There are two kinds of designers. The reason for that is quite simply that there are also two kinds of clients. I’ll explain each. Starting with the clients.
The first client type knows exactly what they want. They have envisioned the solution to their problem. Can describe it in detail and possibly have even drawn a sketch. They don’t have have the skills or tools to execute their vision, so they search for a designer to craft it for them. No consultation. No discussion. Just do it.
Fortunately for this client there are designers who work exactly this way. They rely on instruction. Have the ability to create as directed and satisfy the client without any creative contribution of their own.
The second type of client is looking for more from their designer. They present a design brief rather than their own design ideas. The brief provides background information, explains the problem, challenges, target market, and objectives for a solution. Having defined the problem and desired outcome, this client is looking for a designer who can collaborate and contribute strategically as well as creatively. They trust the designer will deliver solutions beyond the scope of their own imagination.
Design professionals who add value for their clients through strategic thinking and creative problem solving are the second kind of designer. They are diligent in their research. Approach design as a process and explore numerous possibilities in the pursuit of an effective solution. An astute designer knows for every great idea, there might still be a better one. Or at least an improvement after review and refinement of initial concepts.
Client one may be satisfied with the technical realization of their design but how good was their idea in the first place. Could it have been better? Is it actually terrible in the eyes of others? Was there a better solution?
Client two is rewarded with creative work tailored to their defined objectives and desired outcomes. They reap the benefits of strategic thinking and experienced problem solving. This design process promotes collaboration, discussion, evaluation and the advancement of strong concepts. Final designs are well-considered and result-oriented.
If this post seems skewed in favour of designers who contribute more than software skills in creating work for their clients, it is completely intentional. The best designer/client relationships are partnerships. Working together creates value and superior solutions.
If you’re looking for a creative collaborator with insight, experience and ingenuity for your next project, start here.