The other day I saw a woman wearing a red T-shirt with a sentiment boldly printed on it in white that really struck me. It wasn’t the design that caught my eye but rather the sentiment that read, “Trust Me. I’m a Pharmacist.” Really? I should trust you because you’re a pharmacist?! Aside from the obvious ignorance on the part of the marketer who was obviously totally unaware of the public’s ire with anything having to do with healthcare and especially prescription drugs, people just don’t respond well to being told to trust someone.
Corporate creatives should take note of this fact. In-house designers can often fall into the trap of expecting their clients and managers to trust them on design related matters because they are “the design experts”. While it may be true that said designers are indeed experts at the practice of design, clients and managers who may know very little about the profession have nothing to go on regarding a designer’s skills and expertise. When these clients' and managers' are heading up a project where their derrieres are on the line and their creative team is
It’s the designer’s job to powerfully articulate why she is an expert and then prove it through her contributions to her assigned projects. And she will need to do this over and over as new clients and managers enter the corporate fold. Even former in-house powerhouse Stanley Hainsworth has noted that, as head of the renowned design group at Starbucks, he had to continually assert his design expertise and fight for the trust of his non-design coworkers.
It’s in every in-house designer’s best interest to never assume others understand what they bring to the corporate party and to continually demonstrate and point out their value. Trust me on this.