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The Customer Is Always Right (Even When They Aren’t)

Posted on July 23, 2009

?The customer is always right.?

Hmmm… Maybe, instead,  it?s more about finding the balance with a customer.

(Photo by channah.)

(Photo by channah.)


When YOU are the customer, ?the customer is always right? sounds like a good motto and the idea is you?ll always get what you want (even though in our hearts we know this is probably not true). When you?re the one DEALING with a customer, however, there is a fine line you need to walk to keep them happy AND create work you can be proud of. As designers, we spend so much time on this imaginary “line” that we?ve built a town (complete with coffee shop, vegan deli and theater).

When a client requests our services for a design, most of the time these clients are not designers themselves. They have come to us because they have confidence in our abilities and know they will receive a good quality product. It?s like when I take my car to the mechanic. I trust he knows how to change the oil, rotate the tires and fix whatever it is that is making that noise. And he does, my mechanic is amazing. It?s only when I have to take my car somewhere else I get nervous. What if they don?t know what they?re doing? What if they don?t have my best interests in mind? It?s the chance I take sometimes because I don?t know much about cars.

Good designers have their client?s best interests in mind. They won?t try to sell them something they don?t need, and they definitely won?t create something while disregarding what the client has requested. That?s not saying a good designer won?t bring other options to the table. Often times the client doesn?t know there are other options, techniques and styles that could better convey their message. In the end, however, it is the client?s decision. It?s their product. It?s their message.

At Moxie, we don?t always agree with our clients? choices. Sometimes we even strongly disagree with them. We will voice our concerns and give reasoning behind these concerns, but we will never force a client to accept something they don?t like. It?s not our style.

At Moxie, it is more important to build a good working relationship with our clients than win a single battle of wills. We want the client to be happy with the final product and use us for future projects, not remember an unpleasant experience and choose someone else next time. Some clients make this easier than others, and Moxie always tries to find the balance.

Check us out at


? Post written by Cristy Wiza.


Posted on July 22, 2009

You know the drill by now. There?s a new project in the office. Something fun. Innovative. Something that everyone in the office is excited about and wants to participate in. One of those projects that makes us LOVE WHAT WE DO. So we sketch, we brainstorm, we research. And, of course, we drink a lot of coffee. With all of our hard work, brilliance strikes! But the amazing thing is that it strikes all of us. The customer is going to be thrilled with all of the options we have to present to them!

With a glimmer in our eyes and hope in our hearts, the concepts are sent out to the customer. We wait patiently (OK, not so patiently) for their reply. And then it happens. They pick an amazing design, but?it isn?t YOUR design. It?s your co-workers. All of a sudden you?re attacked by a whirl wind of thoughts, emotions and doubt. You?re thrilled for your co-worker, of course you are! Their concept was awesome and they truly deserve the project. But there?s still a small part of you that is mourning the fact that your design wasn?t the chosen one. It?s a hit to your self-esteem, creates doubt in your creative skills and can be debilitating if you?re not careful.

What I?ve learned over the years is this: just because you?re idea wasn?t picked, doesn?t mean that it was a failure. It doesn?t mean that you lost your edge. Or that you are in the wrong career. It simply means that the customer had a personal preference for the other design. Graphic design, like fine art, is very subjective. Some people may love it, while others just aren?t feeling it. But that doesn?t mean that it?s bad, it just means that it didn?t speak to that person.

I personally will always feel a little let down when my idea isn?t picked. It?s part of my personality, and it?s part of what pushes me to do better next time. Call it competitiveness. Call it striving for perfection. Call it a little bit (or a LOT) of craziness. But the important thing is that I don?t let it affect my creativity or my relationship to the co-worker who?s design was picked. I like to see those around me succeed, and I?m OK with sharing the limelight every once in a while. That is after all how a strong team is made and how they stay together. We share in each other?s successes and learn from each other mistakes.

Do you need a new web site or blog design? A new brand identity or marketing collateral? At Moxie, you?ve found a design team with endless ideas for you and your company. Contact us or visit us at to learn how we can help you SUCCEED!

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The Art of D-O-I-N-G

Posted on July 21, 2009

?I can?t draw to save my life.?

?I don?t know how to program a website.?

?My email just isn?t working.?

These statements annoy me. Even though I can often be found saying things like this, they still annoy me. Why? Because even though they may be true (maybe you aren?t a very good artist at this moment) they somehow imply the person is INCAPABLE of improving or finding the answer. This. Is. NOT. True.

Every person is born into this world not knowing how to do anything, but as humans, we have an amazing capacity for knowledge and learning. ?Can?t draw? actually means you don?t know how to draw YET, but if you took a class or practiced a little, your meager skills would inevitably improve. Yes, there will always be the savants who seemingly know how to play piano at age 3 without any formal training. Good for them. However, for the average person, practice makes improvement.

Want to learn how to draw? Take a class, buy a book, even borrow a book from the library and start from the beginning. Learning to draw (or dance or program or sing or play guitar or cook or run a half-marathon or ANYTHING) is a process. At the beginning, you don?t know much if anything, but after a while of doing, you learn. That first step is always the hardest, but you?ll never improve unless you take that step.

If, however, you don?t want to improve, you probably won?t. I thought I wanted to run, but didn?t like it so I stopped. No improvement. A friend didn?t stop running and she?s entering her first half-marathon next month. Go Ashley!

At Moxie, it is a competition to find the answer to any question asked in the office. Seriously, we have almost a compulsive need to learn. If you present us with a problem, we will stretch ourselves to the limit to find the answer, the BEST answer, for YOU!


? Post written by Cristy Wiza.

(2) Comments   |   Filed Under: Graphic Design, Habits, Office    Tags: ,