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Effectively implementing Graphic Design: A Matter of Stewardship & Customer Care

Clean graphic design should reflect a pristine harmony found in natureServing a client as a designer is a matter of good stewardship, not unlike the mentality imparted to me by my father during our camping trips in the early 1960's. He demonstrated a love and respect for nature with an attitude that you should always leave an area better than you found it.Littered graphic design must be cleaned up with TLC to be appreciated Not only should you take care not to disturb the harmonious natural surroundings, but if you encounter litter or damage done by others, clean that up as well for the sake of those who will follow in days and years ahead.

We've all seen work done by sign shops where it appears they were most interested in getting the job done quickly and receiving their check without considering the best interests of the customer who is writing that check. Handed a sub-par design they give no thought to imparting to their client a vision of a better way, but simply reproduce the art as received. Though the need to improve on a customer's artwork is rare, there are times when a redesign or improvement upon their existing design is expedient. Admittedly, this can be pretty uncomfortable - especially if the customer feels particularly attached to the weak design. This is where stewardship comes into play - recognizing my role as a professional who is entrusted with the best interests of my client.

Original Artwork from ClientA few years ago I was asked to paint a wall mural in the gymnasium of Severance Middle School, using the artwork they had been using on their T-shirts and other print materials.

The inherent weakness of that artwork was apparent to me, but not immediately so to the client. The way the school colors related to each other made it difficult to distinguish the muddled features of the mascot. The font did nothing to enhance the dynamic image one would want to portray for that mascot. Even the position of the hawk was a bit clumsy, lacking the motion that would give it the punch needed to make a statement. Yes, I could have reproduced the art on the wall, but by employing some simple design principles (without significantly changing the overall concept) a vast improvement was made for the project at-hand as well as providing art they could use in future applications.

  1. Simplification: I streamlined the entire design, with a stylized version of the hawk simplifying and cleaning up the shapes of which it was comprised.
  2. Fluid movement: By making one wing the high-point and lowering the claws to the lowest point, the motion of the hawk led the eye to the word "Hawks".
  3. Cohesive Design: As the eye is led to the words, the lettering is now appropriate to a hawk with italicized motion and "hooked" talons. Also, rather than making all the words the same size, they were grouped and prioritized to facilitate reading and emphasize the important elements.

Artwork revised and painted as a mural on gymnasium wallIn the end, the minimal cost of altering the design, the satisfaction of a job well-done and the improved image - used not only in the gym but in future applications - demonstrated that good stewardship and customer care is a win-win endeavor. Wouldn't you agree?


Reader Comments (1)

thanks for sharing..this Cohesive Design is awesome.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOmar Faruk

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