Arts & Entertainment, Design & Style

Working With Clients

David Carson

Lesson time 16:58 min

While David’s best-known work is often his most irreverent, he also works with more traditional clients. He shares his process, starting with reading the brief through collaborating with clients to achieve the most compelling results possible.

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Topics include: Start With the Brief • Case Study: Push Beyond Expectations • Case Study: Explain Design Decisions • Case Study: Work Within Constraints • Case Study: Small Victories • Case Study: Bring Personal Work Into Client Work


[MUSIC PLAYING] - As a designer, if you're going to make a living from this field, you're going to have to work with clients. Sometimes people say to me and say, well, you've got all this fun, you know, cool, surf, rock-and-roll stuff, but I've got real clients. And I say, well, no. I have real clients too. There's just a different set of restrictions and challenges, really, is the way to look at them. It's its own skill, really, working with clients, and they're all different. See it as a challenge and say, okay, I'm going to do something that works for them but I'm still happy with as a designer, and then it's a win for both sides. The brief is extremely important. That's almost all you have sometimes to start, to begin with. And in general, a brief is what the ad agency and the client agree are the goals for the ad or the campaign or what you're working on. You know, who is this client? What are they trying to say? What are the benefits of the product or the service? What-- who is their audience? That's where your ideas are going to come from. You read that brief. You look at all of that info, and right away your mind will start thinking about, oh, maybe this image or that or even this font or something, but it gets-- it gets the wheels spinning as opposed to just say, oh, I'm going to look for some new cool ideas today. It's like, no, read that brief. Read it well, and what do you get from that? What are you seeing? What are you feeling? And then-- and then begin to work. So it really starts there. Besides the brief, which is so critical, you also, on your own, need to find out about the history of the company that may not be in the brief, their previous work, previous logo, previous branding. I think it's important to see what their competitors are doing to find out what your audience is seeing and how can you improve on that? or how can you not alienate their existing customers while bringing in some new ones? And that has a lot to do with your research in terms of who are they? Who is their competitors? What are the other products doing? What is this demographic of consumer seeing? How can I not just add to that clutter but actually elevate it and do it in a unique way that's still true to who they are as a company, as a brand, as a service, whatever it is? And then it's a matter of letting your design mind go to work once you have the elements that you think are valid elements based on that brief. I encourage you to follow the brief and do what they need. Cover that stuff, but then push yourself and show the client that. They-- we have to give them more credit sometimes than we do, just like the consumer as well. They're used to seeing better stuff and more experimental, and they're probably not going to be shocked by too much. This was Amtrak trains in America, and they came to me and said, well, could we get a map of where we go? And I said, okay, what about this? And they said, well, can we ha...

About the Instructor

From Ray Gun and Transworld Skateboarding magazines to surfboards and potato chip bags, David Carson changed the trajectory of graphic design by never following the rules or sticking to the grid. Now the pioneering designer is sharing his intuitive approach so you can send a message with boundary-breaking work. Explore typography, photography, logo design, and more as you learn how to make an impact and trust your gut.

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David Carson

Pioneering graphic designer David Carson teaches you his intuitive approach to creating work that breaks rules and makes an impact.

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