In the second blog of our Design series, Rob Furby, Creative Services Manager at Napier, shares how he works with clients to build effective graphic design campaigns. 

Having spent 14 years at Napier, I have seen the rapid change in mindset required to strive in this ever-changing industry. A combination of passion and determination to succeed has ultimately helped me to become a strong member of this well-established design team. As the industry has evolved, so has design, and we have had to adapt, to ensure campaigns include the development of emails, video content and product ads, just to name a few.

In this blog, I share the five key ways I work with clients to build effective design campaigns:

Use empathy

Empathy is the ability to learn how to value somebody else’s experience. This helps to prevent designers from developing ideas that could be considered self-expressive.

Often when a designer attends clients meetings, it’s clear that all the information shared can be relevant in some way, and it becomes our responsibility to take this information and unravel it into a cohesive story. Often, a client can be unsure of what exactly they are looking for, and so we are able to offer viable design solutions to their requests/problems.

Ask questions

By asking questions, parts of the brief can be pieced together and help formulate a ‘story’ approach to a concept. This could typically be the standard who/what/where/when or could be as simple as a choice between two colours.

Asking questions helps to engage clients. Every answer equates to a better understanding of the clients’ needs. This also assures the client that there is genuine interest in wanting to offer the best solution(s) available, leading to better empathy.

Build trust

There is huge value in building trust with clients. This presents an opportunity to have the confidence to offer additional value, which will ultimately strengthen the professional relationship. Trust can alter the clients’ perception of a designer from that of a ‘contractor’ to a ‘consultant’ – someone who strives to offer that little extra, to enhance the rapport.

A design role isn’t just about creating nice looking designs but also providing value and solving problems in an effective and creative way.

Always test your design

I often present concept ideas to clients early and frequently. It’s important to not get hung up on the fact that a first draft needs to look like the finished article before it is shared. This actually allows feedback from others, including the client. Let’s not forget that the client will have a good understanding of their customers so that a collaborative approach can only be a positive thing.

Design is a team sport

Every good design is often the result of multiple ideas from multiple people, whether that be designers, the clients themselves or project managers. If three designers are given the exact same brief, there would be three different visual creatives.

Collaboration within a peer group of designers will always result in a more thoughtful creative process. Who doesn’t feel more inspired than working within a great team? No designer can ever know everything and should always work to improve skills, techniques and ideas, and where better to do that than with a team of like-minded individuals.


Interested in how we can help you develop your next design campaign? Why not get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.