The entirety of the design process is not necessarily something they teach you at school.
When you pitch to your client, you have already been through the “design thinking”. You’ve assessed the good and the bad, you’ve interviewed the client, you’ve analyzed the market, the competition, the trends, the options. You then develop the vision to a level where you are confident that your client will easily buy into the final vision with you. This is the process of design.
It’s not always that straightforward.
Communication is key. Without it, you can be sent on the wrong path and land somewhere completely different instead. What I have learned along the way is to not judge yourself based on their feedback.
As a young designer, I used to put all of “me” into everything I did and when I succeeded in pleasing, I felt great. But when things went south, I used to take it personally and their comments reflected directly on who I was, which was just that I was not good enough. It’s not something they teach you at school, not all of it anyways. It took me many years to distance myself from what I created and the opinions of others.
Graphic designers are faced with having their work criticized on a daily basis and without that distance, you can sink, fast. When you tie your value to the type of feedback you receive, it stands to reason that you will eventually quit what you loved to do. Art and design are subjective. Knowing and accepting that is important in order to continue to love what you do and become successful.
Yes, there will be times when those harsh comments will affect you, but if you’re able to take a step back and focus on the actual message your client is trying to convey to you over how it made you feel, you will be able to revise your designs with a clear heart and mind.
You can’t always win, but you can always learn.