“If you go see a doctor with a headache, he gives you an aspirin”
Paul Rand, 1991
Just like a doctor, a designer only needs to give the client ONE SOLUTION to a problem. There is no real point showing two, three or a hundred options apart from what I call the “reassurance fallacy”, where a client feels better being able to select the best ‘one’ out of a selection.A designer is a problem solver. We work through many ideas before we land on the best solution. The client does not need to see this but because there is no trust (especially in new relationships), most client’s need to see proof of all the hard work to justify what they will be paying for.
Rand only had one design to show UPS. It was a rolled up photostat and when the client asked if there were any more options he said no. Here is the video.
The Buddy Limited logo
Although not as successful as the IBM logo yet, I recently designed a logo for an online company and applied this level of confidence and sincerity to the client presentation. I showed one logo and spoke from my heart about the thinking behind the logo and why it is perfect for the company. They loved it. As they saw it more over the coming weeks, they began to realise how powerful it would be in the environment it would be represented in, on the internet.
As designers we must start being more confident about the work we do. We must be prepared to walk away if the compromise it too large and the soul of what we have created becomes too diluted. I mean it. We are the best at what we do, we have an obligation to produce the best solution possible. The trick is to get the client to understand why it is the best and ONLY solution they will ever need.
Watch the Paul Rand interview: