Resolving conflict between business and creativity.

Creative people can struggle with constraints; business doesn’t work without them. When is the right time to slacken the leash on creative freedom; equally when is it important to reign it in? This discussion on the common threads of tension between my team and our clients was originally published in Curate Magazine.


Client: Will you do the initial design exploration for free?

Creativity doesn’t have a step-by-step, works everytime manual. How do you know a designer can come up with ideas you are happy with? Even a top design agency may not perfectly envision your objective.

However putting pencil to paper isn’t the first thing that happens in the design process; the first thing product designers do is define the scope of work. This can take days or even weeks, but it enables us to truly understand the problem, the client and the opportunities. Only then can we start coming up with ideas that we know will meet the brief. No-one can run a business if they are expected to offer their time and services for free. Through good communication you can build faith for the journey ahead and ultimately trust that the end deliverables will go beyond expectation.

Designer: Let’s look at the problem and not the solution.

We often see more promise in the problem you are trying to solve than the ideas you’ve already come up with. If this is the case, we will encourage you to take a step back and allow us to return with you to the drawing board, exploring alternative solutions. Whilst it may feel risky and (possibly) more expensive to start all over again, you will end up with scores of innovative ideas to choose from. This investment not only ensures we are maximising the potential of the ideas, but gives us an opportunity to validate and negate concepts, ensuring you are making an informed decision before moving forwards…

Read the full article here.

Jo Barnard