I Don’t Like It!


These are probably the worst 4 words that you can ever hear as an agency from your client. You never get used to it even though it happens fairly often. People hire designers to do the impossible… pull a vision out of their head and put it into an image, site, video or even a brand.

Worse, it’s rarely an answer that matters. It really doesn’t matter whether or not you like it. As long as a design isn’t going to damage your brand and it’s been professionally designed, you need to swallow your pride – and your opinion – and see what happens. Designers are an incredible group… every day dealing with more negativity than the average stand-up comic. Unlike the comic, the designer has to ask for feedback (aka heckling).

Here’s some tips to help you cope with letting the designer design:

  • Your imagination can never be recreated in the real world accurately. Ever.
  • You are not a designer. Chances are, they do know what’s better.
  • The design is not for you. The design is for your audience.
  • A great designer will work hard to meet the objectives of the design while entertaining your requests and feedback… not design to your requests.
  • Providing your designer with the freedom to be creative will deliver the best output.
  • Focus on the results of the design, not the design itself, to measure its success.
  • If you’re heavy handed in the input of a design and it doesn’t work, don’t blame the designer.

As business people, you often think you know better. If you’re successful, sometimes it’s even more difficult to get out of the way and allow your designer to work. As we develop infographics and sites, I often don’t like what’s been created… but I’m also humbled that when I get in the way instead of getting out of the way, the designs fail.

Great designers ask tons of questions and may even offer up some example, drafts and iterations for your feedback. I’m not trying to talk you into investing in a design that you despise; after all, you’re paying for it and you need to live with it. But if it’s a design that functions and isn’t necessarily your style, take the chance and see what happens!

And try not to say, “I Don’t Like It!”.


  1. 1

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Douglas. Clients often seem to hire a designer so the client can design their own piece, while the designer’s skills are tossed in favor of their Adobe mechanical skills. Clients fail to understand that a competent designer doesn’t just know their tools – they also know “design,” which is the biggest part of their profession. Furthermore, clients OFTEN forget the design is for their audience, not them.

    On the flip side, designers and/or project managers need to be sure they’re qualifying their clients and consulting with them as best as possible. Clients don’t always know how to articulate their objectives, so skillful communication with clients are a must. As well, a lot of “designers” miss the mark, or aren’t what they say they are, and can’t design a great looking piece that fulfills any client’s objective, regardless of how well it’s expressed. I think some clients may be weary of this, too.

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  3. 3

    Well, customer always go there where he gets supports and I am sure everyone know this. But sometime we are agree with client without getting any single penny. As of me “Trust” is an important word in business.

  4. 4

    I cant tell you how many times after seeing something I ask about this tweak or that tweak or the thought behind it only to get a response akin to “I tried that already” “It didnt work because” and on occasion was instantly provided with a saved example of exactly what I mentioned so I could see for myself. After a couple of those requests in regards to various projects Ive started to not even question stuff anymore because ultimately they do know best. 

    Also Id add dont pigeon hole your designer or creative group by not giving them enough options or feedback up front. 

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