By Jerry Scullion, Creative Director –
Whenever you’re presenting concepts, be it commercial boards, campaign ideas or firm rebranding, never just “email” them. Never!
It makes me think of the title of the Bill Murray film, “Lost in Translation”. Because that’s exactly what will happen – your ideas will not get the chance to have ‘you’ explain them. And they will get lost… in translation.
Always present your work and ideas ‘live’. Whether it’s in person or on a Zoom, a ‘live’ presentation of your concepts is always essential. At LCG, we always push to have ’in-person’ presentations, especially when we’re showing commercial concepts. This allows you the opportunity to fully explain the reasoning behind your ideas or layouts, why you came up with them, and why they will work. There’s nothing like hearing from the creative behind the concept firsthand, and ‘how’ they arrived at the decisions they did.
Logo designs especially need this ‘in-person’ presentation. Your client can make a logo decision in one second, and it may not be the right one. Without you there to educate them as to why logo “A” works better and “B” & “C”, then all your insight, work, ideation and creativity was wasted, and never gets the chance to get fully explained. You also run the risk of yourself, and your client, living with the ‘wrong’ or not ‘best’ logo because you weren’t ‘there’ to present it.
Besides being a great opportunity for client/agency ‘face time’, it also helps to assure your client that there was real reasoning behind your design ideation, and not just random abstracts. You also get to walk them through your presentation, in the order that you choose. However, you must have a game plan when presenting. Since you’re doing it live, you can ‘ease’ your clients into your presentation gradually, by planning some up-front introductions, before you show work.
If it’s a logo or redesign presentation, a good way to lead off the presentation is giving the client a brief ‘logo explanation’: what a logo is, and what it isn’t. What it does, and what it can’t do. How to define good and bad design, subjective as it is. A lot of clients think a logo should say ‘everything’ about the company, but it’s not a Swiss-army knife that gets overly complicated. It’s got to be appropriate to the company, be unique and memorable, and stay somewhat simple. Simple in the ‘feeling’ it evokes, but memorable enough to be recognizable and distinct. These up-front logo explanations really help temper expectations and can also help the client understand what the logo’s purpose is before you get into the work.
Doing it live also allows you to gauge the temperature of the room and see ‘real’ time’ responses and play to them if need be. Also, if there is pushback, you are there to defend your work. All this is lost if your work is viewed in an email. So, while emails have their place, it’s never for a creative presentation.