There is a long detail. I kindly request you to ready it carefully, so we can understand each other in better way. Please tell me how can I improve it, if you think it must be down voted.

We do designs to promote our product and engage people. The client is related to medical devices and equipment.

For the current campaign (campaign is 4-5 days long and we share 1 design per day on social media), the product was Nebulizer.

Normally, we combine the product and the event related (we do events based designs for campaigns) elements together, just like these.

But this, time, it wasn't seeming easy to combine things. I discussed properly with my director (not art director) and content team that we can do around Monsoon, as it's rainy season here. I well explained them the concept.

Here I made 5 options (copies are pending, some fixes pending), so we can go with at least 3 to finalize:

enter image description here

1st - Like the mask in Nebulizer ultimately cares for your health in asthma, here Umbrella also represents the care for kid.

2nd - The window glass is stopping the rain entering to home. So its relatable, as product also help eliminate asthma.

3rd - Cool breeze in rainy season may trigger asthma. So the kid with umbrella flying away because of wind is relatable.

4th - Same concept as 2nd.

5th - Just like paper boat has a smooth flow, sails forward and saves you during storm, is somewhat same way, Nebulizer help you breathe easily, and saves your life.

These were basics concepts. They agreed before making them.

In a few of them, I changed background accordingly (like Windows).

But my director said we just can't use Shutterstock images. Do something creative we did before.

My whole belief about this campaign was that they will brainstorm the copies for them, so the message can be properly shown.

It looks like I did the most work, even provided them a rough guide for writing copies. But my content team and director team hardly give 20 minutes to writing creative copies. I never saw them brainstorming.

So they rejected my designs without any specific reason.

Are my designs really not related? If not, how do I effectively explain my director that sometimes we have to go with this way?

I remember some good user here said that we can sometimes use happy images just to show the outcome of product. But according to my director that will also be wrong in current scenario.

How should I proceed?

PS: I don't mind rejections. We have always done a lot of changes, re design things. The thing is my director is thinking we should stick to same format (like combining things, which visually looks creative), even when it's not possible. In past we have done similar things like design with simple images. But now they expect every campaign should have great manipulation. I will definitely change the designs again here, but I just wanted to know this, as I have invested some time in it.

I'm the only designer in my startup agency, and only I do research about creative campaigns. They write copies based on designs I make. So their ultimate message about campaign is highly dependent on my designs. So ultimately I'm doing marketing as well (which I suppose I'm not very good at).

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    I once had an art director say to me.. "I like the images you chose. But can we do something to them so they are more interesting than merely stock images? Tweak colors, cut something out, combine a few.... just something" Perhaps this is what your director is alluding to. Since that discussion, I have never used a stock image "as purchased". All stock images here are always altered in some manner. I find the entire 'stock photo + few lines of type + logo' to be a rather drab formula overall. Even if the photo is a fantastic photo.
    – Scott
    Jul 6, 2019 at 10:47
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    No one here can interpret wha "your director" may really mean. We don't know him at all. And in reality, no one here will fully understand the project/intent. It isn't really possible to answer anything regarding why he may have rejected them. Only he can do that.
    – Scott
    Jul 6, 2019 at 18:38
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    Offhand.. I'd say a machine to help one "breathe easier" has little to do with rain.
    – Scott
    Jul 6, 2019 at 18:44
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    Without reading much more than the question and looking at the pictures (like I did with all my courses I should have actually studied), I see that the product in the corner protects some vulnerable population from "come-what-may." Good so far. Are you aware that 4 of 5 layouts show grade-school-age children? Is there an age component? Who knows why things happen? For any question there are good answers and the real one. Otherwise, your examples come across to me as accomplished. Add a rainbow? ; ^ D
    – Stan
    Jul 6, 2019 at 21:42
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    It's all relative, Vikas. Some positions require more marketing mixed with design.. others require more production mixed with design, and still others require more video mixed with design, etc. There's no "one" standard job description. Generally speaking though, it is on the shoulders of the designer to understand the target audience and what may work for them. If that requires some research, well, it requires it.
    – Scott
    Jul 7, 2019 at 10:42

2 Answers 2


Though I have some of the same trepidations about this question's fitness for our GD.SE as others, I will hazard answering.

As with @Scott in comments, for me it's been a long time since I was in an agency situation, but until a couple of years ago I was one designer of many in an architectural firm, which is similar in dynamic, though project scopes are far larger and longer, and infinitely more complex and multivariate.

However, my response is not primarily to the workplace blame part of the discussion, but rather the design conceptual query: I am deeply asthmatic, and so am a member of one of your primary target audiences; I am also the parent of two asthmatic kids, (one now grown, one early teen) and so am a member of your other primary target group.

To be clear, you're not aiming at the kids, you're aiming at their parents; you are also aiming at adult asthma sufferers.

So as a member of both of your target audiences, and a multi-decade graphic designer, I should be in a position to immediately Gestalt grasp the fitness of image to intent of product, and determine if, for me, these images convey the necessary ideation.

I can't. They don't.

That is, there's no Gestalt grasped across the range of images and concepts, there's not a clear unconsciously-understood graphic or conceptual language established which conveys either difficulty breathing or protection against same.

The conditions and situations which most asthma sufferers or caregivers have learned through bitter experience to be on guard against are hot dry conditions, dusty conditions, pollen-infused conditions, late spring / summer in general, gusty wind conditions, mouldy spaces and smoke.

I don't have to do precedent research to know the typical imagery most associated woth these concepts and situation - I've been seeing advertising and technical communications on this topic for two decades - here ares some thoughts on typical imagery just off the top of my head.

Flowers, particularly those on the various asthma watchlists due to frequency of severe allergic reaction, (ragweed e.g.) can convey the idea of pollen, particularly if you add a graphic element / overlay to indicate high pollen counts; so can grasses, oak trees, olive trees, or for sheer drama pollen clouds pouring off Douglas Fir or pine trees. Dust clouds, dust mite micrographs, cracked desert earth and dust in the image all can convey both dust and dry air triggers; faux-X-rays of inflamed or occluded lungs, bronchii, and alveoli, a coughing person, someone blowing into a peak-flow meter and looking pained all convey asthma suffering and / or treatment pretty well.

I think you need to completely re-conceptualise, bearing in mind a need to create and convey a singular graphic and conceptual language which spans all the sub-ads you create, whilst allowing for sufficient variation to give interest and variety.

Hope this helps; bonne chance.

  • 1
    That is, I can, with thought, "get it" - but the real point is, I shouldn't have to think to get it - it should be an unconsciously-emergent property - I should just... connect... with the idea of protecting children from something, without having even realised that this was the conscious intent of the designer. I don't. Jul 9, 2019 at 18:57
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    I end up thinking about children and rain and how much they love it and playing with umbrellas and splashing in puddles with wellie boots; about kids and warm soup on rainy days near rain-splattered windows; about the sounds of rain on the roof and glass; and the smell of the rain-soaked earth once the sun comes back out. Jul 9, 2019 at 18:57
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    Do you follow my point here? The emotional resonances of "protection" or "danger" or "medication" or even "treatment" just aren't there. Because, in the end, RAIN is not an inherently risky phenomenon: you get wet, you come inside, you dry off, you're fine - and given it's kids we're looking at, you get cleaner. Cue the warm parental chuckles at the thrills kids have splashing in rain. Asthma on the other hand is scratchy, rough, dangerous, scary and can be flat-out deadly. It scares competent parents silly - and with good reason. I think this comment thread is now too long Graphic Design Chat for more. Jul 9, 2019 at 19:03
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    Thank you for explaining it for me in so easy way (although English was a bit tough for me). I got you points. Now, I conclude one thing: Social media designs/advertisements are different from Logos - in terms of how we see them and what they are designed for. For example, we shouldn't make ads where we have to think consciously about advertisements, like you said, but there are logos (like Audi, Amazon, Toyota, Apple) which have so many messages but one can't think about them unless someone explained to them. So logos may or may not convey all messages directly. Am I right here?
    – Vikas
    Jul 10, 2019 at 2:29
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    Spot on. It's crucial to in your mind as a designer separate the elements which are only emotionally registered, like images, colour, tone, voicing, compositional balance, implied (or actual) movement or motion, from the text content (AKA copy) which attempts to convey a few simple memorable rational points to connect to those emotional impressions. They serve different purposes which should combine, but not be confused. Logo design is a wholly separate animal, though it shares some similarities. Jul 10, 2019 at 14:41

Since this is a director vs. employee situation, you will ultimately have to do what the director says: don't use Shutterstock, do something creative like you did before. We don't know what he's referring to with the 'before', but i guess you know what he's talking about.

Also, this is in fact NOT a graphic design question, but a marketing, concept-related question. This is not about the composition of the actual layouts, but about you linking the product with the images and the copy, the director with the copywriter and the rainy season and ultimately managing this internal workflow. Just adding a 'photoshop' tag does not make it on-topic.

  • 1
    Thanks for letting me know this. Can you please let me know which SE site (if any) I can go for asking this question?
    – Vikas
    Jul 6, 2019 at 10:28
  • Not very familiar with the SE network.
    – Lucian
    Jul 6, 2019 at 11:02
  • I got my answer from Gerard ;)
    – Vikas
    Jul 10, 2019 at 16:05

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