The Cryptic Toilet

When undertaking design work for a client I like to have a clear brief. Clients can be notoriously difficult to pin down. Oh you know what we like. Just design something. Anything you want.
Design work, unlike artwork needs a brief. What is your product, target audience etc…? Come on just give me something to work to.

Artwork is the vision of the individual, and well, if you don’t like what I do, tough. Go and look at something else. Designers sometimes get confused between the two and become precious over their work. For me it’s an easy distinction. One pays the bills. I’d prefer to like what I’ve designed but I don’t have to. If you want it in Comic Sans, well that’s your choice. I may have to poke my eyes out with a rusty bayonet afterwards, just to atone for my sins, but it’s your choice. I will try and talk you out of it and come up with other solutions, but sometimes you just can’t account for taste.

Art pays for nowt. Unless you are very lucky.

If left to my own devices clients are usually unhappy with the results. The final work tends to be dark and brooding with a submarine tucked in somewhere for good measure.

‘Oh, it’s not what we really wanted. And, by the way, can you explain the submarine?’

It’s got a f**kin’ submarine in it ‘cos I want one. Ok.

Seriously if anyone sees a submarine for sale let me know. I’m looking for a Soviet Foxtrot class or something similar. Price range between £100,000 and £300,000. I did come across a Whiskey class. Price tag, £166,000, which included a free gift shop.  But it wasn’t sea worthy and bringing up to scratch would just take too much effort.

I’d prefer a diesel-electric rather than nuclear ‘cos after 9/11 getting a licence for a reactor is nigh on impossible. I've tried.

Dealing with clients can be similar to dealing with a cryptic toilet.

I think we have all been to those bars. The ones that try to be too swanky for their own good. The one that springs to mind is in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. I think it is the Bay Horse, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

My friends were either in on the joke, forgot to tell me about the toilets, or both.

On descending the stairs to use the toilets you are confronted with two doors. The one on the left is covered with door knobs. The one on the right, letter boxes. Ok it may seem obvious which is which now, but when you have imbibed several of the houses finest ales and are desperate for a piss, trying to work out subtle sexual metaphors is the last thing you need.

A pained expression came across my face. Which one do I use? Which? Someone please tell me.

Etiquette dictates you get it right otherwise you may be branded as a pervert. The time it took my brain to process this conundrum was time where I may have wet myself. My desperation forced my brain in to action, deciphering the code and allowing me to choose the correct door. Dan Brown would have been proud.

But at the time it was the last thing I needed.

So please clients, when you commission me to design something for you, give me something to work with. I’m not a f**king mind reader.


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