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Lesson Learned: Frankenstein Revisions

I’d love to talk with you guys about what I’m calling “Frankenstein revisions”. You know what I’m talking about…the “I really love this aspect of THIS design and THIS aspect of this design. Is there a way you can redesign it to look like both of them?” As a freelance designer/ art director at an agency, I feel like I’m dealing with the¬†Frankenstein syndrome everyday.

Here’s my experience. As a very young designer my response to the client would be “of course I can”. As I aged into a more veteran designer I was able to stand my own a little easier and say, “Let me take a look at it and see what I can do”. I learned that GREAT design is about having a solid foundation of reasoning behind WHY things were done in the first place. If you do too many rounds of Frankenstein revisions, you start to lose that original concept/vision. I know this process takes a while to grasp, and I’m definitely still learning how to respond to clients in a professional way. How do you do it?

photo: Palm Springs by Jose Villa

4 comments on “Lesson Learned: Frankenstein Revisions

  1. I allow 3 rounds of revisions before I start charging extra (an hourly rate). Knowing there is a limit seems to nudge clients into figuring out what they want beforehand. They also have a tendency to organized their thoughts better and make decisions faster when there is an end point. I’ve only had a couple instances when I had to mention I would be charging extra if they needed more mockups created.

    1. I do the same thing Sarah. You’d be surprised how many people just done really understand what constitutes a “round” of revisions. SO interesting.

  2. well, may i give my opinion, which is the opinion of someone starting to do some freelance on a more frequent basis, but i guess i do the same as you do now. maybe it’s an age thing (i’m turning 32), or the clients (mine are always really small businesses), but i explain why i did that, and why maybe it works this way and not the other way around, if i understand it won’t work. or i can even do what they ask and give them my feedback about it (positive or negative). but of course, i’ve had those clients as well as you explain… you could also write a post about clients who think run your schedule. that would be awesome! it was my second experience as a freelancer and i had one tough conversation about schedule (mine and theirs).

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