Confidence in design

I’ve recently read Creative Mischief by Dave Trott.

It’s a fantastic book; you should buy it.

One thing I loved was his writing style: No fluff; no waffle; just the story. In short, succinct sentences. Here is my attempt:

– – –

People say that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

Paul Rand once said this about designing the NeXT logo for Steve Jobs:

I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.

So how can someone charge $100,000 for a logo, and others charge $100.


Rand knew he would understand the brief and produce the right logo.

People who aren’t confident in the work they produce will create a couple of versions, and let the client decide.

The client isn’t paying you to choose. They are paying you to design the right one for them.

That’s why they hired you.

It’s a cop out to make the client choose. It shows a lack of conviction.

It creates so much imbalance in the client/designer relationship you are saying “help me do my job”.

By placing the client in the design seat they will try and steer the direction for you because of your initial lack of conviction..

You’ll hear things like “I’ll know it when I see it”.

This will lead to you bemoaning the client for taking over the design.

But you see, they didn’t.

You invited them to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>