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How Do You Design for a Client When Art is Subjective?

As a graphic designer, I look at every project as an artistic challenge. There is more than one way to tackle a given problem, but it is the client that gets to choose which way is best.

Client X, a manufacturer of medical devices, charged us with the task of designing their 2009 annual report. The content of the report was being kept to a general overview; it offered no direction for the graphic nor did the client share their vision (if they had one in mind). This particular client has been in business for many years, and had produced an annual each year since becoming a public corporation. This year they wanted something different and more contemporary.

Keeping in mind the client’s minimal requests, I presented three cover directions. Each one of which, I felt, solved their problem, but in a different way.

Graphic for Client X

The first, Cover A, was clean, showed products and people using them, and clearly presented the company name. This cover employed the colors blue and white to represent the medical field and kept the layout clean.

Cover B used a picture of the product in it’s environment and highlighted the company name. It utilized, however, a dramatic background to provide a modern, technological feel.

Cover C did not show product at all. Instead, it presented of an abstract image, possibly (but not necessarily) recognizable as a medical environment. This graphic was intended to peak the curiosity of the viewer and again, of course, prominently displayed the company name.

Client X picked a direction. As with any form of art, there is no guarantee that the viewer will to understand the artist’s intentions.

Which did the client choose? I would love to hear what you think.

By,

Tina Klevitz Diekmann

Art Director of Sanna Mattson MacLeod

Tina on: LinkedIn

Art Director

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2 Comments

  1. Amanda Baldauf on October 21, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    At first I thought the 2nd one… but now I’m thinking the 3rd because it looks advanced- which a company should always want to be! It also leaves the reader curious, wondering what it is and so forth. When are you going to tell us!? Great graphics all and all though!

  2. Alyce Mayors-Sminkey on October 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I’m going to pick B!

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