April 5, 2023

Color Magic: Boost Your Designer-Client Collaboration


Posted by Sharmarke Hujale


3 min read

Designers understand the power of colors.

We know how to manipulate hues, shades, and tones to evoke specific emotions and communicate distinct messages.

But what about the client that you are working with? They are not immersed in the world of colors. And that’s understandable.

It’s in our blood, not theirs. It’s part of our craft, not theirs.

All things of color become a war of subjectivity. Instead of solving a business problem. Why? Because we are missing a shared visual language.

You know how to apply colors to your designs, intuitively. But you might struggle to communicate to your clients in a way they will understand. And ultimately, how it can be applied to their brand identity.

I will share strategies you can use to help you effectively communicate the importance of colors to your clients. That will help them solve their business problem.

Offer discovery workshops

Consider offering your clients discovery workshops as an additional service. You involve the client in a collaborative environment where you talk about what the business problems are. And also why they exist. Who are they for. What do their offer. What’s their promise.

By starting with something tangible and objective. It will be much easier to ensure buy-in by choosing the right color for their brand. Because you will have reference points from the workshop itself.

Back to basics

Introduce the concept of color psychology to your clients. This will help them understand how each color can evoke a specific emotion and perception in their target audience. Like for example, the color yellow conveys optimism and clarity, while blue often conveys stability and trust. Giving your client a base understanding of color psychology will enable them better to appreciate the importance of color choice in their branding.

Speak in simple language

You are likely familiar with the industry-specific terminology that you use. But when it comes to clients who lack the same visual language. It’s essential to adjust your communication style. The key is to use simple and relatable language. Think about how you would explain design concepts to your parents, siblings, or friends who are not in the design field.

Bridge the gap with stylescapes

A stylescape is a collection of curated images from the internet that provides an overview of a visual direction. It’s like a moodboard. On steroid. In a good way. Colors palettes are also a part of the stylescape presentation.

The colors are picked from essential keywords that describe the brand. And those were extracted from the client through a discovery process. But what makes them so powerful is that you also attach the ideal customer to them. And the way that a stylescape is formatted makes it more impactful than a mood board.

To sum it all up

In conclusion, by fostering a shared understanding, you will better equipped to create impactful designs that solve your clients’ business problems and elevate their brand identity. As a designer, you need to acquire skills outside to have an effective conversation with your client that does not leave you frustrated.

Here are some resources you can check out:

Stylescape course by TheFutur

CORE discovery

Book: Creative Strategy and the Business of Design

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