As designers of both print and the web, most of our professional responsibilities seem to revolve around aesthetic decisions – which typeface will look most legible at this resolution, or which color scheme will effectively draw the eye of our audience.
But an oft-overlooked aspect of the job involves effectively communicating and collaborating with clients, who are truly the lifeblood of any marketing industry. Depending on the day, a designer may have to play the role of psychologist, motivator, or even soothsayer to ensure that the client’s goals are successfully met in a creative project.
Unfortunately, no two clients have exactly the same personality or work style, which rules out any one-size-fits-all approach to client communication.
There are, however, several archetypes we can use to describe clients that may help us to better understand and communicate with our creative overlords.
Being an avid fan of the hit comedy series The Office, I sought to ascribe these personality traits to some of my favorite Dunder Mifflin employees as a means of establishing a common cultural experience and hopefully putting a light-hearted spin on the subject. With any luck, you’ve met or worked with some of these types of clients before, and could benefit from some new strategies in collaborating with them in the future.