Faster Isn’t Always Better

I might be over dramatizing but the one word that I hear that makes my skin crawl is the word rush. What do I mean when I say rush you ask? With being a graphic designer, I deal with clients who sometimes want their projects rushed or made a top priority to get it done quicker than the standard timeframe in order to meet a certain deadline. It seems with this day and age we want everything faster, reaching us in an instant. Fast food, instant streaming, we all want it right now.

Graphic design should not be in the category of fast. Granted, I am not saying a graphic designer should spend a year on a logo design. Sometimes a graphic designer may be able to accommodate a rush request from their client, but it all depends on what the project entails. I first and foremost care about quality, and not so much the speed. I know I can get things done rather quickly, but when I am not stressed on a time frame, I am comfortable to give the project the tender loving care it deserves. When I am put in a rushed position of a client needing the project “now,” I am under a time frame that can eat the quality. I am not saying a graphic designer should cut corners, but there should be an understanding of the work process and time allocation.

Have you ever seen this venn diagram of how you would like your graphic design? It has circles for fast, cheap, and great, but you can only pick two – that pretty much sums up the end result of a graphic design project. Recently, I was commissioned to create a logo for a local hair studio. When the owner approached me to make her logo, I not only asked her to send me her ideas, but also what her deadline was to finish it. This project was pitched in the beginning of January and she wanted it finished around the end of January. When she said this, I accepted the timeframe since felt four weeks would be appropriate for me to get the logo finished. I was also taking into account other projects I was working on, and working full time at another company.

I began the project looking at the ideas she gave of what she liked, didn’t like, and the color scheme she wanted. I also did my own research of designs for logos I found interesting, researching what I wanted the logo to convey, and what is unique about her salon. After I had enough time researching, I began sketching out concepts of the logo and how I wanted it to look. Messing around and experimenting with different fonts, arranging elements, finding the right shades of her colors, and coming up with unique ways of making her logo stand out, I came up with a couple different ideas to specify what the logo could be. When the deadline was approaching, I continued to tweak my ideas. It took longer than I originally thought as I kept tweaking every little thing to get it right.I ended up making two ideas for her logo and she picked one. I gave them to her at the end of January. I was thrilled as I gave her the paper with her logo on it, making a very happy client. I tell this story as to give you some insight into the process a graphic designer goes though in each project.

What if I was only given a week to do this logo? My research time would suffer, time to generate ideas gets cut, time to find appropriate graphics, fonts, colors, etc… is cut. I can’t spend too much time on one aspect of my process in order to make the strict deadline. I am pleased the owner gave me enough time to create her logo and understood how to process worked. I gave it the time and attention it deserved. I hope the take away from this is that every aspect of the graphic designer’s process in working on a project is important. Researching the best ideas, finding the perfect font that conveys the right feel, appropriates colors, and unique styles, as well as honing in on the idea to make it the best it can be.

The next time you think you want to rush a project, you basically have a choice to make do you want quality or speed? You can only pick one.