I’m asked all the time, “Do you do custom?” The answer is, “Maybe.” Let me explain.
Custom is subjective in that the client has a vision and relates that vision to the designer. The designer has a vision based on the needs of the client. Sometimes those visions don’t coincide, but collide.
For example, I had a client who asked me for a “return to school” wreath for her classroom. We discussed what she wanted. She gave me the colors and various embellishments. I thought about it, and prepared the wreath. She said she was not happy with it. She stated my vision was nothing like what she had envisioned.
The trouble with custom is the client has a vision that must be relayed to the designer. The designer in turn interprets and produces an item that not only incorporates the client’s wants, but also the designer’s voice. A client chooses a designer because she likes her work. Designers have a particular voice or mark that makes them unique, which is why they are sought out by clients.
My solution to this conundrum is to listen to the client, ask many questions, and provide a design board of ribbons, embellishments, colors, textures, etc. before the project is completed. With this process, there is mutual input from both the client and the designer maximizing the desired outcome.
As a designer, I love using vision boards as it is a means of putting my thoughts onto a space meant to form the final product. I love not only the vision, but the tactile element to the board. It’s also a way for me to arrange my composition in a manner pleasing to not only me, but to others as well.
So, when you ask if I do custom, don’t be surprised when I answer, “Maybe.”