Things I wish they taught me in college

How to manage client expectations

Keeping your client informed about your design process, and setting firm guidelines on what you can and can not accomplish in a set period of time is key to achieving what you have set forth to do: create beautiful work that communicates a message. If had learned what would be asked of me from clients while I was in college, perhaps I would have been prepared to respond and explain that I actually need sleep (sometimes), and that when given the time, creativity blooms into something better. Rather than spending endless all-nighters just making stuff look nice.

How the Client’s objective may not allow me to be as creative as I would like

Our job is to communicate a message through our work. In school we created without constraint: amazing imagery and eye-catching typography were in all of our inexperienced pieces. And we just knew we were poised to take on the creative world and rule. Until a real client stepped in and saidÖ. ìyeah it looks nice, but I canít read the prices and I canít afford a photographer, so youíll have to use this snapshot I took with my camera phoneÖand take out the die-cut, because that is to much money and I think I rather like purple instead of green.î


I think back in college, they managed to teach me how to hit the collect button. The printers would need my images and my fonts used, as well as the actual document. There are a lot more things to think about when packaging a job properly for output. What types of printing there are, how spot color jobs and transparencies donít mix, what size sheets the printers are printing on, so I can maximize the space used to print my pieces. And more.

I have learned a lot since my days in college. I guess I got to thinking about my college loan payments and wondered what I learned in there that I couldnít have learned right here working side-by-side other creatives.

Jun 15, 2009

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