'Think Blue Chip Company.....' Design brief advice please...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by anim8or, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #1
    I have had a few really vague briefs of late (as anyone who has followed any of my threads will know) but one thing that has been consistent with a couple of them is the line...

    "Think Blue Chip Company"

    I studied animation and have recently been freelancing as a graphic designer. None of my training as an animator involved the term blue chip company, i kinda think i know what it means but i dunno what it means in terms of design briefs.

    Can anyone please explain what clients are getting at so i dont continue to be confused!

    :eek:
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Conventional wisdom says:

    Blue chip = finance = expensive-looking = luxury = usually serif Romanesque fonts and richer but muted colours, unless they're in media, marketing or something less stuffy.

    No angled type, no wackiness, suited and booted. Solidity, respectability... money.
     
  3. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #3
    This is exactly my understanding of the term... hence my confusion....

    As posted on here before i keep getting vague briefs and this issue of clients giving me freedom to do what i wish with their design work.

    Now i know that this doesn't always work as what they deem to be good design is something completely different to what i deem to be good design.

    Its nothing like one of us knows better, just that we have different tastes!

    Hmph...! (Frustrated sigh)
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    A very important part of being a designer is teasing out the meaning of a brief with the client. Asking the right questions of of your client is more important than them handing a vague but prescriptive phrase over to you. You have to drill down a bit into what they mean and what they think they mean.

    Whip up some quick comps or some PDF mood boards so that it looks like you've been busy and ask more questions of them.
     
  5. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #5
    In my experience, blue chip companies "want something new" but actually don't. In other words, they want you to work on their existing (albeit boring) brand and slightly change it. But not too much.

    "Creative" for most blue chips, often means taking their normal blue colour background and changing it to a gradient blue colour background.

    I agree with Blue Velvet's points. Keep it simple, translatable (by that, it needs to be 'understood' by as many as possible, including internationally if possible) and resuable (that is, something they can reuse time and time again so they don't have to pay expensive initial creative costs).
     
  6. motoxpress macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #6
    In my mind, "blue chip" still leaves things wide open. There are so many approaches that would match that description. So, I would rely more on the process of attempting to boil it down to the essence of the company and make a mark that addresses that.

    -mx
     
  7. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #7
    I appreciate all the advice and feedback here...

    Like i said earlier, if anyone has followed any of my post they will know that I currently do all of my design work through a third party... and he is not the greatest at communicating my thoughts to the client or vice versa... i rarely get to directly converse with my clients and i end up doing what i am asked by said third party, i am finding more and more that this is not what the client is asking and i end up having to rework everything!

    But hey, you gotta start somewhere right?
     
  8. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #8
    BlueChip.jpg

    No charge for that one!

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  9. motoxpress macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #9
    Ah, yes. I have been in that place and it is no fun. In that case, I would see about doing creative writeups to explain the concepts. That way your middleman can't flub it up.

    BTW I admire people who can work well in this situation. I get too frustrated and have to just move on. There is a time to just do what you are told but, there is also a time to stand up for your concept. If your middle man can't see that then I suggest you have the wrong middle man.

    -mx
     
  10. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #10
    No offense man, but you kinda come on here and whine about your boss a lot, what are the chances your boss could stumble across these forums and connect these threads to the guy he's giving a pay cheque to?

    I'm not saying you shouldn't seek advice when you need it, but if I were your boss and I read some of the things you've said about him/his clients I might just be looking for another designer.

    just my two-cents
     
  11. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #11
    Vague design briefs and lack of communication from the third party.... Welcome to design.

    I've had plenty of client who really love the "I'll know it when I see it" approach, you really need to extract their likes/dislike and what they want.

    Sounds easy? Well most of the time it's like extracting teeth...

    Try to get them to think of companies that they like and style wise where they would like to be, this hopefully will put you on the right track and get the clients to give you input. Just out of experience going through a middle man rarely works....
     
  12. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816

    anim8or

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    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #12
    I think whine is a little over the top... its the truth and you hardly see me saying things like 'i wish i didnt work for him' or anything of the like, only asking advice of how to work our relationship so we are both 100% happy.

    Not in a million years would he come onto a mac forum.... i doubt if he has even heard of macrumors nevermind actualy browsing it and ultimately reading these treads....

    Besides he isn't my boss, more like an agent... and if you knew the percentages he gets of the fee then you would probably say i am crazy to work with him!
     
  13. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    #13
    How did I know with a title asking for any real kind of help that I'd encounter snark and sarcasm? Like 9 posts in and I'm 2 for 2. But I digress (this is just meta-snark anyway).

    I'd say that whether you go with the expected or the unexpected, it's all how you spin it to the client. It could be the gold standard, or it could be a cliché; it could be a good-old standby that client needs to be taken seriously in their industry, or it could be a "me-too" flop that won't get them noticed at all. It could be regal, substantial, and illustrative, or it could be avant garde, renegade, and panache.

    You want to give them choices, and maybe one or two extra rounds of "ooh, this one! and this part of this one!" depending on just how much you were briefed, but you also don't want your client telling you to resize the descenders and illustrate a ligature here and to make a swoosh in a muted tapioca with a hint of chartreuse--my point being that you have to maintain the design job.

    You probably already know all of this anyway, and I definitely do not intend to sound simplistic, but rather to be a cheerleader of your own pursuit of the connection to this pseudo-mystery-client and their corporate identity. Make something you think will get you more business once you put it in your portfolio, regardless of if they use it or not. I bet you'd like to get more business without this commission-grubbing design broker anyway, and you'll be assured you have kept your standards for your own work.
     

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