The importance of “PRESENTATION”

There’s always room for “improvements” when it comes to presenting your work to a client. I have NEVER given a client a design or mockup on just plain white paper. There’s a reason for that and it’s the most simple and obvious reason. HUMANS ARE VISUAL ANIMALS. We need to SEE what it looks like when it’s displayed on an actual SCREEN, BOOK or CARD to get a glimpse of what the outcome is going to feel like. We are very emotional human beings and in order for us to connect with what we paid for, it has to be shown to us in it’s fullest, best and most simple visual way so that we can process (in our mind) the need or the want for that product.

There is a big difference in giving a client logo samples like this:

attached to an email and presenting something like this:


presented in a full cover PDF ebook.

Your clients are mostly business people. They don’t work their brains like us creative people do. Everything has to be displayed and explained from 0 to 100 including the 1.5 and 99.5 points. When talking to your clients, keep this in mind, if you talk designer language, they aren’t going to understand 80% of what you are saying. If you try and give examples and samples of other work that looks similar to what you are going to create, it’s just going to make it more complicated and make them think what you showed them is what they are going to get. Don’t ever say to your clients “this is what it’s going to feel like”. NEVER. BIG MISTAKE. They are going to think it is going to look exactly like that.

Most of them aren’t going to know the difference between a serif and san serif typeface. Most of them aren’t going to know the Pantone codes you give them. So in the brainstorming session and initial meetings listen to what they have to say and look closely at the samples and examples THEY GIVE YOU.

Then, once you have everything and when you want to show them the progress and get more direction, don’t just show them a blank canvas with some colours and typefaces. Show them the progress as if it’s a finished product.

For example, when I show a client the first layout and draft of a business card, I show it to them like this. As if it’s a print proof for them to sign off on. Reason being, they don’t know how to picture it in their heads as a finished product. so I show it to them literally as a finished product to force them to get a grasp of the design and layout. By doing this, you can also get away with small design elements that YOU as a designer want to incorporate into the design. Some clients pick up on design elements and don’t want to go along with it, even though it looks great to you as an artistic person. Mind you, they don’t know design and what looks good to the artistic eye, they just want something that THEY LIKE. But by presenting the DRAFT as if it’s something that is a perfectly tuned finished product, they take it in as if it’s something precisely fine-tuned for them.


Here’s another example.

There’s a different FEEL to giving a client the above image as their website design and the below images as their website front page.

It feels different and looks more sophisticated doesn’t it? However, you have to know that these mockups shouldn’t be ALL THAT YOU PROVIDE THEM. They are going to want to see the logo close up, they are going to want to see the typeface variations and colours. Make sure you include a full-size image and layout of the items you designed and the variations for them to compare closely. Do a mood board and make sure it’s clean and crisp for the clients to see, and make sure the mockups that you created aren’t just small thumbnail sizes. They need to be big enough so that they could zoom in and see clearly.

Presenting your work like this is very time consuming and you also have to put in more effort to the “presenting” part but once you have a system set up for mockups and presentations, all you’ll have to do is just drag and drop the next time you have to make one.