Around the Campfire

May 11, 2009

in design

Barcelona, Spain circa 2004

Barcelona, Spain circa 2004

The thread that bonds the tech/dev/agency community together is the client horror story…shared around the campfire reminiscent of childhood; just add beer and a good peppering of contempt. After a full day of client work, last minute changes, the all afternoon conference call, and a shortened deadline and you have the perfect recipe for the epic client saga for your friends.

My personal favorite client story goes like this: R&D exec from X corporation, the one that shoves all the pastries we set out for the meeting into his face, slams 3 cups of coffee as he waits for the meeting to begin, accumulates a massive sugar/caffeine rush then gracefully TAKES OVER my pitch (this is back in the fully tricked out potatochop comp days, I netted about 60 hours into 3 screenshots). Yes, that is right, a presentation hijacking. He rose from his seat walked up to me at the projection screen and told ME how the site was going to work. Which, I must admit, made me want to scream for about 30 seconds. Then I had a revelation that changed my view of clients to this day…He was REALLY excited…about what I designed (and high on sugar, coffee and possibly his ADD meds). I went from being furious to quietly taking a seat and listening to his ideas.

I found this quote last weekend from my favorite designer Stefan Sagmeister (talking about the year he took off from client work).

“I realized that the anger I sometimes had toward clients was not necessarily about the clients. It was within me. When I didn’t have clients to tend to, I was just as angry…”

From the book, How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, by Debbie Millman, page 55.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: