Your own worst client
Let's be honest we've all had them; the jobs with no brief, with a half baked idea, no budget, no plan. A client who gives either no feedback or too much, who sets fake deadlines or no deadlines, who moves the goalposts and never tells you the rules.
Spotting them becomes a skill, and after years of being burnt, we feel we're gotten pretty good at it. That is until one day we found the worst one of the lot, OURSELVES!
The eagle-eyed few amongst you will have spotted that we're looking to shift the way that we work. Rather than focusing solely on client projects, we want to stretch our brand, our ethos, and our skills and start creating products of our own. Fabulous? No... it's horrendous.
This is where, on a regular project, we would have had a good meeting to kick things off, talk through the brief and present the idea back to our client. We would have discussed outcomes and expectations and we'd all be on the same page.
Well, none of this was done. We didn't put ourselves through our usual process, and didn't ask those all important questions that direct our projects. So, instead of working on the same page, we ran ahead with several pages, books full of them in fact, and they're all scattered across the design studio floor...
In the over-excitement and freedom that creating our own work presented to us, we got completely and utterly lost. We've been drawing, painting and designing a multitude of options - most of which have been lovely, but without a real purpose behind them. Lovely is nice, but it doesn't support our vision. It isn't enough. We want our work to be good, but also do good and inspire good. It needs to have meaning.
We have seen lots of other people fall into this trap too - you start a business and get so over-excited about the potential that you forget to step back and look at the bigger picture.
So, the answer? A brief.
Before you start buying domain names, ordering business cards or fancy new computers - sit back, take a breath and write out a framework. Sort out who you are, what you are, and what on earth you're doing here.
So, after a bit of a struggle and some soul searching, we decided to take our own advice and write a brief! . We’ll be honest with you, it was pretty damn muddy. We were wanting to do everything and nothing all at the same time. We had to draft and redraft and keep asking ourselves, why. Why do we want to do this? Why would people want to pay money for this? Is this helping anyone? Is this serving a purpose? Does it bring joy? Does it bring inspiration? Does it tell our story?
We might never stop asking those questions; it's what drives us to be creative, relevant and true to ourselves. Is it worth it? Well, the proof will be in the pudding - or this case product. We are getting much closer to our goal, it's right around the next bend, and when we get there we'll bring you along for the ride so you can judge for yourselves.
Watch this space!