Tell Them Where To Stick It By Making Them More Successful

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Leave it up to our friend Susan Kirkland to put together yet another
fantastic essay that attempts to shake up the complacency a little and get designers out there doing something new and, in this case, much better. Susan knows the inner workings of designing within corporate boundaries and this, like several of her other essays, have been all about escaping the shackles, while still maintaining your place within their walls. In this piece, “Cha-cha-cha-Changes,” she talks about starting at a company that had been running the same print material for over a year, and having to hold their hand and show them that they were doing everything wrong. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but if ever there was someone who knew a great call-to-arms, it’s Susan. Here’s some from the hand-holding:

About a month later, one of the marketing managers asked for dupes on the same generic ad he had been running in trade magazines for the past year with no results. “Is that ad getting you the type of results you expect?” I asked. He looked at me as if I was interfering, “No.” Here it comes-wild horses rushing past the open gate. “Well, if you think you can do better, let’s see it!” Oooh, baby. I took his product lines and created over 45 quick comps and asked him to meet me in the conference room about a week later. “These are my ideas.” I put each comp on the ledge as I went through the stack just like it was another portfolio showing. He sat silently as he listened and it took him a few minutes to take it all in. Finally, he said, “Well, I had no idea you were capable of this.” He took the entire stack of comps to his boss and got budgets to cover production.