relationships.

On Dec.07.2004 at 11:48 PM
Lester Dela Cruz’s comment is:

I agree with Tom B. that the term service is stereotyped. I think that most of mistake the meaning of service with the meaning of servant.

Being a servant to design is up to the designer. If one who designs does not genuinely love it, he becomes a servant. But he who veritbly loves design, whether it is for a hobby or a client, is not.

I myself design for the love of it. I enjoy and take pride in my work, even if my client does not agree. Ultimately, I am serving myself.

On Dec.08.2004 at 12:21 AM
Tan’s comment is:

>"It is my job to give the client both what (s)he wants and what (s)he needs."

In my experience, I find that if I give a client exactly what they "want" — the relationship is doomed from that point forth.

I think a designer should always bring more to the table than what was asked for. If not "more" then at least unexpected, challenging, or unique. It's about bringing value to the table and your role as a designer in the relationship.

It's not about ego or being adversarial — it's about creativity. You're not serving ice cream or hamburgers, you're creating something new that's never been seen before. Design is not a commodity or just a "job" — at least it's not if you choose so.

On Dec.08.2004 at 12:17 PM