Handling Design Criticism: It’s Not Personal

design criticism

Design Criticism is Essential

I’d love to say tat everything we design is golden. In our minds, we should be able to crank out design prowess so good that our clients and colleagues scream out in elation. Most veteran designers are probably laughing out loud after reading that last statement. While the feelings are true, the reality isn’t. Many designers get hung up on design criticism, taking it personally. A critique of your work isn’t a shot at you or your abilities. It’s a necessity.

You Need Design Criticism

Your work might actually be a step above everyone. The problem is, that it likely isn’t. It takes decades to hone our skills and refine our abilities. The truth is, most of us aren’t there yet. That’s why we need a healthy dose of design criticism to make us better. Making mistakes is a part of our journey to being great designers. I welcome criticism, because I learn from it. Bouncing ideas off of other designers is a great way to grow, learn, and evolve.

Things to Remember About Design Criticism:

  • You Need It: The Client Must Be Happy.
  • It isn’t Personal: It just Needs to Be Right.
  • It Is a Part of The Process.
  • You Should Be Learning From It.
  • It can Be Harsh.
  • Your Design Career Isn’t Over
  • You Aren’t A Bad Designer. There Was Just a Better Solution.
  • Keep At It. Practice Makes Perfect.
  • Don’t become defensive or confrontational.

Constructive Criticism Is Best

Whether you’re on the giving end or receiving end, it’s important that the criticism is constructive. Instead of simply saying “I don’t like it” or “It sucks” explain why it isn’t working. Maybe the colors don’t match the brand. it could be possible that the imagery doesn’t send the right message. Maybe the solution isn’t strong or dominant enough.Maybe your concept has been beat to death and you need a new angle. Ask for constructive criticism in order to address the issues and come back with a better solution.

Design Criticism: Conclusion

Have you ever received harsh design criticism from your peers or a client? I’d love to hear about your experiences. How did you handle it? Did they provide constructive criticism? I am opening the floor for discussion. Please leave your thoughts below.