The 4 C's of Crystals, PART 4:
I'm sure most of you are aware of the 4 C's of diamonds, cut, color, clarity and carat. It's an easy guideline to help the consumer select a high quality diamond. But have you heard of The 4 C's of Crystals? These are similar guidelines I developed to help businesses and consumers identify crystal clear graphic design. They are: CREATIVE, CORPORATE, COMPETITIVE and CHARMING. While I originally developed the 4 C's of Crystals to tie in closely with a play on words to my company, Kristal Clear Graphics, this is a helpful guide that can be used when looking for any graphic design company or similar creative professional.
In the last newsletters I talked about the creative element of design, their corporate appearance, and competitive pricing. Moving on to the 4th and final of the 4 C's of Crystals, let's talk about Charm. Now you might first be thinking to yourself, why would I really care if my graphic designer was charming? Sure it might be nice to have a sweet over a grouchy artist, but in the end, it's only important that the project turns out right ... right? While that is the objective, how do you suppose you will get to a satisfactory project end with an artist you can't be comfortable with during the process?
When you need any type of graphic designed, it's not like buying a shirt at a store or a hamburger at the fast food restaurant where you see the item before you buy it or at least know there is only one way for them to make that hamburger. On the contrary, in graphic design the options are endless of how the project could look in the final proof, and that largely depends on how you communicate with your graphic artist. If you have a good rapport with the designer, the right design will surface much more quickly and easily than if you feel you can't get through to the artist. One of the biggest characteristics that needs to be in place to achieve that good rapport is charm.
When you break this word down, what are you actually looking for? A person who is pleasant, helpful, and presentable certainly top the list of my definition of charm. Let's set each of these into action to see the benefits all three qualities bring to the table.
Pleasant- This is a no-brainer. When you surround yourself with pleasant people, especially the people you work with, you're bound to be more pleasant yourself. Peoples' attitudes and moods often bounce off each other. Even if your designer has had an awful day, which will happen to everyone on one day or another, hopefully their professionalism will teach them to leave any unpleasantness at the door. If there is a grouch on the other side of the meeting with you, even if it's a passive-aggressive attitude, there's a good chance productivity will drop. You'll be distracted from the task at hand and unnecessary stress will build up between the two parties so honest and healthy communication will halt.
Helpful- Yes, they should be helping you design your graphics, but this is obviously only the beginning, and they don't get any extra credit for that one. A charming graphic designer will go above the call of duty. For a client with an extra tight budget, they might offer feasible suggestions on how to bring down costs even if those methods would cut down on the designer's hours and hence their profits. Helpful means they HAPPILY (see above) re-arrange their workload to meet your short deadlines. Basically they're glad to help with whatever your unique circumstance demands.
Presentable- How do they carry themselves in both appearance and language skills. I'm not suggesting they need to be a model or that they were one of the cool kids back in their school-age years. I am, however, suggesting they need to always present themselves in a positive light so as not to be distracting from the project at hand. For example, it's common practice in the creative world for artists to dress casually for work. This could mean anything from a "casual Fridays" look to down right scrubby sweats and flannels with holes in them. Depending on your industry this will matter varying degrees. However, if you, as the client, are distracted by the dressed-down appearance, you're not concentrating on your project. Plus if you're doubting the artist's credibility before any designing even begins, chances are no matter how good of a job they do, you might let your preconceived ideas from their appearance affect your otherwise neutral and discerning judgment on the design, thus sabotaging the project.
Language skills work the same way to be charming. Can they present their ideas confidently and politely in ways you understand them? Over the years I have worked as a freelance graphic designer for a number of marketing companies with their own clients. Because I was allowed to talk directly with their clients they let me know that that privilege is not always the case. They recognize that sometimes, their freelancers have amazing talent at what they do, but they're going to keep them in the back room when it comes to them meeting their clients because they don't have the people skills. Not only was this a big confidence boost for myself, it also showed me how important it is to be presentable.
Now with this final quality in your back pocket you can feel confident when assessing any graphic designer you encounter. Just keep the four C's in mind and you'll stay on track.
Register for your Designer's Touch Wedding Album Online So Guests Can Purchase this Gift for You AND a FREE parents' album when you buy one.
Here's what it's all about.
A wedding album is one of the most thoughtful gifts your guests can give you. Why not ask them to give you the wedding album you REALLY want! ... A professionally designed, digitally-collaged wedding album.
See SAMPLES of Designer's Touch Wedding Albums HERE and discover the difference you'll receive having your wedding album designed by a professional graphic designer who works with you one-on-one to create it for you. Designer's Touch Wedding Albums are made of the highest quality materials, with custom fresh designs and your personal "extras" sprinkled throughout like special quotes, backgrounds and scanned-in wedding sentiments like jewelry, invitations, favors, etc. Whatever you dream up, it can be created for you - simple or complex.
Guests can purchase your entire album for you or contribute any dollar amount to whichever album you select. It works similar to a shopping gift registry or honeymoon travel registry. Questions before getting started? Contact Kristal at email@example.com or 414-325-6976.
Each quarterly newsletter I like to share new photography tips with you to help give you a jump start on creating amazing photos for Designer's Touch Collages.
13. Tripods are a great tool to steady the camera for crisp pictures, and setting them up slows you down a bit so you can notice and adjust the composition better. However, any horizontal surface will work like a tripod: arms of chairs, railings, rocks. Just be careful it won’t fall.
14. Avoid losing pictures on your digital camera by following these suggestions:
-Only use your own memory device because putting it into a different camera will change the file format and can erase photos.
-Avoid letting the batteries get too low because this can prevent all the necessary info from getting to your memory card, thus corrupting the file system.
-Avoid over filling the card where there’s not enough room left to record all the necessary info and corrupt the file system.
-Sometimes rotating the raw pictures in the camera changes the information on the file, which can overrun other data.
If you'd like to see the other tips, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and type "photo tips" in the subject line.