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Design Descriptors & How They Might Differ from Client to Designer

When designing a logo, or working on any design project, one of the biggest hurdles in client-designer communication is the use of descriptors. Words like "feminine" vs. "masculine" or "modern" vs. "classic" can foster very different meanings depending on the person.

As a designer, often my solution to conflicting descriptors is the "show me, don't tell me" rule that my design professor in college taught me. It's best if a client can bring a visual reference (sample artwork, imagery, color palette, etc.) of what they envision for the style they're trying to achieve (or avoid). That way everyone is on an even playing field at the start of the project!

In addition to implementing my professor's rule, I recently discovered another tool that can help strengthen client-designer communication: an info-graphic by Peper Pascual—owner of the Logo Designers of the Philippines group—showing how he perceives various terms often used in logo design briefs. It's obviously not a fool-proof way to avoid conflicting descriptors, but it is another tool to add to your designer toolbox!

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