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Hi great people of Stack Exchange. I have a question about presenting multiple design concepts for a social media campaign.

So I've been designing social media graphics for a client that wants me to present 6 ad designs. To make this project happen, I offered to create a different design concept for each ad. However, the problem I have is presenting each ad with multiple design concepts.

So far, we've had 2 meetings like this where I presented design directions for her ads. The first meeting, I focused the conversation on possible color choices we could go with, and she loved a good number of them. The second meeting, I kind of did the same thing I did in the first meeting. But this time I created 3 possible color choices for each ad and tried to get a final decision for which design concept she'll use for each ad. But this is where things got confusing for me.

I think I gave her too many color options (when I looked at my notes, we had 6 color combinations that she liked). When I put together 3 design concepts for each ad and presented them to her, she asked me to present more design concepts for each ad and to make the ads more creative. I get the creative part, but I'm not really sure if I should present more design concepts per ad, and I'm also not sure how to go through this collaboration process with my client.

I usually work on logos and one-piece design projects like a simple brochure or a flyer. And this is my first time presenting multiple design pieces like this. I mean, I honestly don't know what I'm doing, this is new territory for me, and I'm kind of making this all up as I go. I would really appreciate some advice on how to present multiple design pieces in a single presentation or if I should change up my collaboration process.

Please help. I don't know what to expect from this "more concepts" approach, and this is my first time presenting multiple concepts per marketing piece.

Hope you understand.

Thanks

~Jarod B

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Sounds like you're putting a lot of effort into multiple parts of the project at the wrong time.

At the next meeting you should have 2 "separate" presentations of work: the Color combinations/layouts using 1 ad and the ad concepts using only 1 color/layout (your preferred). This will cut your work load down significantly, but the client won't have to evaluate a ton of pieces. Before starting, you should clearly explain what you've done and, during the discussion, try to help them understand they should evaluate only one facet at a time.

Concerning "too many options" to the client, it's always easier to pick "between" rather than "among": only present 2 to 3 options unless specifically requested. You are the designer, and your opinion matters. Cut out the options that you personally feel are bad. You're hired for taste as well as skill, and should feel confident enough in your work to cut out the chaff.

Before starting a project, define through a contract what the work to be done actually is, and break it clearly into phases. (personally: 1/3 at inception, 1/3 on roughs, 1/3 on launch/print) This isn't only for your protection, but helps the client understand the work to be expected from you. It sounds like the original request was for 3 ads, and now more are requested outside of the scope of work. A new contract should be drawn up. You may need to have that tough conversation with the client establishing what you're originally hired to do and what's being asked of you now.

In future projects, you should also have a final approval on ad text/copy before laying anything out. Not only does it keep your costs down, but it helps setup milestones with an established timeline.

Hope that helps!

  • Wow I don't know how you figured out it was originally 3 ads, but you're absolutely right lol. But anyways thanks. I like your idea about how I should present and work on one ad at a time instead of working on all of them at the same time and presenting 3 options per ad. That never even occurred to me. And yes I think I do have to have that talk with my client. Not just about the scope but to review our collaboration approach, so we can get through the project easier and faster and make it funner than before. – Jarod Billingslea Apr 3 '17 at 18:05

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