Finding a creative partner who truly clicks with you can be a challenge. It can be easy to fall for someone’s work, but if they don’t exhibit these essential qualities you may not have found your prizefighter after all.
You’re hiring a designer to create the images you want to present to the world. You may be swept away with their ideas and who can blame you? They’re the professionals in their field, that’s why you hired them. But someone who’s your design prizefighter is going to truly listen to you and your needs, looking deeper than the words you say in order to get to the root of what you want. They’re thoughtful and don’t assume to know what’s best for you, they try to figure it out based on what you tell them. As Rob Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says, “Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” A great designer listens to understand.
They notice things others don't
A designer who’s going to be a good fit for you will see what’s truly special about your product or service and know how to bring that to the foreground. Just as engineers and boxers see the world a little differently, so is the case with designers. The lens they’re looking through has been formed through training and knowledge. Design is its own language that they’ve become fluent in and when someone speaks it for a long enough time, understanding it becomes second nature. After years working in their field, they just know what looks right and what doesn’t.
Passion can manifest itself in a lot of ways, but regardless of how it shows itself, they’re all great signs that you have the right designer in your corner. Your prizefighter is excited about the work they do, that’s why they’re doing it! It drives them to be curious about the world and their field. They ask questions and it’s almost like they need to know more. New ways of tackling a problem excite them and they’re undaunted by a new challenge.
They find time for play
Pure creative drive requires a sort of playfulness and the best designers know this. Play is a form of experimentation and in order to find what’s going to work, one has to go through some trial and error, which is why we made it one of PUNCHY’s core brand values. Play can also aid a designer in getting into their flow state. When at play, it can be easier to find a balance between your already accessible skills and more challenging tasks which is prime feeding ground for flow state. Play is essential for finding ways to connect with one’s sense of childlike wonder and finding new and interesting ways to tackle a subject. It’s also not terrible for mental health which can increase their longevity in the field.
Getting to the root of a problem requires patience and your prizefighter ought to know that. They’re willing to take the time and put in the legwork to get just the right results. They know they don’t always have all the answers right away, so they research and experiment to find them. They’re eager to find tangible solutions that will knock out the competition.
They know how the world works
Your design prizefighter should be well versed with the principles of their field, know how things click together and know how to operate within a framework. Unfortunately, work isn’t done in a vacuum and it’s important to remember this. The design that’s made for your business should effortlessly click into the existing framework. If they don’t know their stuff, it’ll be clear to everyone who sees the work they do. Don’t fall for a rookie playing at being a champion.
They’re not afraid to break the rules
As the old adage goes—Know the rules, then break them. Rules are made to be broken and your ideal designer should know this. Operating outside of the existing box can catch people’s attention in the best way. Think of some of the famous inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs that you know - what do they have in common? They knew when it was time to break the rules, that’s why we remember them. As Muhammad Ali once said, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.” Find a designer who isn’t afraid of changing things up and you’ll have a prizefighter on your hands.
They're contextual thinkers
One size fits all solutions seldom work, and your prizefighter designer knows this. While listening, observing, experimenting and all that are vital to the success of a design, implementing ideas is where the work actually gets done. Your prizefighter will know if a job requires a jab or an uppercut. They understand when certain approaches are going to work and when they won’t. They know what’s out there and how your business fits into the broader scope and how to use design to play into that for your benefit.
They know how to communicate
While much of what a designer does is visual, being able to communicate their goals will save both of you headaches in the long run. It doesn’t help anyone to be getting into brawls with their team members over petty miscommunications! Not only that, but a designer needs to know how to effectively sell their ideas. Being able to communicate shows that they know why they’re doing what they’re doing. Their work should be able to do a lot of the communicating for them, but it certainly doesn’t hurt for them to be able to back it up.
A prizefighter doesn’t just go right for the punches, they consider the impact it will have on the world around them. In our modern age, we need to be thoughtful about the effect our work has. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction on our planet and the people around us, a quality designer takes all that into account and doesn’t just go for low blows. They know their values and stand by them in practice, not just with their words. And according to Forbes, customers notice too.
Finding the right person to fight for you can be a challenge, but knowing what to look for will save you some sweat. At PUNCHY, we hope to be a prizefighter for everyone who walks through our doors and establish a powerful matchup with everyone we collaborate with. Reach out if you’re looking for someone to stand in your corner.