Just Leave the Pros Alone
One of our favorite book designers lives in Minneapolis, where it begins snowing around Halloween and doesn’t thaw out till Mother’s Day—or so it seems. Rick is talented, a fitness animal, good natured, and I’ve come to understand certain truths about him. One is when I present an idea he likes, he is quick to point that, “Sure, I’ll sent you something later today.” But when I present an idea he’s not wild about—“Rick, can you make the font on this page big. I mean REALLY BIG?”—the response on his end of the line is, well, underwhelming. In fact, it’s usually several moments of silence followed by a slow and deliberate repeating of what I just said, but without my enthusiasm. “So, you want the font really big?”
A writer we use often, Michele, who is as talented with words as Rick is with design, often responds to my off-the-wall editorial ideas for her manuscript with an “Okay,” but it’s stretched into multiple syllables. “Okayyyyy?” And, yes, I can hear the question mark and deep concern when she says it. Photographers have indulged me the same way—listening to my detailed instructions of how I envision a shot being set up . . . and then simply ignoring it altogether.
In the end our pros know that you, the client, have the ultimate say so, and leave their egos at home. Well, some of our designers, not Rick, have had a problem with this. They are creative types after all, but they respect our clients wishes. They know that an engineering firm may wish for a precise and angular concept, while a university will love a more creative approach. But, isn’t that what makes us all unique?