If you believe as I do that every project has the potential for a great design solution. You have to wonder great work doesn't happen all the time. But it doesn't. Some projects never get off the ground. Others start off smoothly only to crash and burn spectacularly. I think I've finally figured out why.
I've also had clients that don't pay their bills on time. Clients that change project parameters. Clients with unreasonable deadlines. Clients that make mistakes. Clients that supply content riddled with errors. And somehow, with all of these obstacles, we still produce consistently strong work.
So if I am approaching every project in a similar way—putting the client's brand first, listening attentively and asking thoughtful questions—what is that magic thing that makes a project good? I think the outcome of a project can only be as strong as the partnership between the client and the designer.
Because in a true partnership we are in it together. A goal is defined. Both parties share the same knowledge. Decisions are made together. Mistakes are made together. Deadlines are shared together. Both parties are willing to take responsibility and learn and grow.
When clients withhold information—only telling me what they think I need to know—things frequently go wrong. If I'm designing a sales brochure it may at first glance seem like overkill when I ask to hear about general marketing and business goals, information about staffing changes, product developments and office inter-relationships. But it helps me create a piece that answers a client's needs most efficiently.
There is no 'i' in team but there is in win. (Michael Jordan)