// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How Best To Evaluate Creative Work

Paul at Life In The Middle blog has some words to the wise about offering constructive and valuable criticism in a creative review.

( via Russell Davies )


Blogger Laura said...

That's good article. I try to be a responsible feedback-er, so most of it seemed intuitive, but it's useful to see someone's thoughts on the matter written out. Is Russell is a marketer or a designer, do you know? The item about start macro and go micro is interesting. I sometimes get the feeling that designers would prefer that I don't get to the micro level--make macro comments and let them work out the micro. (I'm absolutely not talking about anyone specific--I may even just be projecting here) What do you think?

9:45 AM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

Based on my exposure to Russell's work and thinking, I would say that the term Planner in the UK equates to what we might call communication strategist or marketing director in our country.

I agree that comparing notes to others in the industry is valuable. And not every client/designer relationship is cookie cutter in these regards, but all in all I believe going micro has it's benefits mainly in instances where position is absent from the process. In other wards, if the client/designer dynamic is such that feedback grows ideas and there is that certain hard to define trust and synergy that takes time to develop, then micro is where the whole thing should end up anyway, so why not? Good strategy is good no matter where it is derived, so if a client has the vision to cast in these regards, I believe the concept will be served well as a result. Though most often the client does in fact try too hard (and perhaps too prematurely) to have all the answers. On the same tangent, the best client interaction I've ever personally experienced was when I did corporate annual reports for a dental HMO. My client there worked very hard to tell me what it was that was critical to be communicated. And she realized and communicated when this wasn't necessarily crystal clear, which gave me context as I read the creative brief and could assess the current position. Similarly, she expressed "what" very well, and knew she i had a track record delivering the "how." There were in fact times when she would communicate preference, however this was only in cases where she believed a particular aesthetic was the best approach to serve the concept and further the communication strategy. In addition, she always felt it was important and looked for opportunities to give her upper management and I face time, as she saw a benefit to the end product by my developing strong relationships and trust throughout the company. She also shared on a few occasions early on in our working relationship times in which my solution, and the context I built to deliver on message was in fact contrary to her own personal tastes. Though that never changed the delivery. It was just a personal preference. All in all, her trust and management of this knowledge capital always gave our team an extra strong desire to serve her. It was like snow tires to traction for me. The right tools for the job. Strong communication design and results are most probable under situations such as this, where the designer is being asked to give heart, not just skin. Meaning and not just appearance.

Sorry for the diatribe. You are indeed a good feedback-er, and work hard to give designers everything you have. You are also very conscientious, something our whole team notices and appreciates.

5:42 PM  

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