It’s All About Relationships

July 16, 2009 § 2 Comments

A recurring theme has been emerging in my world quite a lot lately. In talks over the past several months with colleagues, in twitter posts directed to Seth Godin’s blog, and most recently in a conversation over lunch this week with Milton Glaser who has unarguably seen and done it all, combining art and business with unparalleled success.

The theme? It’s all about relationships. Here’s my quick take on it, with regard to the graphic design business (or any business, for that matter):


In this day and age of computer savvy, a glutton of designers and a climate of economic strife, it’s no wonder many artist’s and agencies are having a hard go of it lately. It could be there’s too much talent and not enough demand, as everyone – from individuals to families to small businesses and large corporations – is holding tight to their purse strings.

But in any business climate – whether it’s booming or equilaterally depressed – three key elements always reign supreme: creativity, quality, and relationship.

An unfortunate side effect of a distressed economic environment such as the one we’re experiencing now, is that some media-buying decision-makers may opt for mediocrity, somehow aligning their efforts with the mood of the times – the sense of “lack” or “needing to do without”  – by shopping around for the lowest price, regardless of creativity, quality or relationship. It’s easy enough to do nowadays; just google graphic design and hundreds upon hundreds will come up.

What can also happen in this kind of situation though, is that while it’s still possible to find creativity, and still possible to find certain levels of quality, relationship may well be left out of the equation. And that particular absence can kill a project, or make people wish it did.

Despite all the wonders of online connecting, the enormous choices and competitive pricing available, if you don’t like the people you work with, it can be a miserable experience. It boils down to the old adage of being a pleasure to work with.

You can be as creative as DaVinci, with the quality and craftsmanship of a Frank Lloyd Wright; and likewise, you can be a brilliant business mind with a world-changing product. But regardless of whether wallets are open or whether they’re closed, at some point human nature always plays its card – and wins.



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§ 2 Responses to It’s All About Relationships

  • slgreatsuccess says:

    good article about business relationships, creativity and the economy!


  • Just this morning, one of my consulting clients mentioned how distressed she is with the relationship she’s got with her graphic artist, and yours is the name I gave her in an instant! You are a fantastically talented artist, but it’s your commitment to a great relationship with us clients that has kept me coming back for what will very soon be 25 years.


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