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Tuesday Tidbits :: On Perception

In 1989, in another lifetime, I was a Music Director for several radio stations. I was fortunate enough to have attended the annual Gavin Seminar in San Francisco where I met musicians, listened to concerts and was present at breakout sessions and the Keynote Address by business author and motivational speaker, Mr. Tom Peters.

There was something Mr. Peters said that day that resonated with me through all these years. He said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Perception is Reality". The verbatim quote attributed to him is "Perception is all there is. If the customer think he's right, he's right."

Sometimes, I'm so sure of myself that I forget that it doesn't really matter if I'm actually right if my clients don't see it the same way!

The dilemma I face as a Graphic Designer is balancing my clients' perceptions with my expertise in order to produce not only the best-looking designs I can but ones that will be effective in reaching my clients' goals and objectives. The reason this is so important is that I want to please my customers but not sacrifice aesthetics. After all, I am not doing my clients any favors by agreeing with something when I am certain it would be more compelling if produced another way.

For example, when a client suggests using a script font and typing in ALL CAPS, I know that it would make the text very unattractive and extremely difficult to read. That's where my training and experience comes into play. There are other ways to stress text without using that particular method. The same goes for someone who wants to use too many fonts in one printed piece. The fonts would overshadow the message they are trying to convey so that's something I avoid doing whenever possible.

Over twenty years as a Graphic Designer have taught me a thing or two! Sometimes that leads to conversations like I just had with a new client. She said, "I thought I did a pretty good job making my own brochure...until I saw what you did!"

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