2 most common reasons your design gets rejected by the client

Have you ever designed something you got really excited about and happy with the end result? When design like that comes along, success is certain and the clients acceptance is just a formality, right….? Well…wrong! For whatever reason the client doesn’t see the quality of work, he isn’t convinced and rejects your proposal.
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You simply can’t believe that, why isn’t he seeing the quality and all the advantages of such a design!? You may come to think the client is design illiterate and a lot of bad things can come to mind in anger, but that doesn’t change the fact your design is being rejected and you have to create something new from scratch! When such a thing occurs, you have to ask yourself how can i make my client see what i see, and how can i explain him that this design is the best solution for his business. You have to Educate the client! Understanding that we all have different backgrounds and we all perceive things differently is necessary.

Many factors can influence your client to reject your proposal but some of the most common are:

1. Design is not characteristic or specific enough.
2. Your presentation is bad.

Before you start the design process you have to gather as much information as possible about the project and then trim down all the information to essentials. For example if you’re doing a logo for a new bakery, try to dig out as much information about the baking business in general and what separates that bakery from others. It may seem hard at first, you could be thinking what can stand out in that one specific bakery? They are all the same they make bread, pretzels…etc, right? What is so special about this one?

Well it could be many things. Maybe they’re making some kind of special rolls everyone likes, or the owner is a fat guy with funny mustaches or the street where bakery is located has something unique… You need to pick something characteristic upon which you can build your brand identity.

To come up with that your questions need to be precise. The quality of an answer depends on the quality of  the question.

Dont expect the business owner to give you all the answers by himself. You have to guide your client. I will write in much more detail about this research process in future posts.

Once you do that you have check back with the client and see if he agrees with all the information and BAM, you have your project guidelines. It may take some time to gather all the necessary information but once you do that 1/2 of the project is already done. I took the shortcut many times in the beginning of my career believing the client will trust “my vision” and spent hours and days working on my design just to get burnt at the end. Good preparation is a must, and an absolute necessity for a projects success.

Remember the goal of design isn’t only to get the clients acceptance but to do its task successfully(to leave a certain impression, inform…etc).

Second and probably most common reason for rejection is a bad presentation.
You got your project info, precise guidelines, you’ve done everything properly and at the very end your great fear comes true. The notorious sentence “I would like to see a few more variations” comes along and by variations he usually means completely new concepts. I’ve “buried” many good design because of this.
To quote one of my college professors:”Presentation is everything”. Of course this applies only if the design is done right. You have to get your client a sense of how will the design look like in the real world. How will the logo feel on a business card or on a glass window. How will stationary design look when printed and placed on a table, how will a poster or a billboard look outside in real life surroundings…etc

There are much greater chances the client will go through with something if you present your work properly.

You can use some of many available design resources, templates and PSD mock ups when presenting your work.
Here is a small list of useful free resources you can use to boost your showcase and create a professional presentation:
(vectors, icons, images, PSD)
(vectors, icons, PSD)
(UI Kits, icons, PSD)
(vectors, icons, images, PSD)
(vectors, icons)
(Textures)
I hope you will find the links useful and this whole article helpful for the success of your future projects!
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Nik Ljubicic

Nik Ljubicic

Passionate Graphic designer, educator and blogger. Inspired by nature, beautiful design, blues music... Always seeking for ways to improve things, and make a positive impact.

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