This week wasn’t very heavy in new work. I did have some posters, and class work, but not a lot. What I did have happen this week was a wake up call in how I deal with clients. Right now I am doing an internship with Campus Ministry. I am doing posters, social media, and photography. The leaders are all very relaxed about everything, so when they send me an email they mostly say “we need a poster for X event can you make it.” Sometimes they will have more info or show me an older version, and usually that’s all the info that I needed.
However, I am a designer, and I was taking the place of a copy writer a lot in this process. This week, I learned that I need more clear copy from the client before I jump into the design. I had made one poster last week pretty quickly, because I thought it needed to be posted on social asap. I emailed it back to the client for approval, but they didn’t get back to me before the date it needed to be posted, so I posted it myself. Then, after I posted it she got back to me. She had pasted my design on a word document, edited the copy, and then sent it back to me to be reworked. It was a frustrating moment, but looking back I can definitely laugh because of the lack of clarity on my part, and the lack of structure that I didn’t set up in these client relationships from the beginning.
As I said before, I am a designer, I should not have been making the copy. In the past, the client always had adjustments to my copy, so I shouldn’t have assumed what I wrote was approved to post. I now understand more that I am the designer, and that is it. I should always ask: what do you want it to say exactly, and do you have any specific images you want on it.
This experience of miscommunication was really frustrating, but now I know going forward what I have to outline exactly in my interactions with clients, even if they don’t say they care. I hope this helps another beginner designer in client interactions!