You will definitely cause aggravation when you don’t automatically accept the direction of a graphic design project or marketing piece as assigned. Very rarely do we take the time to truly examine our initiatives and get honest about our answer to the question, “is this the best direction?” In an effort to expedite the completion of projects, leadership typically goes with the easiest, most obvious direction.
However, how do you KNOW if the easiest, most obvious direction is actually the BEST direction?
If you were asked to think of a time when your boss said, “we’re going to do this,” and you thought, “eh, that might not be the best option,” you probably wouldn’t have much trouble.
I’ve been in the room too often where I’ve pushed back and caused aggravation by saying, “hold on, that’s the easiest conclusion to draw, but is it the best?” and been rejected. I’m used to it but I continue to ask the question. There is power when the conversation hovers on the, “which direction is best?” discussion and we utilize a decision-making process to come to make an intentional decision on direction.
Not Going With the Easiest, Most Obvious Direction
One of my clients, Highline Import Auto (the absolute best auto repair shop in the Phoenix area), had their West facing shop sign replaced. Normally you’d automatically use the logo design for a brick and mortar shop but we wanted to make the best decision.
We were dealing with a unique circumstance. This particular sign faces a wall and a dirt field.
Ordinarily signage will face a road or plaza parking where traffic will see it. This sign faced nothing so why would we automatically assume that a sign that faces nothing should look exactly like the sign that faces a street?
We spent several weeks contemplating how to use the sign to tell a story and how this sign could enhance the customer experience. We tried photos of trucks, desert landscaping, the shop and even a mosaic concept.
In the end we chose the logo because it best lined up with the overall company brand, both graphically and conceptually. However, rather than just saying, “hey, we need a sign, let’s do the logo,” and thinking that was the best direction we went through a decision-making process. We now know that not only the logo was the best direction but WHY it was the best direction.
The Right Direction for the Right Reasons
My clients work with me because they trust that I will think about the things they wouldn’t. When they send out an draft email campaign I ask the question, “how does this add value to the reader?” and challenge their message. When they design a flyer I ask the question, “is this something someone would keep or immediately throw away?” I guide them through a decision-making process and together we move in the the right direction for the right reasons.
As you make decisions for your organization or those under your influence you will experience moments when you move in the right direction but for the wrong reasons. Yes, technically you did “get it right” but you didn’t learn anything. When you arrive at a solution because you were intentional you are certain you were right and will never second guess the direction you chose when you’ve moved down the road.