A Mechanic at Work
The Importance of Consulting
Categorised in: Article
Today you can find design work done, packaged and sent within a couple of hours. The conveyor belt of corporate identity allows a small company to invest at less of an expense in a logo, business card or letterhead. This happens to disappoint many designers, not because it changes the expectations, but rather because they know the real expense of a cheap product. What the business owner loses using this method, is a well crafted, unique logo or identity that is an accurate representation of their business.
Business changes, but the fundamentals that govern its workflow, product or service, needs the correct exposure when dealing with its audience. In one case the correct exposure may be a business card, letterhead or website. In another, it might be a t-shirt, menu, wallpaper or mural. A conveyor belt ethic isn’t to deliver the wisdom of an expert to a business. It is to process requests, filter, mix and pour them into molds, casting it into a final product. This business model is driven by maximum output. What a customer needs isn’t a cookie cutter brand, but the help of a skilled designer. When you take your car in you don’t ask the salesperson to fix your car but the mechanic.
To use an analogy from the design world; when seeking help from an expert mechanic, trust that mechanic to know his craft well. To explain why, let us presume the Mechanic goes out of his way to do his work as instructed by his customer and fixes everything the customer believes to be wrong. Once the job is done the customer will be on their merry way with all his problems solved, yet returns the next day to complain. The client’s problems were fixed, even with their solutions, but there still remains a problem, which is evident in the performance of the vehicle. This time the Mechanic takes a look, finds what the original problem was and fixes it with expert care. This is the expected way for a Mechanic to handle his work, because they have through experience and education gained an understanding of the finer mechanisms of vehicles.
This is how design could best service a customer. A customer brings their business in for branding. The designer looks at how the business functions and operates within its market. Then goes through a process of asking questions, learning what the business model is and apply their understanding of communication and design principles. Then the designer listens to and guides the customer to help them find the best solutions to communicate their business to their consumers. These steps are missing in a machine that produces countless reiterations from limited templates.
The first step should always be to consult an expert to find an appropriate solution. The extra labour and care go a long way in producing something that will speak for your brand, product or event.