Slow Your Rollout

by Patricia Fitzgerald

We're not usually ones to make New Year's resolutions. Goals, yes. Intentions, absolutely. But we find that resolutions are often anything but resolute, leading to disappointment and dejection. But for 2022, we are making one commitment to ourselves — and to our clients: We're going to slow the heck down.

Because let's face it: faster is not always better. In fact, faster usually means haphazard, sloppy, error-prone and commoditized — particularly when it comes to creative work. As a small virtual agency, we've carved out a reputation for being nimble and agile. We're ready to respond on a dime to clients' urgent requests, and turn projects around quickly. That speed has served us and our clients well.

Or has it? While breakneck deadlines now seem to be the norm, they have also eroded the overall quality of creative work. When a website needs to be built in three weeks, that leaves little time for careful planning around site architecture, usability and interface design. Pick a WordPress theme, slap on a logo, and presto! Yes, the site's done. But is is great? Probably not. Same goes for a logo or brochure or ad campaign. The faster we're asked to get it done, the less time we have to actually think about what we're doing. And why we're doing it. 

Yes, we can turn your logo around in a week. But before we start pulling all nighters (not to mention pulling out all our hair), let's pause for a moment. Take a breath. Consider. Does this logo really need to be done in a week? Would it not be worth the extra two weeks, or preferably two months, to create something that truly captures who you are and what makes you different than your competitors? What's the rush, after all? Here's our case for slowing it down in 2022.

Creative with Purpose

Before we dive into your design, let's take the time up front to figure out the "why." Why are we creating this website, brochure, logo, fill in the blank here? What are your goals for this particular communication, and how can we make sure we achieve those goals? Just as important as the why is the who. Allow us a moment to meet your target audience and get to know them better. We promise, the end result will be better for it.

Brainstorm in Session

It takes a minute to get those creative juices churning and the napkin doodles flowing. With more time to brainstorm and conceptualize up front, we're more likely to get your project to a place of brilliance. The best ideas aren't usually the first ones that come to mind, either, so allow us to dig in and explore. We also like to show our clients multiple concepts and directions to choose from, so give us extra space for that as well.

Sit with It

We don't want our clients to feel rushed either. Which is why we ask them to sit with the concepts for a while, throw them up on the wall, spend a few days mulling them over. Sometimes your immediate gut reaction to creative isn't the one you end up with. It also gives you time to consider the creative not just from your perspective, but from your audience's perspective. That's who it's aimed for, after all.

Get it Right

We also need enough time to make sure the final product we deliver is the best it can possibly be. That means time to proof it, prepare bullet-proof production files, test it on multiple browsers, retouch photos, nit-pick and polish. When we're rushed to meet a deadline, that's when mistakes can happen. After all, we're only human. So let's all slow down and make sure we check, double-check, and triple-check our work. Then check it again.

Taking it Slow(er)

We are a team of people-pleasers, and thus client-pleasers. We have a hard time saying "no" to even the craziest deadlines. But in 2022, we're going to start pushing back on need-it-right-now. We're going to start asking our clients to slow down, too — for their sanity as well as ours. Give us time to do our jobs well, and we'll give you a product you (and we) can truly be proud of. 

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