Part of what makes a Graphic Designer great at what they do is being able to convince and communicate their work in a way that makes sense to the client and their business.
Good communication is a factor that will come up a lot in my posts and, it’s crucial that you as, a designer, know how to communicate well and let your voice be known. You’re the expert, so show it.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the processes, be happy with your work and be ready to present to a client, only to fall at the last hurdle with a presentation that falls flat and leaves your clients bemused.
Never expect your client to be well-versed in Graphic Design because quite often, they won’t be. As a designer, you must learn to harness the art of communication to demonstrate the value of your work.
Leave no stone unturned.
1) Narrow Down Your BEST Concepts
Before even thinking about presenting your logo concepts to a client, view your work as if you’re your client. Ask for some outside opinions, and please, choose your best work.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have created a vast amount of designs that could work, ask yourself, out of all of these concepts, which are the strongest?
The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your client with a ton of options. Believe me, if you present that canvas full of ideas, that’s what you’ll do, and you’ll wish you hadn’t.
A method that has worked for me thus far is to dwindle all potential options into three concepts. Three is the magic number, giving your clients a range of options to choose from, not too many to the point where you’re asking them to make an impossible decision.
Again, it boils down to you being the expert and knowing what’s right for your client. By presenting a thousand different options, are you giving the impression that you know what’s best and care for the outcome? Or, are you leaving it in the hands of the client nonchalantly? Think about that before presenting anything.
2) Show Off Your Logos Practicality and Versatility
Although your client might not be well-versed in Graphic Design, there are ways that you can break down the technical aspects of your design that will show its effectiveness.
Here are just some of the ways that I break down a concept to a client:
- Showing various sizes and layouts
- Show off technical thinking – share your grids
- Providing full colour, black, and white versions to look at
- If you’ve created a logo mark, break down each element. What does it represent?
- Annotate your designs to show your thought process
Creating and showing grid-systems in your presentation is a neat way to show off just how your ideas work, delving deeper into why you’ve designed a concept in a specific way.
Without any of these added details, it’d be hard for someone to capture your thought process and the exact functionality behind each design. Imagine you’re presenting your ideas to someone with little to no imagination, and then prepare a thoughtful presentation taking them on a journey.
Don’t just present your work on a black background and expect the client to have a clear understanding of whether your ideas will work.
3) Using Mockups To Visualise Your Work
Another great way to capture your client’s imagination is by using relevant mockups. Ones that you can see their business making use of in the future.
Let’s say you’ve worked on a logo design for a client who is an electrician. Why not show your logo plastered on the side of a van in the form of vinyl? The likelihood is, they’ll more than likely be looking into having this done now that you’ve branded their business anyway, so it’s a nice touch to have this included in your presentation.
Don’t just use any mockups. They have to be relevant to the business.
If you aren’t sure what mockup to use, business cards are something that’ll never go out of fashion and something most businesses need. In the case of an electrician, they’ll likely need this.
And, you don’t need to opt for paid mockups either. There are endless amounts of free options out there for you to consider. The only difference is, if you’re looking for something quite specific, a premium option will probably offer more choice.
Here are a few resources I use for mockups (paid and free):
- Envato Elements (Subscription-based, very cost-effective)
- The Mockup Club
- Adobe Stock (Subscription-based but do offer free alternatives)
- Graphic Pear
- Mr Mockup
- Graphic Burger
- PSD Repo
If you can’t find a mockup, I feel sorry for you, son. You’ve got 99 problems, and a mockup ain’t one.
4) Reference The Brief
This ties in with what I spoke about earlier when it comes to annotating your work. Reference the brief, and answer some of the potential questions your client may ask when seeing your work for the first time.
Does it meet the brief? How does it meet the brief?
Creating a logo design isn’t about making things look pretty. There is a purpose, backed by extensive research and expert knowledge on what will work for your client.
Your client wants to see results and, the brief they provide to you tailored with that in mind. When presenting, relay the information back to them and how it ties in with your work. Show that you understand their business, industry, and how to achieve their goals.
By referencing the brief, you’ve shown you understand what your client needs and have listened to their goals, creating a solution that’ll sky-rocket their business into the next dimension.
5) Blow Your Clients Away With An Impeccable Presentation
Using all of the beautiful assets you’ve created up until this point, it’s time to collate everything into a presentation that’ll blow the socks off of your clients.
If you’re wondering how you can combine these assets in a way that will be easy to access, I have just the solution for you. This method will take you no longer than 2 minutes to complete, and, assuming you have the Adobe suite (or Adobe Photoshop), you already have access to the tools you need.
Let’s begin, shall we?
- Open Adobe Photoshop (Duh)
- Go to File > Automate > PDF Presentation
- Click on Browse, and start uploading each file.
- You’ll notice your files appear in a list. The item at the top will always be the first thing shown.
- To rearrange this list into a preferred order, click and drag your files (you’ll see a blue line appear indicating where they’ll move to).
- Click ‘Save’ > pick a suitable name and location.
- Change the Adobe PDF preset to Smallest File Size. Your client needs to download your files, and, given you don’t know what their download speeds are, best to make your presentation small.
- Click on the Compression tab, and make sure the Image Quality is at Maximum.
- Click Save PDF
- Make sure that your slides are all in the proper order. Go through the presentation yourself to double-check. If they aren’t, you’ve done something wrong, repeat the process.
And it’s that simple! Now you have a stunning presentation that you and your client can walk through. The perfect way for you to turn an uncertain experience filled with hesitancy for many clients into a fun and exciting journey.
Good luck – you’ve got this!
- Narrow down concepts into three potential options
- Show off your technical skills in the form of grid systems
- Use relevant mockups
- Make use of free resources that are at your disposal if you aren’t in a position to use premium services
- Use Adobe Photoshops PDF automation process to create sophisticated presentations
- Keep your client’s goals in mind ALWAYS. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the brief, before presenting your work.