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How should you judge creative work?

how should you judge creative work

So, your agency/designer/copywriter just presented something new. You’re feeling a little uncomfortable. It’s sort of interesting, but you don’t really like it – not least because it’s very different from what you’re used to. While you dislike giving negative feedback, you don’t see any alternative.

Stop and think – it isn’t about you

It isn’t about you and whether you like it. It’s about the target audience and whether it works. So, put aside your personal preferences and ask yourself some questions.

Does it meet the brief? (You did agree a brief, didn’t you?)

Will it grab attention? (Get noticed or get lost, as we like to say.)

Does it make your business stand out from the competition? (Sameness is commercial suicide.)

Does it engage your emotions? (Emotional appeal – usually subconsciously – preceeds decisions.)

Is the proposition clear and single minded? (A confused mind always says no.)

If you can answer yes to these questions, you may well be onto a winner, assuming it’s also well written and well designed.

The MAYA principle

Renowned industrial designer Raymond Loewy coined the term Most Advanced Yet Acceptable. He advocated designs that were as advanced as possible, but didn’t go too far beyond what the audience regards as the norm. Loewy’s plethora of successful designs included logos for Shell, Exxon, and BP, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines and the livery for Air Force One.

Trust the professionals

Still not sure? You should be guided by the judgement and experience of the professional(s) who created it – assuming they’ve proved their worth on other projects. The surest way to guarantee great work is to hire great people in the first place.