We had a conversation not too long ago with a partner in the industry. We discussed the design process, effective listening, and, especially, revisions, which are typically the bain of any designer’s existence (as well as that of any organization who has gone through a branding or rebranding process).

In the course of that conversation, we made some fairly bold affirmations regarding our own process, which, we are proud to say, has born good fruit over time to the tune of no major revisions on any project in over five years.

Their process sucks because they don’t listen.

Unfortunately, the creative process of most designers—and even many agencies, sadly—looks something like this: three initial versions—which amount to little more than guesses based on the whims and preferences of the designer—followed by 50 frustrating rounds of revisions until we come up with something everyone can live with.

Never mind measuring, they just start cutting. They get a few adjectives and catchphrases in hand (e.g., “cool”, “modern”, “something that pops”, etc.) and let the guesswork begin. None of the three guesses are close, of course, and the disappointed client experiences somewhat of an anticlimax, and from there it’s an endless cycle of guesses and reactions until they have something everyone can live with.

What a miserable, miserable shame.

Our approach: measure twice—or three, or four, or five times—cut once.

Our approach is not like that, and that’s why we get it right. We listen, and listen, and listen, and then listen some more before ever developing a single opinion about anything. We measure two, or three, or four, or 10 times before we ever make a single cut. We take in all the factors—target-customer research, organizational goals, client desires, marketing objectives—and we turn all of that into a set of objectives that drives every design decision.

And it’s demonstrable, not just theoretical. In other words, we can actually point, for example, to elements in the logo and say, ‘Remember what we found back in the initial research? That’s why we’ve gone with this shade of blue as opposed to that shade of blue.’

But to the point, it’s listening long and intentionally that enables us to get it right. We simply work hard to understand brands before we ever start developing anything, so when we do begin developing, it’s right. The first time. Near every single time. With 150% client satisfaction, whether that client is an individual or board of six people.

And we’ve been doing that for over five years. Just ask our clients.

Ok, we’ll get off our soapbox now.

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