After your sketches have been digitized and finalised, you will need to spend some time laying out how you will present them to the client. You will want plenty of white space around each design, so you will have to work out the best size and how many instances you will place on a page. We generally present logos in the size they will be seen on a letterhead, with three instances placed on a page. We also include grayscale, black and white, and colour versions of each logo design to show how it will work in differing circumstances. If a full set of materials have been requested by the client (logo design, publicity materials and stationery) we will create a full digital package that allows the client to see how each piece works together.
The presentation is generally given to the client as a PDF email attachment, as this creates a time-stamped paper trail. During a recent presentation I asked the audience how they like to receive design proofs, most were very happy with email, however one person (an existing client) said that he prefers a printed copy. This just goes to show that it’s important to ask rather than just assume everyone is happy with email. It’s also worth bearing in mind that most printed material will be proofed on screen but of course the end result is produced on paper. As they occupy different colour spaces some variation may occur between the screen and the printed page. If the job is a major project, we would always recommend allowing extra time for the production of a properly calibrated printed proof for the client to view
Email and phone communications are generally the most reliable way for a client to respond during the proofing process. Though you can create other means for feedback, such as online forms, in our experience, clients are more responsive if they can simply reply to an email or call you.
Another part of the design process you have to prepare for is revisions. Sure, there are times when what you create is spot-on with what the client expected, however, client feedback often brings design changes. Some designers refuse to make changes, others will only make a certain number of changes before charging the client revision fees, while others will make changes unconditionally. In our experience, unless the requested changes will harm the brand or impact of the work, we make them. Also, if a client seems unable to communicate exactly what it is they want by way of revision, we work with them to help them define their needs, and sometimes even formulate a new plan for moving forward, which may include a new fee structure.
To protect ourselves against stagnant cash flow and projects that may sit on the client’s desk for an extended time, we charge milestone payments. In this way, we are paid as we progress through the project, which also tends to help the client stay focused on the project.
What other elements or systems do you include or would you value in design presentations?