helpful hints from your friendly neighborhood design professional

i just got off the phone with a client who was appalled that i had asked her to decide how many flyers and posters she wanted. "i didn't think it mattered at this point," she said.

um… yeah. i explained to her that both the quantity and the method of printing mattered a great deal. if she wanted to print a 4-color flyer on a press, i'd need a substantially higher-resolution image than the 72dpi one she'd snagged off the internet. if, however, she only wanted five copies run off from our color laser printer, it would be fine.


so, when you call up a design professional, please:

  • either know what you want, or tell them right away you *don't* know, so they can help you decide.
  • "a couple," and "some" are not considered quantities for bidding purposes. and yes, there is a difference between two and three.
  • -get permission to use the photo you want included in the project, because when your design professional sees a watermark or copyright notice, they're going to ask about it. i don't want my stuff being used without my permission, and i extend the same professional courtesy to others.
  • -"oh, just do something creative," is going to elicit groans and sighs. if you want something to look a certain way, say so. preferably <em>before</em> the designer starts designing, not <em>after</em>. if you are specifically asked about color preference, layout preference, typeface preference, or any other spec, and you say you don't care, you better be damn ready to accept the entire thing being set in nambypamby narrow and done in florescent ink.
  • -do not try to use the jargon of a design professional unless you are one. you will be mocked. or worse, called on it by being asked very industry-specific questions.

i have that sinking feeling about this client that says, 'trouble.'