6 Tips to Level Up Your Design Skills (and Your Income) - part 5 of 1 2 3 4 5 6

by Khara Plicanic Published 10/10/2017

Protect Yourself (and your clients)

6. If you have any experience whatsoever of collaborating with clients on a design project, you already know things have the potential to get out of hand – fast. Whether in the form of endless revisions, or grossly underestimated time commitments, it’s incredibly helpful to put a system in place to manage everyone’s expectations. The details and specifics of the system are up to you, but the overall ideas is to keep the entire process manageable so everyone is happy with the final product. For example, limiting the number of design drafts and/or revisions helps everyone; be more thoughtful about requests and establish that a design project does not include an all-youcan-eat buffet.

Depending on your goals, it can also be useful to build a design collection to serve as a project starting point. Maybe you put together up to five different designs that clients can choose from. From there, you could customise text and colours to fit. This protects you from having to begin every project with the overwhelming terror that comes with a totally blank canvas


While setting up a system can feel like a lot of restrictions, the reality is that there’s far more freedom within structure than there is within chaos. A good system also has the bonus side effect of creating a better client experience too, as it minimises confusion, becoming overwhelmed, and paralysis.

Finally, be sure to consider the true time involvement involved when pricing your services. It’s easy to look at a finished design piece and think to yourself, ‘Wow, that’s so simple! It must’ve been so fast and easy to put together.’ The reality is, the simpler (and successful) a final piece is, the more time probably went into creating it. Design is a process, and it often begins with making a mess. Within the mess there’s usually a fair amount of experimentation. Trying, failing, recalculating and trying again is par for the course. It’s only by working and pushing through the mess that you discover where to find the gold. Plan (and budget) accordingly.

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1st Published 10/10/2017
last update 06/11/2019 11:04:08

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