Simple Design is Never Simple.

by Barton Strawn, Managing Partner

Long Weekend (fka Coel Studio) is still a relatively new design studio. Being new means we are constantly looking for clients. We end up talking to a lot of people and gauging different potential projects. Inevitably, some of these conversations end with a statement like:

“We just want something simple. It should be cheap and quick.”

We’d like to go on record here and state: simple is rarely quick and never cheap. 

When you see a design that is “simple,” it means we’ve gone through numerous iterations and variations that resulted in a cohesive and functional design. The reason a design feels “simple” is because it has been paired down to only the necessary elements and was developed to function as an effortless system. And this is not a simple task.

Coming into conversations with this mindset isn’t anyone’s fault. Our culture has programmed us to want cheap and quick. We go to Walmart because we want cheap goods. We don’t want to wait in line to buy anything, so we use the self-checkout system. Cheap and quick.

We’ve gotten so used to jumping on Amazon where we can pick the lowest priced version of an item and receive it in 2 days. Cheap and quick. 

And McDonalds hasn’t helped the cause, where you can get a hamburger and french fries for $8.99 in 5 minutes. Cheap and quick. 

As you just read these examples, we’d also guess you only considered the products being sold. You totally disregarded the the services these companies are providing. They can provide a cheaper and quicker product because they are repeating the same service, at a massive scale, every day. Design services are unique, and different, and tailored to each clients needs. 

Our point is that good design and well thought out solutions take time. Next time you ask a designer to do something “cheap and quick,” think about the design like a house. You wouldn’t ask a builder to buy poor materials or speed up construction at the risk of a structurally unsound house. You shouldn’t want a design that’s been rushed either. 

When potential clients try to haggle for a lower price, it implies that our time and skills aren’t valued. I doubt you’d haggle with your accountant or auto mechanic. We’re providing a professional service just like they are. 

This doesn’t mean as a studio we never offer special rates or provide different packages to meet a client’s needs, but it does mean we are open and honest about what it will take to do the work you’re requesting.

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