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Eric: And Brad Guigar goes for the Snark... he's up on the vault -- NAILED it! That's impressive Snark, Bob.

(From Greystone Inn. Click on the thumbnail for full sized snarky goodness.)

I worked in Desktop Publishing for years. Years and years and years and years. I had this conversation more times than I can count. It's always the same things. Someone comes in with a project (often a totally crap project, but I digress). They detail what they want. And by detail, I mean "they make vague comments about how they want it 'Strong' or 'Sensitive' or to have 'Impact.' You ask for clarification and they repeat the exact same thing, over and over again, as though you're a foreigner and, like all foreigners understand English perfectly if it's spoken slowly and with an accent.

Oh, you show them fonts and graphics and samples, and talk about design elements. You try desperately hard to get hard guidance on the vision in their heads, but they have no vision. They have a glimpse through soft focus of a piece of paper with maybe a bit of color and a title, but that blurry hint of something is the absolute Holy Grail they seek. They don't know what it is, but they know that if you, the designer, just give it to them they'll recognize it instantly -- and if you don't give it to them it's because you're stupid and lazy and just don't want to be helpful.

Guigar nailed that sentiment in this strip. He nailed the frustration. And he nailed the driving, yearning need to drive a spike through the eye of the client.

I have to wonder if tomorrow's strip will end the way all of those projects end. With the irate client (editor, in this case) coming back and saying "that's not what I meant at all," demanding a free redo and money off besides, and then filling out a comment card on your substandard work. Dollars to doughnuts it is.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at September 9, 2004 2:05 PM


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