Rejection is something no designer wants to experience for their hard work but the stone-cold truth is that every now and then, a design gets rejected and instead of thinking negatively about the client, one should sit and reflect on the reasons of why the design was rejected. There could be a lot of reasons for the rejection and each one can teach the designer something. Here are some types of rejections:
Many people might think that this rejection is not such a big deal since the designer didn't have to put any effort in making the design and brainstorming. And to some point, this might be true but there is still the disappointment that follows. It will hurt the designer's pride and feelings since he is not being selected. Obviously, the client will first look at the portfolio and sample designs of the designer before he decides to hire him or not so the designer will think he is a bad designer if he keeps on getting rejected by multiple clients.
Some clients are not very understanding and don't want any new ideas and just want what they have asked for. This can cause the designer to get upset thinking that they don't like his design or that they are not appreciating his creativity. The designer should not feel that way and should know that some clients can be cranky and demanding while others can be open to new ideas. The designer should compromise whenever a demanding client shows up and should understand that everyone has a different way of thinking and should deal with them accordingly.
It is impossible to make all the clients happy. Some clients may like your design while others won't. It is not necessary that after all your revisions and hard work for a design of a client, he has to purchase the design. Infact, some clients will just walk away from the designs if they do not like them and even ask for their money. They will also not hesitate to leave a bad review on your social media account or website. You, as a designer, should not be de-motivated by these reviews as it is only natural every client will have a different experience with you, just as you with the clients. You should try the best you can no matter how the client behaves.
A new designer will easily take the rejections to heart and not take the opportunity to learn from them but an experienced designer will learn from his these experiences and improve his skill set and abilities. He will think about what he lacks that caused his client to reject the design or refuse to hire him. There could be a multiple of reasons for rejecting him or his design. Maybe the designer wasn't listening properly to what the client wanted, maybe the designer went all out with the design, maybe the design doesn't match the company at all. These are only a few of the reasons a client could have rejected the designer or the design. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, the designer needs to update his portfolio and practice some new designs, new trends and all. Here are some things you could do when a client rejects your design:
When a client rejects your design, you have to remember that he is the one who knows the most about the industry as he has been working in it. You, as a designer, may know more about designing but you won't know about the industry. Instead of fighting the the client on knowing the best, you should listen to them as they have been in the business for a long time. Step into your client's shoes and look at the design. Honestly, think about how the other person is perceiving the design without your knowledge and you might get an idea of the rejection. Take some advice from experienced designers who have designed for that industry and work on the design to make it better and more suitable.
Rushing a client's opinion on the design will backfire in most cases. Even if the client takes one look at the design and says he loves it, there is still a chance in the future that he might come to dislike it as he gets more time to get used to it. So, instead of taking the client's opinion right away, ask him to take some time getting used to the design and then give his opinion. Even if a client says he hates it, insist that they take some time to get used to the design and then they can provide their final feedback. And after this period of testing and observing the design, whatever the feedback of the client, good or bad, you need to listen carefully and take action accordingly. Keep in mind that if the feedback is negative, you need to understand the client and that he knows best about the industry.
If you strongly think that the design is best for the company and it incorporates all the important elements and portrays the right message, then you should sit down with the client and talk to them about it and state the reasons why you think this is the best design for them and why it's beneficial for them. If you provide proof of how your concepts are implemented into the design and how they are being shown, this might make the client see that you've designed it with passion. In turn, the client will not be able to provide such elaborate reasoning as to why the design is not good and this would also make them see the point of the design and all. This might just work in your favor and the client might come to accept the design.
One way you could stop the rejection of the design before it even happens is by collecting all the answers to the possible questions the client might have and to present all those reasoning and facts along with the presentation of the design. This will make the client see all the concepts and ideas of how the design came into being. This will give the client something to think about and mull over in his head before rejecting the design. It will also impress the client about how deeply you have researched and worked on the design.
When you are presenting your design, make sure to collect some real-world examples of logos that follow the same principles so that your client will find it harder to reject the design without proper reasoning. If the client sees that you have followed the steps or designing process of big brands like Apple, Nike, Google or more, then they will be impressed with the effort you have put in.
If you want to reduce the chances of getting rejected, it is better that you keep practicing and polishing your skills by challenging yourself and being critical with your designs. There are thousands of different businesses and thousands of types of clients. Each client has a different design style and sense and different demands. You should keep that in mind and design in various styles to see if you can meet all the design demands a client could have. You could also update your portfolio with these designs and show everyone the different variations of designs you can offer them.
Designers should keep in mind that when a client is criticizing your design, he is not criticizing your ability to design it rather he does not like the current design you have come up with. If you let everything get to you, it will only backfire on you and people will not want to work with you anymore. Whatever the client says, don't take it to heart level.
Sometimes, a client can get very angry and start spouting nonsense and insults at the designer and in this situation, the designer must remain calm and deal with the client as he would any other client. If they say the design was terrible and prices were very high, suggest to offer them a special package and a new design. They may be furious and leave negative reviews and comments on the website and social media pages but you should deal with them calmly. This will not only paint you as the 'good guy' in this fight but it will also show others your professionalism for being calm no matter the insults from the client.
Sometimes, the designer has a few ideas that he thinks are all good but have a chance of being rejected for various reasons. What he can do is to take the ideas and combine them in a way to create something new and unique that stands no or least chance of rejection.
In the end, it is better for you to keep in touch with the client for the whole process and keep discussing the stage you are at and the concepts you have and this will leave minimum chance for rejection as if the client wants to change something, he will tell them and it will be done before the design has been done completely.