VDIS10022 Advanced Graphic Design Studio - Lecture 3 - Selling Ideas

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<ul><li><p>VDIS10022 ADVANCED GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO Lecturer: Rachel Hawkins</p><p>VIRTU DESIGN INSTITUTE</p><p>LECTURE 3:</p></li><li><p>VIRTU DESIGN INSTITUTE: ADVANCED GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO - VDIS10022 2</p><p>THIS LECTURE DISCUSSES WAYS IN WHICH YOU, THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER CAN SELL YOUR IDEAS AND CONCEPTS TO </p><p>CLIENTS THROUGH SUCCESSFUL PITCHING AND MOOD BOARDS.</p><p>COMMUNICATING A CONCEPT CLEARLY AND EFFICIENTLY TO A CLIENT CAN SAVE HOURS OF DESIGN TIME AND LENGTHY CHANGES. </p><p>AS A DESIGNER YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR CLIENT BELIEVE IN THE IDEA AND LOVE THE CONCEPT.</p></li><li><p>VIRTU DESIGN INSTITUTE: ADVANCED GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO - VDIS10022 3</p><p>There are several formal definitions for the word PITCH from Sports, Music, Camping and Architectural </p><p>references. So what does it mean in a design sense?</p><p>Informally, to PITCH is to attempt to promote or sell, often in a high-pressure manner.</p><p>For a Graphic Designer, pitching is the selling or presentation of design ideas and concepts to a client. </p><p>It may be the presentation of an initial round of designs in response to a carefully considered brief or it may be that you are trying to win the job by </p><p>presenting the best idea. </p></li><li><p>VIRTU DESIGN INSTITUTE: ADVANCED GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO - VDIS10022 4</p><p>THE ART OF SELLING VISUAL IDEAS</p><p>March, 2002by Shayne Bowman and Chris Willishttp://www.hypergene.net/ideas/sellvis.html</p><p>One of the most frustrating aspects of being a designer is having a good design one that you know is really good and you cant get the client to buy into it. When this happens, designers blame the client for their stupidity and poor taste. Instead, designers should examine the technique of how the design was sold.</p><p>Whether its a full-scale redesign of a major web site or some brochure-ware for the local workout club, selling a visual idea (a.k.a. the pitch) is one of the most difficult hurdles for a designer to overcome. This is largely because designers typically place a higher value on aesthetics instead of reason. But when a design is pitched in purely aesthetic terms, its too vulnerable to uninformed criticism and personal preference. If the client says I dont like it, you could be sunk.</p><p>To successfully sell a visual concept to a client, a designer must use a strategy that turns a subjective argument into an objective one. Weve found that the following objective arguments will greatly increase your chances of getting a client to say yes:</p><p>DEFINE THE CONCEPT. Prepare for your pitch by writing a design statement a clear, understandable definition of how your design helps to solve business goals and how it provides a rewarding </p><p>experience for the customer. Then write an outline of how key design decisions support this statement. Doing this will not only make your pitch more objective, but it also helps you understand the clients perspective. It also presents the design as a solution to the problem, rather than one of personal taste.</p><p>BE READY TO ANSWER WHY? Before the pitch, prepare an explanation for every aesthetic choice of the design typeface, color, grid, photograph, illustration, etc. in rational, not emotional, terms. For example, if you are using the font Verdana in a design, you have to give reasons other than I just like it. If you use this kind of rationale, then you open the door for a client to use this as well, I dont like it.</p><p>However, it would be hard to argue against Verdana with this type of explanation: This font was designed by renowned type designer Matthew Carter for Microsoft specifically for optimum screen readability. It has extra space between characters so they dont touch. The bolds are strong enough so that you can always tell the difference between bold and roman, yet the bold characters never fill-in... You may not need to provide this depth of reasoning for every choice, but if the question arises during a pitch, you will have this as ammunition.</p><p>Providing smart supporting information for a design will increase your credibility and authority in the clients eye. It also educates the client, who might otherwise evaluate the design from a purely surface perspective.</p><p>USE SMART COMPARISONS. Few designs are entirely original. Before your design pitch, identify successful design solutions similar to yours. Use them to help give your decisions and methods credibility. You might consider choosing examples that the client particularly admires. This will reinforce to the client that their taste has approval, and likewise reflect a positive light on your design.</p><p>TRY, TRY AGAIN. If your client doesnt get it after the first meeting, dont give up. Listen to the clients criticism of the design, and ask for an opportunity to present a revision. Build a track record of compelling ideas that are substantiated with objective arguments. A history of good thinking can only build a clients confidence and trust in you.</p><p>Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis of Hypergene.net, specialize in media product development and presentation design. They write and speak frequently on information &amp; graphic design, creative development and the design process.</p></li><li><p>VIRTU DESIGN INSTITUTE: ADVANCED GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO - VDIS10022 5</p><p>HOW TO PITCH A CREATIVE IDEA</p><p>July 30, 2012By: John Cofie http://www.agencypost.com/how-to-pitch-a-creative-idea/</p><p>Creative industries have constantly been governed by two strong forces that despite sharing the same dreams for the future of the artistic sector constantly seem to be challenging each others objectives and work styles. The creative versus the account in advertising, the manager versus the artist in music or fine arts and the producer versus the director in film. Although fighting for the same objectives, they seem to follow different paths towards fame and fortune. However, in an era of entrepreneurialism and DIY where person-to-person is slowly replacing B2B, creative ideas quite often have to be presented to potential clients by the creatives themselves.</p><p>The move from the artistic process to the selling of a product that could potentially become a valuable addition to any portfolio is not as easy as it may seem. Apart from the obvious passion and dedication that each creator has towards his creation, there is a long set of other factors that need to be taken into account to ensure the work stands out from the crowd and matches the clients demands perfectly.</p><p>I recently considered the challenges graphic designers have to face when they are both the creative and the managerial departments of their business. </p><p>Discussing with Keith White founder and creative director of Tourist, a London-based design and branding agency we thought about creating a short list with the steps that should usually be followed when pitching a creative idea.</p><p>THE BRIEF There should always be a brief! Even if the client hasnt supplied one, it is always good to get the beginnings of a project down on paper. A brief will define what the client wants to achieve and what the creative should be aiming for. If the client hasnt written a brief, write it yourself and feed it back. This gets the project off on the right foot and encourages a dialogue between you and the client. Also, dont be afraid to challenge a brief and ask any questions you might have. This not only helps clarify both parties demands and objectives, but also ensures a balanced and open process.</p><p>CREATIVE ITERATIVE PROCESSThe creative process is hard to define and there really isnt one formula to this. The overriding thing Keith White does when he gets a brief is to read it over and over and even midway through a project keep referring to it. It sounds simple, but it really helps you focus on the requirements of the job. Sometimes what you dont necessarily see to begin with, you </p><p>might pick up after re-reading it a few times. It could also trigger new ideas and act as a source of inspiration.</p><p>Whites agency, Tourist, typically works through these five phases:</p><p>Discovery and Insight phase in which they collect material by researching a brand/project and crucially identify what the outcomes are for both the client and its audience.</p><p>Strategy, Ideas and Planning means converting your research into ideas. How relevant are they? Can they be realised? Is there a budget?</p><p>Third phase is the creative Visualisation and Design phase. It is during this time that the idea is brought to life even if it is a schematic representation of the final piece of work. At Tourist, ideas are put in front of as many people as possible in the studio. Then, the work will continually be critiqued and the concepts will be pushed until we are confident we have a strong selection of ideas for presentation. It is also important that during this phase the client is aware and enthusiastic about where the project is going.</p><p>The next phase is Project Completion. </p><p>The final phase is as important as the first: You must measure your results and show the client ROI, learn from them and gather information for future activity.</p></li><li><p>VIRTU DESIGN INSTITUTE: ADVANCED GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO - VDIS10022 6</p><p>WHATS THE BIG IDEA?Of course it is great to have an idea to hang everything on, but it can be subtle too. Creative is a matter of relevance, depending on the client and the brief. Sometimes the idea can be in the technique the way something is folded, printed or produced. Technology can shape a creative solution, too. An idea can be as simple as a clever piece of text or creating a distinct tone of voice for a brand. For White, if a building, product or service isnt very good, no amount of good design or conceptual thinking can ever dress it up perfectly.</p><p>THE TARGET AUDIENCEThe audience plays a crucial part in the creative and pitching process. The audience or end-user has to be considered all the way through a project if an idea is to work. It is not good enough for a product, service or building to engage with its target audience. A new building or any striking piece of architecture will only work and do itself justice if an architect has considered how people intend to use it and move around it. It is exactly the same when designing a website, brochure or album sleeve.</p><p>PITCH TEAMDepending on the meeting and the numbers from the client side, two to five people should be present during a pitch. Ideally, it should be a </p><p>selection of people who complement each other. At Tourist, the creative director can talk about ideas and the companys folio, and a project manager can discuss potential challenges of a job or areas that might need careful consideration or planning. It is all down to experience. If the project is digital or web-based, then a technical consultant will be present. Sometimes, even partner agencies or organizations that have specialist skills such as data analysis, A/B split and multivariate testing for websites are invited to support the ideas.</p><p>REHEARSALSThey should be done as often as required. It also helps to have written down a list of keywords that prompt you to talk about the most important aspects of your proposal. After a few presentations you will probably create sentence patterns and strings of words that best articulate your work.</p><p>PRESENTATION STYLEI once heard someone say that whenever you talk about your work you should remove the personal from the equation. White is not entirely sure this is right. A bit of personality is always good especially if you have an enthusiasm for your work. However, there is a balance. A measured style might make the client keener to accept your concepts and advice.</p><p>ENGAGING THE AUDIENCE DURING THE PRESENTATIONSometimes it is good to just listen and allow the client to speak. White really enjoys pitches and presentations that end up turning into creative discussions or two-way conversations. You want to stimulate and get a reaction. Once the ice has been broken, the atmosphere can become more relaxed and informal. The Tourist team has had many meetings that started out as pitches or presentations, but ended up turning into a workshop. These are the ones they enjoy the most. They can be extremely productive and the client always gets more out of them.</p><p>RATIONALITY VS. EMOTIONI think it would be wrong to rule one over the other White thinks enthusiasm will always put you in a great position to win a project. As long as its relevant and genuine, the client will feed off it.</p><p>THE WRAP Asking the client for a timescale and for some feedback on the meeting is a good way to wrap up a presentation. Also tease out when youre likely to hear back on whether or not youve got the job. Of course winning a pitch is great, but even if youve just missed out on the work, constructive feedback is always welcome and will help you incredibly in the future.</p><p>Recently theres been a lot written about pitching and the merits of buying and commissioning design. Most of what I read argues the process is not only bad for clients and bad for business, but bad practice, too. But thats another discussion, and one we should have soon.</p><p>See more at: http://www.agencypost.com/how-to-pitch-a-creative-idea/#sthash.ItvwsXB6.dpuf</p></li><li><p>VIRTU DESIGN INSTITUTE: ADVANCED GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO - VDIS10022 7</p><p>PITCH PERFECT: THE DOS AND DONTS OF CRAFTING A SUCCESSFUL </p><p>PITCH</p><p>April 22, 2013 Will van Wyngaarden | blur Grouphttp://www.blurgroup.com/blogs/group/pitch-perfect-the-dos-and-donts-of-crafting-a-succesful-pitch/ </p><p>When you read hundreds of pitches every week, it just makes your day to find one that has absolutely nailed the brief!</p><p>At Blur Group our Exchange Support desk spends a huge amount of time poring over pitches, so theyre well placed to help you create the perfect pitch and have kindly taken the time to put together this list of dos and donts. </p><p>Whether youre new to pitching for projects or an old hand, it always pays to take a look at your pitches and to improve them in any way you can.</p><p>There are some key elements that turn a great pitch into a brilliant one. Your aim when you construct your pitch is to get your work before the eyes of the customer and to impress them enough to select you for their project. Your window of opportunity is a few pages of a pdf document, and your success depends on how effectively you can use that space to showcase your experience and skill. So to maximize your chances of pitching successfully for a project (and to give us that buzz when we discover a superb pitch), weve compiled this handy list of Dos and Donts read on and set your feet on the path to constructing the perfect pitch.</p><p>DOSTake a Look at Examples of Other Pitches for Similar ProjectsIf youre pitching for the first time, check out these examples of stellar pitches to get an idea of what to aim for. </p><p>Be the Answer Theyre Looking For (ie. Pitch Specifically for the Project Advertised)Read the brief description and answer it. Always tailor the pitch so you are talking specifically to that customer, about their project, about their industry and how you will get them the deliverables they are looking for. Showing your understanding of their industry, product, market will make you and your pitch relevant to them...</p></li></ul>

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