Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Most Expensive Poster I Ever Saw

So this morning I went to see my graphic designer about a project we're working on, and he was in the middle of fine-tuning a poster for another client. I loved the design - the colours really worked ver well, and the image, which looks sorta abstract made me want to get closer to figure out what it was about. Unfortunately, the text sucked.
OK. Let me be fair and constructive: the text did not read smoothly, the content was definitely not original and it certainly failed to make the company stand out among competitors.

Basically, the text said that Company X helps its clients meet their goals by providing them efficient, cost-effective Y service. And I swear, I replaced the name of the company ( 2 letters) and my service (one lettter) and the poster could have been talking about me! I replaced it with the graphic designer's name and the same thing happened. The words in those poster apply to everyone who provides a service - their competitors, clients, next door neighbours...In short, that poster was saying NOTHING that could sell anyone's service.
Being the excitable creature I am, of course I insisted my graphic designer see if he could talk to the client; explain the problem to them. The copy was written by a staff member, not a professional copywriter, so I thought surely the person would appreciate some professional input.
"No," he said. "I don't care that the text doesn't work."
"It's not like I'm trying to get work from them! I just think that,-"I said.
"I. Don't. Care." he said firmly.

Before you start thinking the guy is not professional, his work is immaculate. And usually, he cares about his business and client needs. But he started working on the project at the beginning of November last year, and he hasn't been able to finish because the client keeps changing his mind about the text.
He also says that the company has a lot of internal politics going on. So of course they're all developing the poster by committee. And whoever wins this little skirmish gets the poster of their dreams:-). Never mind that the design will cost them more, because my friend charges a per hour rate.
Most importantly, the poster will never sell anything to anyone. A blank A3 paper would definitely be worth more it would if the poster was printed on it. At least the blank paper still has potential to be used for something useful!
Anyhoo, I was still arguing the case after our meeting, and Mr Graphic Designer just kept saying: 'I don't care!"

1 comment:

Tamara said...

That would drive me mad too. I used to subscribe to a newsletter by a company that sells beads for my jewellery-making. It was appallingly written, so I offered a few pointers, free of charge, and said I could help them to make it more effective in selling their wares. They basically said they didn't care and carried on doing their monthly load of rubbish. I unsubscribed.

Seriously - why waste time and money creating something that may actually do your business more harm than good because it looks like an amateur made it?!

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