What do R+M, Anoroc, Creative Associates, Ulanguzi, and Flywheel Design have in common? How many times in your career have you been able to have a frank conversation with so many creative leaders? I took advantage of the informal setting, got answers to questions and witnessed “competitors” getting past the separate mentality and acknowledging that there’s room for all of us to prosper.
Everyone was ready for a lively discussion. Most of us work in a field were interaction is key, and this event was no different. We were encouraged to come armed with questions – difficult questions. We were also encouraged to discuss, bring a different perspective to the issue or flat out disagree. The Principals were ready to talk WITH us, not AT us.
To promote the event, AIGA gathered questions months prior to the event. Questions were gathered from subreddits, blogs, emails, Face book, Twitter, and Linked In. Matt Munoz, AIGA Raleigh president, moderated with questions derived from those gathered questions.
A common theme from everyone is that the relationships between yourself and your clients are key to building your business. Trust, mutual respect and brand promise are also key components.
Dylan Bost says never stop learning; you should learn something new, every single day
Flywheel Design says they are selective on who they work with, they want to believe in what they do
The overall theme was work ethic.
Dylan Bost says a choice between skill and attitude; you are better off going with attitude
Ed Collevecchio also says they want people to have their own creativity, but they also need someone that will work well in the team
Ed Collevecchio says he might take the 2nd or 3rd best portfolio teams because that person will fit better into the team
Beverly Murray says that trust allows someone to put a “bad” idea on the table and let someone else run with it to make it good
Beverly Murray says one of the great things of working with a creative team is the level of trust within them
Dylan Bost says to build the team is for new people is get to know everyone on the team because one person can break a team
Ed Collevecchio says not to list software programs at the top of the resume because those are tools not design skills & and that is a red flag
Flywheel Design says it is our duty as professionals to tell clients they are making a mistake, and it will help in the long run
Ed Collevecchio then brings up that works best when you already have developed a relationship with the client and have that trust.
Flywheel Design says people are forgetting that it is the thinking that is the most important thing, if you can get client to understand good design, and then you are showing your value
Deborah Loercher says clients will have your back and help you land new business if you have a good relationship
Deborah Loercher says logos like Nike don’t come from crowd sourcing; we need to educate clients on this
Deborah Loercher says that clients need to respect designers have skills, and they can’t do something just because they have the design program
Dylan Bost says we need to teach the value of design to business to clients so they can see we don’t just design “pretty pictures”
Firing a client
Dylan Bost says it is better to pass along a client to someone else if they aren’t a great fit, then working with them
Beverly Murray also says you want to end on good terms with clients because you could run into these people in another client
Deborah Loercher says you always want to end the client relationship in a good place
Dylan Bost says to just be honest and say, “It’s not a good fit.” If you can’t get behind the work, then won’t do your best
Flywheel Design says they try to write in their contact that they need to have direct access to anyone with “veto” power. This will save them from the client saying they need to change everything after doing all the work
Beverly Murray says it is a red flag if dealing with client and they don’t respect the process from the start, it won’t get better
The Principal’s Principles was a great demonstration of how the Raleigh Design community is just that—a community. Absolute great opportunities to start the dialog that will help us all continue to push the condition of design forward.