… This is not to say that graphic designers can’t have discussions with clients that result in changes to their work; or that all designers resist change purely on the basis that they are sensitive flowers who can’t be told when they are wrong. But there is something in the nature of graphic design that invites interference from its paymasters. Clients are rarely embarrassed to demand changes, and in modern businesses it is a sign of mercantile machismo to tell “my designer” what to do. Designers are not helped by the fact that graphic design has never been easier to change. In the digital era, every client knows that displeasing gestures can be swept away with a keystroke. And since much design has migrated to the screen, change is made easier still: websites can be tinkered with even after they have been “published”.
Client interference also raises the question of perception. No two people see exactly the same thing. When viewing a piece of work, clients see one thing, designers another. In his 1943 book The Art of Seeing Aldous Huxley called this “the mental side of seeing”. Huxley observed that if a naturalist walks through a forest, they would see things that no layperson would see. It’s the same with design: as soon as we become professional designers we lose the ability to look at our work in an untutored way. We see it “differently”, which causes much of the frustration and antagonism that exists between clients and designers….
Can you make the type bigger? By Adrian Shaughnessy