Working with Designers

Communication is key

Have you ever worked with a graphic designer that didn't understand what you needed? It can be extremely frustrating and a huge waste of time and money. 

At Dev Counsel, we take the time to understand your business goals and design needs before we start the process. We also keep you involved along the way to ensure your brand is developing the way you need it to.  

Missing Missy

Read this email...it's a good example of how easily design requests can get "lost" in translation. 

Shannon Walkley has lost her cat, Missy.  A graphic designer, David, has been asked to help design a poster. 

Sounds easy enough, right?

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9:15 a.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Poster

 

Hi. I opened the screen door yesterday and my cat got out and has been missing since then so I was wondering if you are not too busy you could make a poster for me. It has to be A4 and I will photocopy it and put it around my suburb this afternoon. This is the only photo of her I have she answers to the name Missy and is black and white and about 8 months old. missing on Harper street and my phone number. Thanks Shan.

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9:26 a.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Poster

 

Dear Shannon,

 

That is shocking news. Luckily I was sitting down when I read your e-mail and not half way up a ladder or tree. How are you holding up? I am surprised you managed to attend work at all, what with thinking about Missy out there, cold, frightened, and alone . . . possibly lying on the side of the road, her back legs squashed by a vehicle, calling out, “Shannon, where are you?” Although I have two clients expecting completed work this afternoon, I will, of course, drop everything and do whatever it takes to facilitate the speedy return of Missy.

 

Regards, David

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9:37 a.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Poster

 

yeah ok thanks. I know you don't like cats but I am really worried about mine. I have to leave at 1pm today.

 

 

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10:17 a.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Poster

 

Dear Shannon, I never said I don’t like cats. Once, having been invited to a party, I went clothes shopping beforehand and bought a pair of expensive G-Star boots. They were two sizes too small, but I wanted them so badly I figured I could just wear them without socks and cut my toenails very short. As the party was only a few blocks from my place, I decided to walk. After the first block, I lost all feeling in my feet. Arriving at the party, I stumbled into a guy named Steven, spilling Malibu & Coke onto his white Wham “Choose Life” T-shirt, and he punched me. An hour or so after the incident, Steven sat down in a chair already occupied by a cat. The surprised cat clawed and snarled, causing Steven to leap out of the chair, slip on a rug, and strike his forehead onto the corner of a speaker, resulting in a two-inch open gash. In its shock, the cat also defecated, leaving Steven with a wet brown stain down the back of his beige cargo pants. I liked that cat. Attached poster as requested.

 

 

Regards, David

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10:24 a.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

 

yeah thats not what I was looking for at all.   it looks like a movie and how come the photo of Missy is so small?

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10:28 a.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster


Dear Shannon, It’s a design thing.   The cat is lost in the negative space.

 

Regards, David

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10:33 a.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

 

Thats just stupid. Can you do it properly please? I am extremely emotional over this and was up all night in tears. you seem to think it is funny. Can you make the photo bigger and fix the text please.

 

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10:46 a.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon, Having worked with designers for a few years now, I would have assumed you understood, despite our vague suggestions otherwise, we do not welcome constructive criticism. I don’t come downstairs and tell you how to send text messages, log onto Facebook, and look out of the window. I am willing to overlook this faux pas as you are no doubt preoccupied with thoughts of Missy attempting to make her way home across busy intersections or being trapped in a drain as it slowly fills with water. I spent three days down a well once, but that was just for fun. I have amended and attached the poster as per your instructions.

 

Regards, David

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10:59 a.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

 

This is worse than the other one. can you make it so it shows the whole photo of Missy and delete the stupid text that says missing missy off it? I just want it to say lost.

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11:14 a.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11:21 a.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

yeah can you do the poster or not? I just want a photo and the word lost and the telephone number and when and where she was lost and her name. Not like a movie poster or anything stupid. I have to leave early today. If it was your cat I would help you. Thanks.

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11:32 a.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Awww

Dear Shannon, I don’t have a cat. I once agreed to look after a friend’s cat for a week, but after he dropped it off at my apartment and explained the concept of kitty litter, I kept the cat in a closed cardboard box in the shed and forgot about it. If I wanted to feed something and clean feces, I wouldn’t have put my mother in that home after her stroke. A week later, when my friend came to collect his cat, I pretended that I was not home and mailed the box to him. Apparently, I failed to put enough stamps on the package, and he had to collect it from the post office and pay eighteen dollars. He still goes on about that sometimes, but people need to learn to let go. I have attached the amended version of your poster as per your detailed instructions.

 

Regards, David

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11:47 a.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Awww

 

Thats not my cat. where did you get that picture from? That cat is orange. I gave you a photo of my cat.

 

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11:58 a.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Awww

 

I know, but that one is cute. As Missy has quite possibly met any one of several violent ends, it is possible you might get a better cat out of this. If anybody calls and says, “I haven’t seen your orange cat, but I did find a black-and-white one with its hind legs run over by a car. Do you want it?” you can politely decline and save yourself a costly veterinarian bill. I knew someone who had a Basset hound that had its hind legs removed after an accident, and it had to walk around with one of those little buggies with wheels. If it had been my dog I would have asked for all its legs to be removed and replaced with wheels and had a remote control installed. I could charge neighborhood kids for rides and enter it in races. If I did the same with a horse, I could drive it to work. I would call it Steven.

 

Regards, David

 

 

 

----------------------------

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12:07 p.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Awww

 

 

Please just use the photo I gave you.

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12:22 p.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12:34 p.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

 

I didn't say there was a reward. I don't have $2000 dollars. What did you even put that there for? Apart from that it is perfect can you please remove the reward bit. Thanks Shan.

 

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12:42 p.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12:51 p.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

 

 

Can you just please take the reward bit off altogether? I have to leave in ten minutes and I still have to make photocopies of it.

 

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From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12:56 p.m.

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

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From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 1:03 p.m.

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

 

 

Fine. That will have to do.

Source: Excerpted from The Internet is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius, David Thorne, 2011.

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